This week, we are excited to interview Filta franchise owner, Sam Merrill, from Daytona Beach, FL. Merrill proudly served our country for over two decades and was later involved in the real estate market during the collapse in 2007-2008. Following that experience, he searched extensively for a franchise business that he felt would be recession proof and provide significant growth potential. He was looking for a business that he knew was a clear-cut winner since he was nearing retirement and wasn’t willing to take any big financial risks.
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Years as a Filta franchisee: 4.5
Before becoming a Filta franchisee: Graduated from the US military Academy, was in the military for 5 years as an officer, and 16 more years in a reserve capacity. Merrill climbed to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and retired. Later, he was heavily involved in real estate development until the recession hit.
Sam, what do you think separates Filta from other concepts?
“The uniqueness of the product, the niche that it provides or fulfills in the marketplace. If you teach the potential customer what you are really able to do for them, and remind them that nobody else really does this, it creates a competitive advantage that results in people wanting to try it. And, more often than not, they want to keep it.”
“When I was researching, coming out of what I was doing previously, I was just so impressed by the novel business, relatively speaking.”
“If you have a situation where no one else is really doing it in a professional manner like we do, boy, that is a lot easier to sell then when you’ve got four or five people you’re competing with every time you’re trying for some work. It blows my mind that no one else does this.”
“The lack of competition, the fact that it is a needed, desirable service. Once we are in these places they love it because it eliminates the liability, and in many cases, saves them money. It enables them to concentrate on what they prefer to be concentrating on, which is the preparation and delivery of food, not necessarily dealing with fryer management. The scalability and lack of competition is terrific. The sky is the limit.”
What do your customers tell you they most appreciate about your services?
“Customers most appreciate the reliability because there is always turnover with kitchen operations, people come and go. Even if they have a piece of equipment that they utilize for filtration of their own oil, that piece of equipment often breaks or the guy who used to work there was the only one who knew how to use it. They just know that we come in there, day in and day out, week in and week out, and they just know that it is handled. It’s just reliable service, they love that fact.”
Tell us about the support Filta headquarters provides.
“I can’t imagine a franchisor being any more supportive than what these guys have been. They just really create an environment for us to succeed. There is unbelievable potential for everyone. I know they have my back, they’re all about creating an environment that enables us to be successful. I just know Tom, Jason, and Victor, and the rest of the crew, on a daily basis, are trying to figure out how to make more money for us and enable us to be successful. I just have every confidence that that is part of the agenda every day. They are always developing new products that enable us to increase our revenue per visit.”
What do you enjoy most about working for yourself?
“The freedom that it affords you, the independence that you feel, you don’t answer to anyone except your customers.”
“I love the freedom, independence, and the rewards that you get from growing something from a very small situation to potentially a very big situation. There is an intrinsic reward in that. Certainly, there is a nice financial reward if you do your job right. It’s a fulfilling thing to do that, and that’s probably just the entrepreneurial spirit that I’ve got and always had.”
“I love my guys, my technicians and I love that we are creating a career for them.”
Interested in becoming a Filta franchise owner like Sam?
It’s simple. Just fill out the getting started form and a member of our franchise development team will reach out to provide additional information and answer your questions.