Grease Monkey Franchise: Revenue, Costs & Profits (2023)

With 195 franchised-owned centers in the US, Grease Monkey is one of the various full service car repair franchises. So if you’re looking to open a new car repair franchise, why would you choose Grease Monkey in particular?

First, the franchise is relatively affordable: its initial investment ($438,000) is at the lower-end of most automotive franchises. But what about profits? With an annual turnover of $915,000 on average, is Grease Monkey a profitable franchise?

This is what we’re investigating in this article. We’re looking at the latest Franchise Disclosure Document to find out all you should know about Grease Monkey and whether you should buy the franchise. Let’s dive in!

Key stats

Franchise fee$39,900
Royalty fee6%
Marketing fee4.50%
Investment (mid-point)$438,000
Average sales$1,003,000
Sales to investment ratio0.4x
Payback period[franchise_value_investment_payback]
Minimum net worth$450,000
Minimum liquid capital$250,000
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document 2022

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What is Grease Monkey?

Grease Monkey is one of America’s largest independent franchisors of automotive oil change centers operating in the US, China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Colombia. 

Founded in 1978, the company provides a wide range of preventive vehicle maintenance services and products, including air conditioning, air filters, alignments, battery, brakes, check engine lights, diagnostic services, diesel exhaust fluid, differential service, fuel & emission system cleaning, headlights and power steering. 

Grease Monkey is headquartered in Colorado and operates as a subsidiary of FullSpeed Automotive.

The brand has been franchising since 1979. Today, Grease Monkey operates in more than 475 locations globally, with approximately 340 centers in the US. 

Grease Monkey franchises pros and cons

The Pros:

  • Tremendous franchise support: the franchisor will work with local and commercial real estate brokers to help franchisees choose the best location and negotiate the leasing terms. 
  • Intensive, hands-on training: 66 hours of on-the-job training, 35 hours of classroom training and annual regional meetings ensure franchisees are well prepared to start and run a thriving business. 
  • Ongoing support: franchisees enjoy ongoing help from dedicated support directors available 24/7 to answer any questions. 
  • No background in the auto industry: franchisees don’t need any specific experience or background to operate a Grease Monkey franchise.
  • Territory protection: the franchisor offers exclusive territory rights to protect business owners from competition against other Grease Monkey franchises. 
  • Multiple income streams: franchisees get income from the sale of auto products, preventive vehicle maintenance services and the option to add a car wash to their facilities.
  • Financial support: the franchisor has preferred relationships with several banks and financial institutions to help franchisees cover the startup costs, franchise fees, inventory, payroll and equipment. 
  • Allows absentee ownership: passive ownership is an option for Grease Monkey franchise owners. However, franchisees must ensure the brand operates effectively and that the unit managers are properly trained and equipped to handle the day-to-day operations. 

The Cons:

  • Not part-time operations: Grease Monkey franchise can’t be operated part-time or as a side hustle. 
  • Can’t be operated from home/as a mobile unit: franchisees must operate from designated warehouses. 
  • Minimum employee requirement: franchisees need a full-time manager and 8-10 employees to run a Grease Monkey franchise. 
  • Competition from other oil change franchises such as SpeeDee Oil Change & Tune Up, Valvoline Instant Oil Change or Take 5 Oil Change to name a few.

How much does a Grease Monkey franchise cost?

You would need to invest $438,000 on average to open a new Grease Monkey franchise. The amount actually varies depending on the format you choose:

  • Brownfield: $437,900
  • Greenfield: $408,900
  • Monkey Shine Facility: $597,000

The investment covers all the start-up costs you may need to open Grease Monkey franchise centres. You must pay the franchisor an initial franchise fee of $10,000–$39,900. In addition to this franchise fee, the investment also covers:

  • Formulation costs: initial training, signs, leasehold improvements, etc.
  • Equipment: equipment, furniture, tools and installations, computer hardware and software, etc.
  • Initial marketing: grand opening costs
  • Operating costs: initial inventory, lease and real estate, supplies, point of sale maintenance fees, prepaid expenses, additional funds for three months, etc.

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Startup costs (Brownfield)

Here’s the full breakdown of costs:

Type of ExpenditureAmount
Initial franchise fee$10,000 – $39,900
Formulation costs$11,000 – $282,500
Equipment $81,500 – $209,900
Initial Marketing$10,000
Operating costs$74,816 – $146,152
Total$187,316 – $688,452
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document 2022

Startup costs (Greenfield)

Type of ExpenditureAmount
Initial franchise fee$10,000 – $39,900
Formulation costs$16,000 – $82,500
Equipment $122,500 – $209,900
Initial Marketing$10,000
Operating costs$116,816 – $200,152
Total$275,316 – $542,452
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document 2022

Monkey Shine Facility

Type of ExpenditureAmount
Formulation costs$5,000 – $10,000
Equipment $173,250 – $847,200
Operating costs$24,900 – $132,600
Total$203,150 – $989,800
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document 2022

How much revenue does a Grease Monkey franchise make?

On average, a Grease Monkey franchise makes $915,000 in revenue per year.

This number is the weighted average sales for 141 of the 185 franchise-owned centres that were opened in all of 2021. Here’s the average revenue breakdown per category, as disclosed in the Franchise Disclosure Document:

How profitable is a Grease Monkey franchise?

On average, a Grease Monkey franchise makes $97,000 in profits per year. This corresponds to a 11% EBITDA margin.

We calculated this number using the information available in the Franchise Disclosure Document 2022. Fortunately, Grease Monkey provides detailed information on the cost structure of its franchised-owned centres down to EBITDAR (Earning before Interests, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization and Rent).

Therefore, we had to deduct rent costs (provided in Item 7) from EBITDAR to estimate average EBITDA per franchise.

Profit-and-lossAmount% revenueSource
Revenue$914,806100%as per FDD
COGS$(232,724)25%as per FDD
Gross Profit$682,08175%as per FDD
Retail Operating expense$(140,083)15%as per FDD
Salaries, wages and benefits$(302,280)33%as per FDD
Office and G&A expense$(33,328)4%as per FDD
EBITDAR$206,39023%as per FDD
Rent$(109,500)12%as per FDD
*Includes advertising, sales promotion, National Marketing fee, royalty fee, etc.

Is Grease Monkey a good franchise investment?

Are the profits worth investing the initial investment of $438,000?

When we compare the upfront investment you would have to fund as the franchisee (from loan(s) and/or investors’ money including your own funds), we find that Grease Monkey has a 9 years payback.

In other words, you would be able to reimburse all creditors and investors (including yourself) within 9 years on average, which is a good payback for an automotive franchise.

Note that we estimated this number using the information presented in this article, so we had to make some assumptions as well (for profits especially). There is no guarantee your franchise will perform as well.

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