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FDD Talk: The Chem-Dry Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on March 21, 2016

in Carpet Cleaning Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Service Franchises, Franchise Earnings



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Chem-Dry Photo1

In this FDD Talk post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Chem-Dry franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Chem-Dry franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Chem-Dry’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2013 number of owners, number of franchises, average job size, average franchises per owner, average years operating, average annual revenue per owner, average annual revenue per franchise, and average percent solution cost for the top 1/3, middle 1/3, bottom 1/3, and all 237 Chem-Dry franchise owners who submitted complete 2013 financial information to the franchisor, have owned their businesses at least 2 years, and operated those franchises throughout 2013
  • 2014 number of owners, number of franchises, average job size, average franchises per owner, average years operating, average annual revenue per owner, average annual revenue per franchise, and average percent solution cost for the top 1/3, middle 1/3, bottom 1/3, and all 216 Chem-Dry franchise owners who submitted complete 2014 financial information to the franchisor, have owned their businesses at least 2 years, and operated those franchises throughout 2014
  • 2014 number of owners, number of franchises, average job size, average annual revenue per owner, average annual revenue per franchise, and average percent solution cost for the 216 Chem-Dry franchise owners who submitted complete 2014 financial information to the franchisor, have owned their businesses at least 2 years, and operated those franchises throughout 2014, grouped according to number of franchises owned (1, 2, and 3 or more franchises owned)

Section I – Background Information

It was the early 1970s when Robert Harris was a young man working his way through law school as a carpet cleaner. He was dissatisfied with the products used by the company he worked for, so he started conducting his own research into a better way to clean carpets.

He took a surprisingly scientific approach, delving deeply into the chemical properties of various cleaning formulas. It was an intense and years-long process of trial-and-error. His perseverance, however, eventually paid off. He finally hit upon a carbonated cleaning solution that not only worked wonders on dirty carpets, it was non-toxic and safe to boot.

That’s how Chem-Dry came to be founded in 1977. His early success at achieving the cleanest carpets soon spread by word of mouth and by 1978 he was ready to start franchising.



With more than 3,500 locations in the United States and 50 other countries, Chem-Dry is recognized as the global leader in carpet-cleaning franchises. Here’s how Chem-Dry keeps things spotless in the carpet-cleaning segment:

Powerful Cleaning

There’s no doubt about it, Chem-Dry definitely works to clean carpets. The competitive advantage to its Hot Carbonating Extraction process is how it is a drier process that uses 80% less water than most steam-cleaning systems. This means carpets dry in less time – to the tune of 1-2 hours instead of 1-2 days.

Have you ever used carbonated club soda to remove a stain from clothing? That’s the same process at work with Chem-Dry. The fizz of carbonation serves to break up dirt, grime, and allergens deep down for easier removal.

New Power?

Back in 2007, there were more than 4,200 Chem-Dry locations around the world, but that number then declined for several years, down to slightly more than 3,500 in 2011, where it has continued to hover ever since. Interestingly enough, the chain was acquired by The Home Depot in 2006. It remains to be seen if the power of The Home Depot can pull Chem-Dry out of its slump of several years.

Staying Clean

What many people notice with Chem-Dry is that their carpets stay cleaner longer, requiring less frequent return visits. Traditional steam cleaning involves various soaps and chemicals that can leave behind a sticky residue that actually attracts and holds dirt, which means more frequent cleaning. And all that water used promotes the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria.

A Greener Clean

Chem-Dry doesn’t rely on detergents or harsh chemicals like other companies. It’s base cleaning solution, called The Natural, contains no phosphates or detergents at all. There’s nothing toxic about Chem-Dry.

A Constant Market

Each and every year, more than 10 billion square feet of carpet is installed in homes and businesses just in the U.S. And it all needs to be cleaned. Chem-Dry has been ranked as the number one carpet cleaning franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 27 consecutive years.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Chem-Dry franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD.

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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