Franchise Opportunity Rating
Review completed: January 2020
$461,250 - $566,400
Christian Brothers Automotive
17725 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77094
Contact: Josh Wall
Email: [email protected]
The story of Christian Brothers Automotive begins in 1981. That year, founder Mark Carr was working as a graphic arts salesman. Despite the success he was having, he couldn't shake the feeling that he should be doing something else with his life. Mark asked God to show him a path towards a different vocation. The very next day, while Mark was at a Sunday school event, a friend walked up to him, looking to start an automotive repair shop with Mark’s help. Mark and his friend went on to name their new company Christian Brothers Automotive the following year. In August 1982, Mission Bend, Texas was the site of the very first Christian Brothers Automotive repair facility.
Over the years, Mark opened a few other Christian Brothers Automotive locations. Another turning point, however, came in 1996. A friend came to Mark for help with opening his own repair shop. Mark taught his friend everything he knew, and set up the new shop just as he would his own. In one year, that shop was already out-grossing Mark's. When he saw that the practices and principles he knew worked in his own shops could really thrive in other communities, even under different management, Mark knew there was an opportunity to become a registered franchisor.
By 2001, Christian Brothers Automotive—with 17 total locations—had even grown outside of Texas with new facilities in Oklahoma, Georgia, and Tennessee. In just six years, that number grew to 50, including locations in Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alabama. After 30 years of business, Christian Brothers Automotive celebrated its 100th location in 2012. Since then, that number has grown to more than 215 locations. With more than 100 dedicated, qualified home office team members to assist our franchise partners, we're proud to say that Christian Brothers Automotive has yet to close a single location—an indelible testament to the principles Mark knew could change the way people experience auto service.
Actual owner reviews from our third party, independent surveys.
"This is a great company and I am a walking advertisement for CBA. The staff at the Home Office are extremely professional and helpful."
Jud, Single Unit Owner, Major Metro (500,000+ population), Overall Brand Rating: 96 FSI
"Core values is the greatest area of strength for CBA."
Keith, Single Unit Owner, Major Metro (500,000+ population), Overall Brand Rating: 69 FSI
"We highly recommend Christian Brothers Automotive as a business opportunity and service provider."
Mark, Single Unit Owner, Medium Market (100,000 - 249,999 population), Overall Brand Rating: 92 FSI
Christian Brothers Automotive is uniquely positioned as a franchisor, due to these ‘key differentiators.’ These include:
Matt and Lee Rucks didn’t expect to own an auto repair shop or move to Hendersonville, TN, but when Matt was laid off by a vitamin manufacturing company in 2009, their plans were cast to the wind.
Matt and Lee’s business is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The mornings are mostly spent shuttling customers to work and customers’ kids to school. The complimentary rides make having their vehicle serviced more convenient. Lee is especially fond of shuttling customers because it gives her a chance to get to know them better: he conversation with customers also tends to veer into the personal: How is your day? How is your family? How are you? While Matt and Lee don’t force their faith onto anyone, customers soon realize that Christian Brothers truly is a Christian business. Many customers open up about their lives, giving Matt and Lee a chance to connect in a meaningful, spiritual way.
Once customers have been taken where they need to go, Matt oversees operations—ensuring that oil changes are completed, engines are repaired, and radiator fluids are exchanged—while Lee looks for ways to market the business.
Back inside Christian Brothers Automotive, four technicians take advantage of multiple bays to quickly and efficiently make repairs and provide services. Christian Brothers Automotive hires highly skilled technicians who operate in the bay with the precision of a doctor in the operating room. As the day’s receipts pile up, a floor buffer is busy keeping the service bay floors spotlessly clean. When customers have questions about a repair, Matt, Lee or a service manager can lead them into the garage and show them any issues with a vehicle and explain their recommendations.
Christian Brothers Automotive looks for franchisees with a net worth of at least $250,000 who can make an initial investment of at least $85,000. For opening a brand new facility, total startup costs fall somewhere between $461,250 and $566,400. Christian Brothers Automotive recommends that franchisees, if possible, consider a 10-year Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. This kind of loan can cover about 82-83% of these costs, and is utilized by an overwhelming majority of its franchisees. Christian Brothers Automotive understands that taking out a loan can be intimidating, which is why they’re with you every step of the way to offer guidance, resources and assistance.
The top 20% of franchises earned more than $295,122 in 2018 based on Total Owner Benefit (TOB) as reported in its 2019 Franchise Disclosure Document.
Christian Brothers Automotive doesn’t buy existing auto repair facilities and rebrand the location. Instead, their team carefully selects and purchases land, then designs and builds a facility that meets the standards they know will best serve the franchisee and future Christian Brothers Automotive guests. This process takes approximately 18-24 months for a new location. Christian Brothers Automotive’s commitment to this process is critical to properly bringing their brand to a new community. The company has never closed any of its 200+ locations and believe that their diligence with this process is part of the reason why.
