Denise and Brian Morrison
Brian Morrison Has Gone From One Store to 11 in Four Years
Multi-unit owner Brian Morrison has a lot of experience in the quick lube industry. After working for a different quick lube franchisor, where he was Director of Operations, for almost 20 years, Brian decided to open his own business.
His former employer had no available locations near where he lived, so a friend encouraged him to make the leap to FullSpeed Automotive®, which owns the Grease Monkey® franchise and its sister company SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service®.
Brian bought his first SpeeDee location in Spartansburg, S.C., in August 2019. Then he just kept growing the business.
In January, Brian opened a 10th location, a Grease Monkey in Gastonia, N.C., and he took over a location in Mooresville, N.C., in February, making it his 11th store. Most of his stores are close to either Charlotte or Greensboro. Three of his stores are part of the SpeeDee brand, and the rest are Grease Monkey locations.
Brian says that he was surprised at the freedom FullSpeed offers. The quick lube franchise he used to work for was “very rigid and structured. There was no room to alter procedures. It was very heavy-handed,” he says.
“FullSpeed allows you to make a lot of decisions yourself. I have a lot of experience, so that works well for me. But for franchisees with less experience, FullSpeed will answer their questions and show them how to run the business,” he continues.
Expanding the business
Brian says when he opened his third store, his wife Denise — who was a General Manager at Arby’s — started working for their business full time. She handles human resources, payroll, and accounting. Brian and Denise have four adult children and nine grandchildren, with another on the way.
Once he opened his sixth store, Brian hired three district managers to help. When asked about his franchise success, Brian had two pieces of advice: Pay well and keep your employees happy.
Treat employees well
He says, “We used to pay our technicians $10 an hour, which was on the high end for where we live. Now it’s $15, because staffing is more competitive since the pandemic. Also, we’ve stopped operating on Sundays to improve the quality of life for our employees.”
“We give employees control over their own schedules. It’s a benefit for them, and it’s free for you. Many people are juggling multiple jobs, are sharing a car, or have other challenges. Do what you can to make them happy to come to work.”
His 11th store won’t be his last. “I don’t know where we’ll stop,” he says. “I’m planning to reach 18 to 20 stores. Then who knows?”
His advice for people considering opening a Grease Monkey franchise: “It’s a scary change to become an entrepreneur, especially financially. Do it anyway.”