Kitchen Wise Executive Q&A: Premium Service Brands CEO Paul Flick
1851: What have been some of the brand’s most important milestones since its acquisition by Premium Service Brands?
Paul Flick: Kitchen Wise is a home organization franchise that helps people declutter their homes and make their kitchens, pantries and bathrooms more intelligent, efficient and elegantly designed. Premium Service Brands acquired Kitchen Wise in September 2019. We recognized that it was a strong brand with a great business model and growth potential and decided to add PSB’s robust systems to back up the business. We’ve integrated our innovative technology, contact centers and, most importantly, welcomed some great franchisees to Premium Service Brands.
There were three franchisees when we acquired Kitchen Wise, and now there are five active owners and another currently going through training. There are a total of ten sold territories.
1851: What void does your brand fill?
Paul Flick: There is a huge demand in the home services space, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. People are spending more time at home and are looking for ways to make their spaces more functional. In addition, channels like the Food Network and HGTV are making kitchen renovations particularly popular.
The kitchen is the central meeting place of the home. Whether you have a 10,000-square-foot home or an 800-square-foot home, the kitchen needs to be a high-functioning space. Oftentimes, when homeowners decide to upgrade their home, they start with the kitchen.
With Kitchen Wise, we’re not looking to completely demolish a space — we are interested in taking an existing kitchen and making it more efficient based on the needs of the individual homeowner. For example, instead of just building new cabinets, we are interested in making sure the homeowner’s existing cabinets have the right features. The average kitchen renovation is around $20,000 to $40,000, but the average Kitchen Wise project is only $3,500. In addition, when it comes to installation, we offer an extremely fast turnaround. Once we have the products, we are able to make the transformation within a day or two.
The product is the most important differentiator for Kitchen Wise — in terms of quality, there are no major competitors that come close to our standard. It's the difference between using particle board and using hardwood. Franchise owners have access to premium products that are exclusive to Kitchen Wise.We’re also extremely proud that all of our product vendors offer a lifetime warranty.
1851: What was missing in the space before? How was it identified?
Paul Flick: From the franchise development side, we knew that Kitchen Wise was a brand that owners could be passionate about. It is a unique model, and we saw an opportunity to disrupt the traditional kitchen renovation industry.
When acquiring new brands, PSB looks for businesses that need help with their systems and processes, and Kitchen Wise was a perfect fit. The company already had good vendor relationships and strong margins that we could improve on. We also wanted to find a home services brand that focused on the kitchen because that industry is underserved. When you become a Kitchen Wise franchise owner, you will be tapping into a $450 billion industry as a new concept with little competition.
1851: What does your ideal franchisee look like?
Paul Flick: The ideal Kitchen Wise franchisee is interested in a consultative business opportunity — someone who wants to work with a customer, troubleshoot problems, come up with a plan and sell a service. The franchisee doesn’t need to worry about installation — they will hire people to do that part. We’re looking for candidates who are passionate about being out in the community and networking.
With Kitchen Wise, franchisees start out primarily by hiring subcontractors to do the installation work, , which offers lower overhead costs and a quicker launch time. Once the franchise owner is able to establish their business and grow, they will have enough volume of work to hire an in-house employee to handle the installation.
1851: How does PSB support franchisees?
Paul Flick: Kitchen Wise franchise owners don’t need any construction or industry experience, because PSB offers hands-on training and ongoing support.
All Kitchen Wise franchise owners are assigned a business coach, who will create a five-to-ten year business plan. Each franchisee has a meeting with their coach for an hour each week to dive into analytics and create growth goals. For each franchise owner, we are able to adjust our production plans, build a marketing plan, review P&Ls and optimize profitability each quarter.
PSB also supports franchisees in recruiting staff, with each business coach participating in interviews, providing feedback and more. When it comes to growing individual customer bases, franchise owners have monthly calls with the marketing team, as well as access to social media resources, coaching opportunities, training courses, and quarterly and seasonal marketing campaigns. We provide a large toolset of resources and a wealth of industry knowledge that franchise owners can implement into their business.
In terms of the actual day-to-day operations, we offer customer management and employee management support, routing and scheduling software and access to a contact center. Plus, the biggest advantage of PSB is that businesses aren’t siloed — we are able to pool together all of our resources across every brand and create a more robust system.
1851: What are your growth goals for each brand?
Paul Flick: With all PSB brands, we have a very calculated growth model. We don't want to outrun our support systems or technologies, and we want our franchisees to know that they are our number-one priority. Right now, we have a conservative growth plan and are pushing to have 10 more territories open for each brand by the end of next year.
For more information on franchising with Kitchen Wise, visit: https://www.premiumservicebrands.com/kitchen-wise/