Gas Station and Convenience Stores
| Skills and Experience
Expert at operating gas stations and convenience stores.
After a successful New York real estate career, Jon took over as President of Hendels, Inc. Founded in 1949, Hendels Inc. was a gasoline distributor in Connecticut. In 2009 when Jon took over, the company had strong assets with 30 gas stations. But EBITDA had gone to $0 due to a lack of organization and direction.
Jon has expertise in environmental issues, real estate, contracts, employment issues, construction, insurance, logistics, marketing, and finance. As president of Hendels and now as a consultant, Jon provides his clients with the ability to identify areas for improvement and how to present the company for sale.
Below outlines some of the changes that Jon implemented at Hendels to increase cash flow and create value which culminated in a successful sale in 2018:
Jon designed a new prototype store based on his high end housing experience for the exterior and his Cstore experience for the interior. He renovated some stores, razed and rebuilt some stores, acquired new sites and took them through the local zoning process. He also disposed of underperforming sites.
At the store level, Jon and his team improved same store sales through manager incentive programs, marketing and detailed managment. Clean bathrooms, pump speeds, signage and every aspect of store operations were measured and site level employees were rewarded for performance.
To build a cohesive organization with a unified vision required relentless rigor to uphold now named principals of Accountability, initiative and Teamwork. Those individuals that did not care to work with a new vision were terminated. Jon had to let go office staff, supervisor staff, Teamster truck drivers and store personnel that did not perform up to standard or who did not want to comply with a new way of working.
Jon took his general contracting business experience to the gas industry and built relationships with numerous contractors and subcontractors. He implemented a rigorous bidding process on all construction: tank replacements, new store construction and store renovations. He was able to build stores at 60% of the cost of competitors and replace tanks at 75% of the cost of others. Bidding and paying subcontractors directly cut costs.
Created a new brand to sell fresh food called HP Fresh. Began selling fresh pizza and hamburgers to distinguish the brand and expand sales. This expansion was driven by convenience store industry trends and gave the company a distinct image from other local operators.
Accounting and Finance
In 2009, Jon's first initiative was to establish a detailed accounting system to track individual sites profit and loss. This required implementing new software and rigorous audit procedures to track store merchandise shrinkage. Within 12 months shrink was reduced from 5% to less than 1%, saving the company $600,000 per year.
Tracking every cent and dollar (gasoline margins are measured in pennies) allowed Jon to present to the family shareholders and banks per location profits and then project new development and acquisition potential. When the company wanted to sell, Jon was able to present store level financials accurately and simply to allow all bidders to understand the cash flow and bid accurately. Upon selling the company, Jon had taken the cash flow from $0 coming out of the great recession to $15 million store level proforma EBITDA.