Superstorms Boost Dwyer's Service Brands
"Mr. Rooter of central New Jersey saves Thanksgiving." That is the slightly hyped subject line of an email forwarded to Dina Dwyer-Owens, CEO of The Dwyer Group in Waco, Texas, and operator of Mr. Rooter, Glass Doctor, Rainbow International and other brands.
But it's true Mr. Rooter saved a bunch of turkeys. Superstorm Sandy knocked out the water supply in Wall Township in New Jersey, including at a turkey farm with 2,000 birds. Sheryl and Andrew August, owners of a Mr. Rooter franchise in the area, got a call for help October 31, and were able to get the farmers a truck that holds 1,000 gallons of water, enough to save the turkeys, she said.
Rainbow International specializes in cleanup after floods and fires, so those franchisees are used to rushing in to help after storms and other disasters, said Dwyer-Owens. She and a group of Rainbow franchisees were on scene in New Orleans right after Katrina hit, for example. Now, in the wake of power outages and fuel shortages caused by Sandy, Dwyer execs are working "frantically" with their suppliers across the country to get generators to the East Coast.
This time franchisees of other Dwyer brands are getting involved, too, such as Glass Doctor owners, who are moving in to board up windows damaged by the storm, and a Mr. Appliance franchisee in Manhattan. "He's getting ready to pay $20 a gallon of gas" to keep his operation going, she said. Owners at The Grounds Guys, one of Dwyer's newest brands, are removing trees and branches felled by the storm, instead of mowing lawns and maintaining landscapes.
Sandy hit about 100 of Dwyer's frachisees in New Jersey and New York, damaging their own homes and businesses. Yet Dwyer-Owens said they rushed out anyway to help. "It's their customers. You don't get these kinds of catastrophes too often and we don't want to see them any more than we do. But it's just what our franchisees do," she said.