Shop Profile - Service Repair

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Shop owner focuses on providing a fun environment driven by teamwork

Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 09:00
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They are definitely a photogenic bunch. Perusing the Auto Check Elite website and Facebook page, you’ll see photos of staff in race crew shirts being passionate about their work at this Katy, Texas repair shop. And diverse: besides employees from Houston’s environs, there’s one from Switzerland, one from Uruguay, while their boss, Matthew Roayaee (pronounced Roy-i-e), was born in England.

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At a Glance:
Auto Check Elite
Katy, Texas
Location
Matthew Roayaee
Owner
1
No. of shops
13
Years in business
5
No. of technicians
8
Total no. of employees
9,000
Square footage of shop
10
No. of bays
130
Vehicles per week
$2.5 million
Annual gross revenue

“My dad used to work for General Motors,” Roayaee reports. “He was sent to England to get training on hydraulics, (and) I was born in Wakefield.” His father also instilled in him a love of cars, “so when I was about 20 years old I had the opportunity to work in a shop.” Starting entry level as a janitor, he began working his way up through the ranks till he became a technician.

“When I was working as a lube tech,” Roayaee relates, “I got tired of waiting for the service writer to write up the ticket and go talk to the customer, so I took charge.” On his own initiative he’d sell and perform tire rotations or simple installs. The resulting increase in sales got him promoted. “I had no training; everything was trial by error.”

Within five years his ambitions kicked in again; Roayaee started saving money and trying to learn as much as he could about the business before buying the shop in 2005. “I had no idea what the hell I was doing,” he recalls, so he relied on the same impetus he used when an employee. He started with a skeletal crew — himself as service writer, a ‘B’ tech to handle oil changes and brakes jobs, and an ‘A’ tech for big repairs. In about three years they went from doing about $300,000 a year to around $1.5 million. The team of three quickly went to 12, and the eight-bay facility was overwhelmed with work. “There was no place for me to park cars,” he laughs, “I had to hire someone to valet cars across the street.”

They moved to a larger shop, but Roayaee didn’t like the location, and began looking at building a new facility from scratch. From a core group of employees he picked their brains for ideas on improving performance, and began customizing the design to better fit their needs. By 2016 the new shop was open. “In my opinion, this is as good as it gets,” he proclaims. “I’m not going to open another shop. I’m DONE.”

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