How HOODZ Franchisees Met 2020’s Challenges & Created Opportunities
Innovation and determination to support their clients carried these commercial hood franchise entrepreneurs
A strong contingency plan is a must-have for any small business. Every HOODZ commercial hood franchise owner knows that — but 2020 brought events that no one could have anticipated.
Still, across the United States, HOODZ franchise owners found ways to keep their doors open, and their restaurant clients clean and compliant, in the face of very challenging odds. Through it all, our franchisees have said their goal was to make sure they were able to provide service and keep their employees safe. That took some creative thinking, to be sure.
“We knew we had to push through this”
During the weeks they had to be idle last March, Bill Higgins and his team took stock of their book of business, kept tabs on the local restaurant scene, kept in touch with clients, and in general, prepared for when their trucks could roll again. It was good to have those planning and preparation activities in what was a scary time, says Higgins, President of HOODZ of Central & Northeast Indiana.
“Earlier in 2020, we were on pace to hit $1 million in revenue and then the big drops came in April and May,” Higgins recalls. “We were beginning to worry about making payroll, but then we were able to get some PPP money from the government and that was a true blessing. And once we could get out again, we made sure we spent some of those funds on the correct PPE masks for our guys and we tried to be as clean and sanitary as possible in our workspace. And we’ve been pretty busy ever since Memorial Day, so we are back on pace.”
“We’ve never had a down year, and this wasn’t going to be one”
HOODZ commercial hood franchise owner Randy Sequete is a 10-year veteran of the commercial restaurant hood cleaning industry. Even so Sequete, who owns HOODZ of Greater Palm Beach in Florida, says the COVID-19 pandemic threw him for a loop — at least initially.
“I keep saying I’m hellbent on not having a down year because we never have up to now,” Sequete says. He reports that after a rough April and May, bookings began to pick up and by midsummer he was back on plan to end 2020 in the black. In fact, he adds, while existing customers have been slow to get back on a cleaning schedule, he has picked up a lot of new business because a lot of his competition has gone away or has not performed well for clients. He also credits a strong focus on institutional customers, such as nursing homes and assisted living centers, for keeping his crews busy even during the lean months early in the pandemic.
“That kind of forward thinking, whether it’s getting out in front of the competition or making sure their teams have all they need to work under difficult circumstances, is the hallmark of a HOODZ franchise owner,” says Nathan Willard, President of HOODZ International.
“[Franchise owners] can build more relationships now and build them more quickly than you would in so-called ‘good’ times,” Willard says. “Restaurant owners who may not have known us before are seeing that we are here, that we are reliable, and that we are professional and dependable. That is paying dividends for owners now, and it’s going to pay off in the future as well.”
Owning a successful restaurant hood cleaning business doesn’t have to break the bank. HOODZ is one of the most affordable franchise opportunities in the booming $838 billion restaurant industry. The total investment to begin operations for a new HOODZ franchise ranges from $62,561 to $179,840. We also have third-party relationships to help you finance any additional business needs. We also proudly offer veterans who are interested in joining our franchise family a discount.