PetWellClinic is a walk-in veterinary clinic, providing excellent preventative, wellness, and sick care for dogs and cats on an on-demand basis. There is no need for an appointment because PetWellClinic’s technology, design, and operational systems provide customers with a modern-day experience in an antiquated industry. PetWellClinic recently began franchising after the success of its company-owned operations in Knoxville, Tennessee, and already has 100+ units in development.
In this exclusive Q&A, we talk with Dr. Sam Meisler, founder and CEO of PetWellClinic, about the opportunities for franchisees interested in the growing world of pet care.
Franchise Chatter (FC): PetWellClinic recently signed multi-unit deals in Orange County, CA; Phoenix, AZ; and Baton Rouge, LA – why are these markets ideal for PetWellClinic?
Dr. Sam Meisler (SM): When looking at these markets, we recognized a need for PetWellClinic’s unique model, which offers an affordable, easily accessible health care experience for pets and pet owners versus traditional veterinary clinics or pet hospitals. Even faced with a pandemic, people are on-the-go, and we want to make sure they have access to our no-appointment-needed system, so they have one less thing to worry about when their pet needs to see the vet.
FC: What should potential franchisees know about PetWellClinic?
SM: The PetWellClinic model is an emerging franchise that does not require someone with veterinary experience in order to be a successful franchisee. From agreement signature to grand opening, I work with every franchisee to make sure they have all of the support they need, and my team provides bi-weekly check-ins with them to make sure everything is going ok. And our process for seeking the best veterinarians and employees for the clinic helps ensure the best people are put in place so the clinic can flourish.
FC: What do pet owners experience at PetWellClinic that differs from other veterinary clinics?
SM: The biggest difference? No appointments required and stress-free, open clinic environment. PetWellClinic provides convenient preventative care for pets including general check-ups, vaccinations, and treatment of minor ailments and chronic conditions. In addition, while waiting for your pet in the lobby, you can watch the entire vet visit through a large lobby window. This way, you can see your pet is receiving the best care. We give pet owners the ability to see and understand their pets’ current needs and identify potential problems in a timely manner while giving them the best care at an affordable price.
FC: What does the relationship between PetWellClinic franchisees and resident veterinarians look like?
SM: Franchisees are an integral part of the veterinarian hiring process, which gives them the opportunity to build relationships that go beyond the clinic and into the community. The franchisees are in place to make it a more efficient work environment for vets and vet techs. With this model, our vets don’t have to worry about the ‘business end’ of the clinic – they can focus on the task at hand: provide great care to family pets. There’s a level of trust between our franchisees and their veterinarians and a joint understanding of our mission to provide top-notch care for pets and their owners.
FC: Did the pandemic change anything about your business model? What existing operational aspects helped navigate COVID ‘surprises?’
SM: A trend that vet clinics across the country have seen throughout the pandemic is an influx of new pet owners demanding fast, affordable care for their pets. While this has been difficult for full-service clinics to navigate, it has also positively fueled a lot of the growth we are seeing in our franchise development. With our streamlined services focused on preventative care, we can see more pet patients who need a regular checkup or update on their chronic conditions. Our clinic model actually works in tandem with full-service vet clinics; we offer preventative care so other vets can focus on special cases or surgeries.
When it came to the first appearance of COVID-19, we were already positioned to offer quick, walk-in checkups or pre-scheduling online to make trips outside of the home even faster. We were also able to offer curbside assistance for owners to wait in their cars while their pets were being cared for.
FC: Why is PetWellClinic so essential for the evolving pet wellness industry and for pet owners in general?
SM: The world moves so quickly – our model is so extremely essential for the evolving industry and for pet owners in general because it was built with the busy pet owner in mind. Our model gives them more control over their pet’s health, and allows them to not worry about waiting to see a vet if something is going wrong.
For the veterinary industry itself, our clinics offer work-life balance to our staff who are used to long shifts and on-call schedules. Our streamlined list of services provides a way for our talented staff to stay focused and happy at work.
FC: What is unique to PetWellClinic’s business model (i.e., technology/platforms, veterinarian hours/expectations)?
SM: The most unique aspect about our business model is our commitment to creating a sustainable workload for our veterinarians. The clinics offer 8-hour work days and simplified services, meaning no more overnight or double-shifts and no more emergency surgeries.
Each clinic also uses software that I designed, which has proven to streamline all processes and maximize efficiency. The software is put in place so that our veterinary staff can worry less about paperwork and ‘backend’ tasks, and concentrate solely on caring for their patients.
FC: How many PetWellClinics are currently in operation?
SM: There are currently 8 clinics in operation, with 2 new clinics set to open in early January – one in Pembroke Pines, Florida, the other in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania. Additionally, we just surpassed the 100-unit mark for locations currently in development.
FC: What was the best advice you ever received regarding the pet wellness and/or business fields?
SM: The biggest piece of advice I received: listen to the pet owner. From the start, I’ve wanted our model to be very focused on customer choice. What we provide is a modern-day veterinary experience that gives them more control over their pet’s health.
FC: What is one trait that all PetWellClinic franchisees share?
SM: It’s so important that every franchisee is passionate about their community. Whether it be through services provided in one of our clinics or volunteering in our community, we always serve those around us to the best of our ability. Our franchisees are truly a unique group of change-makers.
As a whole, PetWellClinic provides an essential service for those that may not be able to afford regular vet fees. Our clinics give pet owners the power to provide quality care to their pets, ensuring a longer, healthier, and happier life.