Take 5 plans West Michigan investment
Oil change company to invest $25M, add 50 local jobs.
Take 5 Oil Change is planning to enter Grand Rapids this year with as many as nine stay-in-your-car oil change centers opening in the area. The move represents an approximate $25-million investment and is estimated to create about 50 local jobs.
Ted Rippey, vice president of franchising for Take 5, said the investment translates to about 30 locations in West and mid-Michigan, including Lansing, Kalamazoo and the lakeshore region. The company plans to introduce about nine of the 30 locations into the greater Grand Rapids area.
Each store will employ about 12 staff members.
Rippey touted Take 5’s training and mentorship program as a reliable pipeline of skilled employees for a prospective franchisee. Under the program, an average pit tech can receive tools and training to rise all the way to senior leadership.
“It’s a tough job market,” Rippey said. “We don’t need any ASE-certified mechanics. We’re looking for people with good customer service … that’s a big pool to choose from.”
For prospective franchisees, the average Take 5 unit promises to pull about $1.2 million in annual sales within a couple of years of opening. Rippey said the initial setup cost is around $750,000.
West Michigan’s continual economic growth over the past several years was key in deciding where Take 5 would target next, Rippey said. The company currently is pushing for the Detroit Metro area, which it identifies as a separate market, but West Michigan and Grand Rapids are hot on its list.
“It’s something we’ve been excited to get into with all the press it has been getting about all its growth,” Rippey said. “It’s a huge place where we want to be. We want to target growing areas.”
Take 5 offers a quick, eight-minute oil change so customers never have to leave their cars. Technicians replace the oil filter and check and replenish vital fluids to the recommended level.
“By totally flipping everything on its head and just doing oil, it specializes us to do that service incredibly quickly,” Rippey said. “We’re also not pressuring the customer to buy a bunch of stuff they may not want.”
Rippey said Take 5 currently is conversing with potential partners in real estate and franchising about identifying the best possible locations to open stores.
Take 5 falls under the Driven Brands umbrella, which also owns Maaco, Meineke, Carstar, Econo Lube N’ Tune & Brakes and 1-800 Radiator & A/C.
Take 5 was founded in Metairie, Louisiana, in 1984 and grew to 70 stores until Driven Brands acquired it in 2016. Within a three-year span, Take 5 has added more than 250 locations throughout the southern and Midwestern U.S., including Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
In the past 18 months, the brand signed development deals for an additional 120 locations nationwide.