Meet Florida Chem-Dry Franchise Owner Bernardo Quintero
Going the extra mile is a way of life for this entrepreneur, who built a strong and growing book of business by anticipating and exceeding customer needs
Can a New York restaurant owner make it operating a Chem-Dry cleaning franchise in Florida? Yes, and he’s not only making it but actually blowing away his own expectations by doing what he does best — making people happy.
It’s a simple formula, but one that works well for Bernardo Quintero, who owns the Costa Sol Chem-Dry cleaning franchise. After moving his family to Florida, Bernie began looking for business opportunities in 2015. The Chem-Dry business model appealed to him, and soon he was operating his own franchise.
Going for positive reviews every time
“I remember asking if Chem-Dry was paying people for all these positive reviews I was reading online,” says Bernie, who along with his family owned and operated a chain of 25 KFC restaurants in New York. “I couldn’t believe any business could have that much positive input. But then I met the corporate team, and they were just as positive. It was a great vibe, and so we wanted to move forward.”
Sadly, his mother passed away just as the business was getting up and running. She’d been a big supporter in all of Bernie’s business ventures, so he buckled down to succeed and honor her memory.
“We delayed a little bit because we were grieving, but by late 2015 we were really going well,” he says. “Now we are a five-star rated company with 100 percent customer satisfaction. I make sure that there is no reason to say anything but the absolute best about us and our services. I had no doubt in my mind when I began this business that I had picked a great brand, and I’ve made sure that we are representing the amazing products, equipment and services and showing people what great quality work Chem-Dry does.”
Never stop learning, never stop growing
Another reason Bernie and his team remain confident about operating a Chem-Dry cleaning franchise is the testing and vetting of new products and equipment before they’re released to the field.
“I was in the restaurant business for 30 years, and I’ve seen products and services come out before they were ready, and that can create issues with customers,” he says. “You have to make sure everything is 100 percent safe and effective, and then have the right training before you use it. Chem-Dry does that. That really gives me peace of mind.”
And he passes that onto his customers, many of whom have a way of roping him into job, after job, after job …
“I was kidnapped by a regular customer the other day!” Bernie laughs. “She had tried other companies and was very defensive the first time we came to see her. She loved the results, and I left her a can of spot remover as an extra, thinking we might hear from her in six months. Now she calls every three months, and when we went last time she took us to her neighbor in the condo complex, and then another neighbor. We did four condominiums back to back! We were tired, but that’s what you have to do when you have a great customer and get those kinds of referrals!”
And to keep the momentum going, Bernie has added an extra service: before and after photos. His team takes digital images of carpets or surfaces before cleaning, then after, and he emails those to clients.
“We get a lot of ‘wows,’ and we get a lot of referrals,” he says. “But we’re going to keep growing and getting better. We keep those pictures and files on our clients, so we really know their homes when we go there. We’re getting better all the time, and we’re going to keep beating all the competition around here in service and quality.”
Chem-Dry is the world’s largest carpet and upholstery cleaning franchise with nearly 3,500 franchises in 51 countries, serving 10,000 homes and businesses a day. Chem-Dry has been Entrepreneur magazine’s top-rated carpet cleaning franchise for 28 straight years. The Chem-Dry Hot Carbonating Extraction process delivers a faster-drying, deeper and more environmentally friendly clean that appeals to both home and business owners. In addition to carpet and area rugs, Chem-Dry provides tile and stone, granite countertops, leather and upholstery cleaning.