A new auto drive-thru oil change business is rolling into the Chattanooga market with plans to eventually build at least 10 sites in the region.
Take 5 Oil Change plans to put a couple of units in Chattanooga by year's end and it's about to start on a location in Dalton, Georgia, with plans for another site in Cleveland, Tennessee, said area franchisee Michael Alterman.
"We're excited about Chattanooga," said Alterman, adding he sought the market when he was negotiating with Take 5 for the franchise that includes East Tennessee and North Georgia.
Take 5 has about 600 locations across the country with units already in some other cities in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
In Chattanooga, Alterman said he's working on purchasing a couple of tracts to hold units, including in Hixson.
The Dalton oil-change facility is planned for East Walnut Street near the mall, he said. In Cleveland, Alterman recently bought a parcel at Paul Huff Parkway and Mouse Creek Road. That site also will hold a Wash Factory car wash, Alterman said.
"That will be good synergy," he said.
The Dalton location will probably open in May with the Cleveland site in June, Alterman said. Also, a couple of units in the Knoxville area are likely to open in mid-to-late summer, he said.
Each unit will employ from 12 to 15 employees.
Jeff Jennings, a commercial real estate broker for NAI Charter Real Estate in Chattanooga, said they're taking care in finding "the perfect sites" for Take 5 as it builds out through the market.
"They have a knowledgeable and sophisticated operator so that paired with prime real estate will make Take 5 a long-time fixture in this region," he said.
Take 5 advertises a 10-minute oil change on its website, with the idea of letting customers stay in their vehicles while the employees do the work. But Alterman said it's typical for patrons to drive away in five to seven minutes.
Alterman said Take 5 tries to keep the visit simple, providing oil changes, oil and air filters along with wiper blades. Employees also fill vital fluids and check tire pressure.
He said Take 5 will provide a free bottle of water for the driver and juice boxes for children.
In addition to individual vehicle owners, Alterman said the business is interested in servicing fleets.
The franchisee, who lives in the Atlanta area, said he is a real estate developer who "fell in love" with the Take 5 concept.
"It's a people-oriented business," he said. "It's all about customer service."
Alterman said that doing business during the coronavirus pandemic is challenging.
"I've had a couple of deals die," he said. "It's hard to get in front of council people."
At the same time, Alterman said, he can't get the units open fast enough.
"We provide that safe, socially distant model," he said.
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.