...prepare for the unexpected, embrace change, do something extra, return phone calls and make sure not to be too busy.
Throughout the event, brand updates were given by company leaders.
“2020 has been a year to forget,” said Landon Thompson, vice president of operations, Fix Auto USA. “All businesses have faced challenging conditions this year, but few have really gone through what we have.”
He pointed to the three-and-a-half-year dispute with Mondo that was resolved Feb. 5. He also talked about the acquisition by Driven Brands six weeks after the coronavirus broke out.
Despite the challenges with COVID-19, 21 new franchise locations were added over the year.
“We’ve prided ourselves on being great performers and not only have we sustained our performance, we’ve improved it,” Thompson said.
Mark Wahlin, VP, franchise development & operations, ABRA, said 2020 for ABRA actually started in October 2019, when Driven Brands acquired the franchise.
Since the pandemic, Wahlin noted, there has been additional work at the shop level related to the safety protocols for both employees and consumers.
“It was an amazing shift and through it all, the centers stayed open,” he said. “The comeback has been amazing. At the end of October  as a group, our sales are slightly ahead of that same time period as 2019. As we look forward to finishing up this year and growing into 2021, the expectations are high for that growth to continue.”
Jeff Labanovich, GM of CARSTAR Canada, gave an update on CARSTAR North America and then spoke about the network’s resilience in 2020 during the pandemic. He said through all of the challenges, CARSTAR has persevered and learned to adapt.
“Being thrust into this change, I’ve just seen such resilience,” said Labanovich. “… store owners, marketing groups standing together to figure out how to do things differently in an environment where honestly the market share is shrinking and that is something we need to be seriously protective of.”
In addition to the brand updates, Arlo Johnson, SVP Insurance, talked about...