Winner of the 2018 Global Franchise Awards Best Home & Office Franchise is Chem Dry. Joseph Manuszak, Vice President of International Development, talks about the company’s global-scale ventures
How would you describe Chem Dry and the services it provides?
Chem-Dry is the world’s largest carpet cleaning franchise — Chem-Dry has led the carpet cleaning industry with cutting-edge products and more effective cleaning processes, beginning with our Hot Carbonating Extraction process, which relies on chemistry to emulsify dirt and debris for safer, more effective removal.
How did Chem Dry come into being?
The Chem-Dry story started in the early 1970s with Robert Harris, a young man from California who worked for a small carpet cleaning company while he attended law school at Brigham Young University in Utah. Harris wasn’t impressed with the cleaning products the company and its competitors were using. They took a long time to dry and left chemical residue that attracted more dirt.
Harris began looking for a better way to clean carpets and found his inspiration in an unexpected place: the air. While on a flight home during a break in classes, he dripped some salad dressing on his silk tie. A flight attendant removed the stain with a surprising “cleaner”, club soda. The flight attendant knew that carbonation in the soda would help break down the stain and allow her to remove the stain without damaging the silk, and Harris knew then that this small trick on an airplane had big potential.
How did you develop the business?
In the United States, we utilized the franchise business model. Globally, we only embrace the master franchise business model.
When did you begin franchising and how successful has this been?
Chem-Dry commenced franchising in 1977. We are now in 55+ countries.
How would you account for this success – what did you get right?
Our success is because of our franchisees, who have worked to build the brand in their market; our employees, who developed and created the tools, equipment and products to use for our customer; and, our customer, who has embraced our concept of using less water, being eco friendly and appreciating our customer service.
What does winning Best Business Franchise mean to Chem Dry?
It reinforces “what we do,” but also gives us the mandate to continue our excellence in franchising, product development, customer service and training.