franchise model that he would buy 13 territories, which include all of Detroit and the surrounding areas. “The overhead is extremely low,” says Bias, who expects a $2.5 million profit with 100% return on investment within the first year and after that upwards to $6 million to $8 million per year.
“Who gets up in the morning, stretches and yawns, and says I’m going to go clean grease fryers?” Biskup says. Bias, CEO and owner of Detroit Fryer Management Services, may have had that thought himself because he took on five partners — all of whom took buyouts from the failing Detroit auto industry — and is looking to have 35 to 70 employees in the next 24 months. His workers travel to restaurants, take the grease out of fryers, filter them, clean the frying apparatus, and then put the oil back into the fryer. The process, which is done at each restaurant, will allow restaurants to use oil a lot longer and provide a better-tasting fried product.
“With the amount of fast food in this country and the price of cooking oil, FiltaFry basically lowers the bottom line of restaurants and keeps them from having to raise their menu prices as the price of oil goes up,” says Bias, a former financial analyst at General Motors who has bought and sold several businesses including cell phone, construction, and pool and spa installation companies. After running several non-franchised businesses, Bias likes that franchises provide a blueprint which circumvents the trial and error of going into business alone.
Bias has also invested in FiltaFry’s sister operation, a Florida-based biodiesel plant-building franchise called Xenerga, which he expects will revolutionize the world’s energy consumption. He used $800,000 of revenue from another business, along with money from private investors, to become involved in the $2.5 million franchise.
Xenerga isn’t the kind of franchise that one can start on a whim. Bias broke ground last May on his first Xenerga plant and has invested his money, but it will take one year for the plant to be built and for profits to be seen. He will also need to hire 32 employees, and his profits will be highly dependent on the locations of his plants.
Biodiesel is clean burning and biodegradable and when blended with petroleum it helps automobile engines last twice as long. He can sell 6000 gallons of the Biodiesel oil to oil companies at a profit ranging from $1 to $1.35 per gallon. Bias would like to eventually open two more plants, with each plant profiting him anywhere from $5 million to $8 million per year.
“There is a 60 million barrel shortage of diesel fuel every year. If they built factories for the next 50 years, there will still be a need.” Bias says, explaining that his interests piqued when he learned that Xenerga’s biodiesel plants will supply renewable energy alternatives that can be produced from wastes like cooking oil and feedstock. The Xenegra parent company assists Bias in finding and negotiating feedstock contracts.
“[Xenerga] is not a cookie-cutter