No. When Mark Carr founded Christian Brothers Automotive in 1982, he had never worked as a mechanic. The selection committee identifies the potential in franchise candidates based on their core values and business/leadership experience, rather than their knowledge of vehicles and the automotive industry. Upon awarding a franchise, Christian Brothers Automotive provides technical training to ensure franchise owners are equipped to work in the automotive industry. That said, automotive experience doesn’t hurt.
All at Christian Brothers Automotive are thankful for the service veterans have provided to our country and are proud that many of our franchisees are veterans. Christian Brothers Automotive offers 10% off of the franchise fee to veterans.
In 2012, Christian Brothers Automotive was named the number one Best Performing Veteran Franchise by USAA Magazine. Our incredible franchise track record and the fact that we've never defaulted on an SBA loan contributed to this rating, but so has our commitment to putting our franchisees on a stable path towards long-term success.
Want to learn more about what Christian Brothers Automotive offers itsveteran franchisees? Contact their team.
Marketing is extremely important, especially when opening a brand new shop. Marketing gets the word out and lets customers know you’re in their neighborhood and are ready to service their vehicles.
Christian Brothers Automotive understands that not every franchisee has experience in marketing. That is why each franchisee is assigned a marketing coach to help them best target and market to their local audiences. Marketing coaches provide ongoing marketing support to help shop owners with budgeting, advertising, and building community and vendor relationships.
Christian Brothers Automotive sees the potential in franchise prospects, regardless of their experience (or lack thereof) in the automotive industry. When founder, Mark Carr, began Christian Brothers Automotive in 1982, he wasn’t a mechanic. He was a graphic arts salesman. Yet, his “outsider” perspective allowed him to view the industry as a consumer, and to lay the groundwork for an extraordinary experience for his guests.
The Christian Brothers Automotive selection committee sees similar potential in prospective franchisees who share its same core values and are ready to do what it takes to carry forth the Christian Brothers Automotive brand. From the most basic questions to high-level business and finance concerns, the franchise support team and training program are there to transform franchisees into auto repair champions.
Christian Brothers Automotive franchisees are not required to have any automotive experience. However, the Company does require leadership or business experience that can be applied to this industry through training. At Christian Brothers Automotive, their model is collaborative and team focused. The company equips all its franchisees with a variety of skills, and provides training throughout the life of their investment.
In the beginning, training consists of a brand introduction and teaching franchisees how to uphold the company’s core values while running a shop. Christian Brothers Automotive believes that firsthand experience is the best teacher, so new franchisees get to job shadow some of the top-performing franchisees before going out on their own. They’ll learn how to be an effective Service Writer, how to hire and lead a team, how to manage finances, and more. In-house accounting and performance consultants are available at all times to assist franchisees with any questions or concerns. By the time a shop is ready to open, each new franchisee is more than prepared to get the job done right.
At Christian Brothers Automotive, franchisees are never left without the resources they need to stay on top of this dynamic industry and continue to offer excellent results for their guests. The company provides a robust ongoing training program for the franchisees and their employees. In fact, Christian Brothers Automotive has a staff of more than 100 people at the Houston Home Office to help stay engaged with its franchise locations and ensure that they are never without the support they need.
Once someone is awarded a Christian Brothers Automotive Franchise, they are assigned two experienced performance Home Office coaches–one for store operations and one for marketing. These coaches are experienced in opening and consulting with our 200+ stores, meaning if you run into a problem, they’ve likely been there, done that. This helps them provide franchisees the assistance they need, no matter what they may be facing.
Hiring & Recruitment
Of course, every Christian Brothers Automotive isn't complete without a team of skilled, knowledgeable service team members and technicians ready to provide honest, reliable automotive work that gets customers back on the road as safely and swiftly as possible. Christian Brothers Automotive doesn’t expect every franchisee to know what to look for during this hiring process, which is why their recruiting team is ready to help.
When it comes time to hire service and technician staff, Christian Brothers Automotive sends an automotive expert to each location to help franchisees assess candidates. They’ve been doing this long enough to know that having a team of top-notch automotive professionals and technicians is key to every franchisee’s success. Christian Brothers Automotive is always ready to help franchisees navigate this recruitment process as they hire their team members.
Automotive Technology (AutoTech)
The AutoTech department at Christian Brothers Automotive Home Office is built to assist franchise technicians when they run into automotive problems that they need help solving. AutoTech offers remote programming from their Houston headquarters, assistance with emergent safety repairs, TAP (technician assistance program), foreign repair help and so much more. With AutoTech, franchisees can rest assured that even if a technician runs into a problem, they’ll never be left alone to figure it out.
Once franchisees have been awarded a Christian Brothers Automotive franchise, they are provided a wealth of materials to kick-start training. Some of this training is technical training, from automotive system basics and common car issues, to what goes into remedying them.
It's important to remember, franchisees are not training to become a mechanic or technician. These roles are filled by experienced professionals. Instead, this technical training serves two important purposes: to help franchisees communicate with customers about their automotive issues and to help franchisees know what to expect of their managers and team members.