Veterans Find Meineke Ownership a Great Second Career
Training and Skills Developed in Military Service Help Fuel Success for Franchise Owners
June 03, 2019 // Franchising.com // CHARLOTTE - While Nate and Josh Ramsay were serving their country in Iraq, their older brother Ben was building the foundation for a business that they could both work in when they returned home.
“I had the automotive experience of managing a Meineke store in Harrisburg, PA for someone else,” said Ben Ramsay. “When the opportunity came up to purchase a franchise in York, PA in 2012, my brothers and I sold everything we had to finance the purchase. We were partners from the beginning. The plan was that I would get things started, and Nate and Josh would join me once their deployment was over.”
Nate Ramsay knew nothing about cars when he finished his three tours of duty as a Staff Sargent in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, serving from 2006 to 2013. Neither did Josh, also an active duty Staff Sargent in the U.S. Army National Guard serving until late 2013.
“I enlisted in 2002 while in high school,” said Josh Ramsay. “On Friday I graduated high school, and the next Monday I was in boot camp.”
The skills they learned in the service had nothing to do with vehicles, but it did help prepare them for success in business. Josh Ramsay was involved in aviation life support and Nate Ramsay was a forward observer during their duty in Iraq.
“Military service breeds a good work ethic,” said Nate Ramsay. “The military is a standards-driven organization, and setting standards in your business is critical to success. None of us went to college, but military service helps you develop people skills necessary for successfully dealing with both employees and customers.”
“It also gave us the attitude to just put our heads down and drive forward,” said Josh Ramsay.
And that is what the three Ramsay brothers did.
Between older brother Ben’s experience managing a Meineke store, the support they received from the Meineke Operations team, and the sharing among the network of other Meineke operators, they have grown to five centers in just six years.
“Sales our first year in business exceeded our expectations,” said Ben Ramsay. “It was head down, six days a week that first year. When my brothers returned in 2013, we began a rapid expansion. Two more stores in 2014, one in 2015, and the fifth in 2018. And we are looking to grow more.”
“Meineke has greatly evolved in the last five to six years,” said Nate Ramsay. “We have confidence that with the current leadership it is moving in the right direction to keep us at the cutting edge of operational excellence and customer satisfaction. Meineke has a strong playbook and their operations people are incredible at supporting multiple location owners.”
With five stores and three brothers, they each have had to make the transition from owner/operator to owner.
“It forces you work on your business instead of in your business,” said Ben Ramsay. “And it requires that you hire good employees.”
Nate Ramsay said that hiring veterans is a priority for them.
“We advertise for veterans because veterans are your best employees,” Nate Ramsay said. “We love to hire veterans and we have had good success in that area.”
Every Veterans Day they offer free oil changes for veterans, a practice many other Meineke locations have adopted.
“Veterans are one big family, and we take care of each other. We shut down all other operations on that day and perform only oil changes,“ said Nate Ramsay. “Veterans are extremely appreciative and loyal people. We do it to give back, but it also can create a new and loyal customer.”
The Ramsay brothers have found a formula for success, as evidenced by their recognition at the Meineke convention earlier this year, winning the Commitment to Excellence award, an award which is presented to the franchisee that represents and supports the brand above self. An accurate description for the Ramsay brothers!
Meineke is actively seeking single-unit and multi-unit franchise owners to expand the brand’s footprint. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Meineke, visit https://www.franchisewithmeineke.com.
Meineke Car Care Centers, Inc., is a division of Driven Brands, Inc., the leading automotive aftermarket franchisor in the world. Founded in 1972, Meineke has more than 800 centers that service approximately 3 million cars a year. Meineke continues to be ranked as one of the best franchise opportunities in the country.
About Driven Brands
Driven Brands, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is the parent company of North America’s leading automotive aftermarket brands across four distinct verticals: Repair & Maintenance, housing Meineke Car Care Centers®; Paint & Collision, housing Maaco® and CARSTAR North America®; Distribution, housing 1-800-Radiator & A/C®; and Quick Lube, housing Take 5 Oil Change. Driven Brands has more than 2,500 centers across North America, and combined, all businesses generate more than $2.6 billion in system sales and service approximately 8 million vehicles annually. For more information, visit drivenbrands.com.
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