April 15, 2024

Why a Franchise Owner Knew Grease Monkey Was the Right Brand for Him

the Chhotoo family

Franchise owner Salim Chhotoo opened two Grease Monkey stores in 2023 and plans to open his third

Before opening his Grease Monkey® stores, franchise owner Salim Chhotoo (shown with his family above) worked in travel retail, managing high-end stores at large airports, including Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta. After years of this, he wanted to do something on his own. 

Some of Salim’s friends introduced him to the Grease Monkey brand when he told them about his desire to be an entrepreneur. They were looking at Grease Monkey themselves and invited him to join them as an equal partner.

Salim did his research and even visited a few oil change businesses on his own. 

Customer engagement

“From the get-go, I knew this was the right company,” he says. “The top retail companies I worked for at the airport were all about customer engagement, and that’s what I saw in Grease Monkey.” 

He was also impressed by Grease Monkey’s leadership. He says company leaders are passionate about the brand, adding that he likes how involved they are in the business.

Salim had a goal of opening two Grease Monkey stores in 2023. The grand opening of his first store was in August 2023, and his second store opened Dec. 29, 2023. He plans to open a third Grease Monkey and is looking at possible locations.

The learning curve 

Entering the auto care industry without an automotive background presented a learning curve for Salim. But with Grease Monkey, you don’t need to have an automotive background. Our new owners are fully trained and certified before opening their stores. 

“When you go through that training, you feel so much more comfortable, resourceful, and so much stronger. You’re not nervous anymore,” Salim says.

Full support

Salim explains that new owners get full support from the Grease Monkey home office from the beginning. Grease Monkey helps new owners find locations for their stores so they’re placed to attract customers. Our senior director of construction works with new owners until construction is done, then we help with the store’s grand opening.

Once your store is open, your franchise support director partners with you for the success of your store — for example, helping to set up inventory, connect with vendors, and more. 

“I can always pick up a phone and talk to my franchise support director. We share best practices, what is happening in the region, and how we can make it better. It’s a true partnership at every level,” Salim says.

Committed to success

“The people in leadership roles in every department are just awesome. They are truly committed to the success of the brand,” Salim says.

Success requires consistency and resilience, he says. Owners need to follow processes and give first-class customer service. His advice is to treat customers like guests and to make their experience pleasant. His stores have 5-star reviews on Google, with customers talking about how welcome they felt there. 

Part of treating customers well is how you approach servicing their vehicle. Salim says he and his crew educate customers on what services the vehicles need without applying any pressure. The focus is on information, not upselling.

Making a difference

Aside from the opportunity to offer first-class customer service, part of Salim’s motivation to be an entrepreneur was to make a difference in his employees’ lives. He says that when he hires a manager, his two goals for them are to grow the business and his employees. 

“I wanted to work with people. Make a difference in their lives and create a family culture in the workplace,” he says. 

Become a franchise owner

To take the first step toward owning your own business, download our free ebook about our business model. To learn more about our available territories, click here.