Turning the Designated Driver into a Successful Business

In a relatively short period of time, Driverseat has become a successful franchise operating in hundreds of communities across Canada.

“Where there are people and cars, there is a need for our service,” states Cofounder Brian Bazely. “We have created a truly scalable home-based franchise model.”

Driverseat is a unique home-based franchise. The company provides ‘Coachmen’ (drivers) to chauffeur a customer’s vehicle when the customer is unable to or using better judgement, unwilling to drive their own vehicle.

Brian and his brother Luke co-founded the business after they experienced real life scenarios where they saw the need for someone else to drive their vehicle. Driverseat was the result of many hours of planning and researching the idea and it launched in Ontario in 2012. The business started franchising in 2013 and now has 17 franchise sites across Canada servicing more than 200 communities. “It has been such a rewarding experience to see our idea take off like it has. We’re going to launch in the United States this summer, which is really exciting,” Brian said.

The four main services of the business are:

1 Designated Driving:

This allows customers to designate a driver if they have had medical care, are impaired by drugs or alcohol, or if they choose not to drive themselves. An example of this service might be that a person is at a venue and is unable to drive his/her car home due to having consumed alcoholic drinks. Driverseat’s Designated Driving service is a cost effective alternative to leaving the person’s vehicle behind. The service will send a ‘Coachman’ (driver) and ‘chaser’ to the location, and the coachman will drive the customer home in their own vehicle.

2 Assisted Transport:

A Coachman can be called to help the elderly and vulnerable who need to be driven somewhere, and who need assistance – for example walking into the doctor’s office, or getting groceries, or picking up pharmacy items. This service goes beyond transportation as Coachmen become the personal assistant for the day.

3 Airport Chauffeur:

A customer can be driven to the airport in their own vehicle by a Coachman, who can then return the customer’s car home. This allows the customer’s family to use the vehicle while they are gone. It is more convenient than parking and is less expensive than the costly airport carparks. The Coachman can also pick the customer up.

4 Vehicle Chauffeur:

A driver can transport a vehicle for a customer when they are not in the car. This includes, but is not limited to, car relocation, valet parking, taking the vehicle for oil changes, or picking up fleet vehicles for car lots. The service is proving to be popular. “We don’t have any direct competition,” said Brian. “There are some smaller companies that provide designated driving but our service is unique in that our coachmen are uniformed, we use a mobile App, and our vehicles are all marked.”

To succeed as a franchisee in this business, Brian believes that an operator needs to be a fantastic communicator and someone who is passionate about the customer. Franchisees are well supported if they decide this is the business investment for them. “We are very engaged with our franchise partners. We provide an initial one-week extensive classroom training session at our corporate office in Ontario. After that, our franchise partners attend educational sessions remotely every other week. We are also available every day for coaching and assistance by phone and we hold an annual conference as well,” said Brian.

The brothers also support Veterans and see their business as a community service that is about more than simply making a dollar. “Our business model is one that is based on respect and social responsibility. We focus on the four ‘P’s – profit, play, purpose and people. We want to continue to give opportunities to great people who deserve to live a great life and control their destiny. Our franchise is just that. “We focus on purpose, which is tied to the fact that we do great things for the community – it is not just about profit.

Our Vets have done the same thing: they have given to their country not just for a paycheque, but for purpose,” said Brian.

The business is currently in locations across Ontario and Quebec and will soon “Where there are people and cars, there is a need for our service.” launch in California. There are locations available in cities across North America as well as in Canada.

For more information visit: driverseatcanada.com

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