Resurfacing the Recession: Kitchen Tune-Up
Resurfacing the Recession: Kitchen Tune-Up

By BRIAN DIGGELMANN



By the Numbers


Founded:
1986


Started Franchising:
1988


Startup Costs:
$39,995


Territories
130



Everyone can agree that recessions are bad for business, but some concepts have managed to find a silver lining amidst the hardships. Service brands.....

By BRIAN DIGGELMANN






















By the Numbers
Founded: 1986
Started Franchising: 1988
Startup Costs: $39,995
Territories 130

Everyone can agree that recessions are bad for business, but some concepts have managed to find a silver lining amidst the hardships. Service brands like Kitchen Tune-Up have particularly benefited from homeowners choosing to remodel or renovate instead of buying a new home.

Kitchen Tune-Up is a fast-growth franchise that specializes in four primary areas of kitchen and bath remodeling: wood restoration, cabinet re-dooring, cabinet re-facing and new cabinet installation. The array of services in a hot sector coupled with startup costs typically under $50,000 has helped the 180-territory franchise continue to grow throughout 2012, despite the economic and lending issues plaguing many entrepreneurs.

“One of the reasons that a cabinet store might struggle is because that’s the only service they typically offer,” says Heidi Morrissey, VP of Marketing and Sales at Kitchen Tune-Up and daughter of founder Dave Haglund. “When homes aren't being built, they suffer. The desire and need for people to want to change their kitchen hasn’t dimmed at all—what’s changed is that people are now looking for ways to have it done more affordably, and we’ve always had that price point.”

No prior experience in remodeling is necessary to be successful with Kitchen Tune-Up, proven by the 80 percent of current franchise owners who came from outside the remodeling industry. Most franchisees hire employees or subcontract the construction work and focus on management and operations. To help insure the success of franchise partners, Kitchen Tune-Up not only provides extensive business and management training but also offers a variety of training courses for sales staff and technical personnel.










Each month, Kitchen Tune-Up highlights a Project of the Month. November's project (pictured above) came from Tom and Rae Dunlap, Kitchen Tune-Up franchise owners in La Grange, Il.

For many Kitchen Tune-Up owners, Morrissey says the franchise provides more than just a job and income—it gives peace of mind.

“It used to be that most franchise owners came from a downsized industry,” she says. “Now we’re finding that people maybe don’t want the insecurity of not knowing whether their job is going to be there or not.”

Morrissey recalled one new franchise owner who she recently met at Kitchen Tune-Up’s training school. Tired of the constant refocusing and shifting at his corporate job, he turned to Kitchen Tune-Up as a way to reclaim control of his life.

With about 85 franchise owners representing 130 territories across the nation, Kitchen Tune-Up is poised for a big year in 2013. Morrissey says plans are on the table to add high-level partnerships with companies offering complimentary products to spur further growth across the nation, especially in areas of high development like the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

“We’re already seeing consumer confidence coming back,” says Morrissey. “We had growth this year and we’re definitely going to see some more growth next year.”

ADVERTISEMENT