We Went Undercover & the Press Took Notice
The path to a billion-dollar brand is paved undercover. Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman, Co-Founders of College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving made history on January 7th, 2022 when they kicked off the 11th season of CBS’s Undercover Boss, as the first duo bosses to ever be featured on the two-time Emmy-Award winning show together.
“We started this company together We built this company together, and now we’re going back on the road together to take it to the next level”
-Nick Friedman & Omar Soliman, Co-Founders, College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving
Best friends since 10th grade, Soliman and Friedman built College HUNKS from a single beat-up van into a $200 million business. On the heels of a record-breaking year, these two bosses went undercover to ensure the company they started 15 years ago is fit and ready to achieve their goal of a billion-dollar brand in the next few years.
The pair, disguised as Freddie Deluca (Soliman), a former bar worker, and Ryan Davenport (Friedman), a former gym facilities employee, took turns working undercover alongside staff at three College HUNKS franchise locations in Boise, ID; Saint Louis, MO; and Winchester, VA.
College HUNKS, an industry leader, is known for our dual revenue streams – junk hauling and moving services – two opportunities that help maximize profitability for 150 franchises. While moving services were added later in the business and make up 50% of the revenue, College HUNKS began as a junk hauling service and grew to a million-dollar business within the first 2 years on junk removal services alone. The increase of families at home since 2020 has increased the demand for junk removal and the Co-Founders could not pass up an opportunity to go undercover after 15 years to gain insight into our ‘newer’ service (moving), and our foundation (junk hauling). “If we’re going to be a billion-dollar brand, junk removal has to be at the cornerstone of it,” said Friedman.
The show gave each a first-hand look at ways the two sectors could improve their operation – from helping movers retain more of their tips to streamlining a junk hauling sorting system for increased sustainability, and helping a franchise owner keep his franchise after struggling with customer reviews. The inspiring episode garnered media attention from countless national and local outlets such as Forbes, the International Franchising Association, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg, Tampa Bay Business Journal, and others took to social media to share the news.
Here are some of the highlights from the Undercover Boss episode where the bosses went undercover in disguise:
- The bosses undergo their undercover makeover as Freddie Deluca (Omar Soliman) and Ryan Davenport (Nick Friedman) and their families enjoy the big reveal.
- Freddie (Soliman) gets a front-row seat to a College HUNKS moving operation for the first time since starting the company and struggles to keep up with Chris, a Senior Captain on the moving team. Chris, a Veteran, shares his story of being injured while serving in Iraq, and how landing the job at College HUNKS helped his family transition out of homelessness. Blown away by Chris’s passion for his job and his personal story of how working at College HUNKS helped his family out of homelessness, Friedman and Soliman paid Chris $5,000 to create an instructional video series for the HUNKS workforce on proper wrapping techniques and also gifted him $30,000 as a safety net for his family. In addition, they promised a policy change would come so the HUNKS wouldn’t lose tips when an accident happens on the job.
- Ryan (Friedman) relives his junk hauling days when he’s paired with Jessica, a Junk Removal Supervisor whose passion for donating led her to create a sorting system to streamline the junk removal and donation process. She also shares how she enjoys surprising customers as a female HUNK who can get the job done. Ryan meets Jessica’s family and learns about her challenges getting specialty care for her son and how a shooting just outside her home raised concerns about her family’s safety. Impressed by Jessica’s love for the company and her passion for donating, Soliman and Friedman decided to incorporate her junk sorting system into the junk hauling side of the business and presented Jessica the first Annual College HUNKS Hauling Junk Sustainability Award. She was also named the Ambassador for the Sustainability Task Force. Touched by her challenges of providing care for her special needs son and a safe neighborhood for her family, they also paid $5,000 for a specialist to properly diagnose and treat her son along with $50,000 to help her family find a safer neighborhood to move to.
- The bosses learn a franchise owner responded to a client in a manner that is not in line with the company’s customer service values and goes undercover to investigate if the franchise owner is at risk of losing his franchise. Freddie’s cover is blown when Steve, a franchise owner in Winchester, VA recognizes Freddie as College HUNKS Co-Founder Omar Soliman. They go on to discuss customer service concerns and warn about the possibility of losing his business if he doesn’t uphold the brand's commitment to service. Both agree to let Soliman work undercover as Freddie alongside one of Steve’s moving teams. Soliman regains his confidence in Steve as a franchise owner when Steve’s employees share what it’s really like working for him. Omar and Nick were relieved to learn that Steve runs his team like a well-oiled machine and takes special care in hiring and training the best. Steve is allowed to keep his franchise and receives $10,000 to invest in a social media manager to help him manage appropriate responses to reviews and they offered him a personal mentorship. They also awarded each of Steve’s 24 crew members a $5,000 tip because of how well they worked together as a team.
CBS’s Undercover Boss appearance is a complement to the host of previous TV appearances and accolades College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving’s Co-Founders have received, and a win for the College HUNKS brand. It brought attention to the company operations and the brand’s signature Honest. Uniformed. Nice. Knowledgeable. Service., and highlighted Veterans and women as a valuable part of the College HUNKS family – a reminder that anyone can be a HUNK. “It’s not about male or female. We redefine what HUNKS stand for and Jessica is definitely the definition of a HUNK,” shared Nick Friedman after working with Jessica as part of the Undercover Boss episode.
Building on our foundation of excellent service, franchisee support, and discovering ways to improve even little things, all of the recent press coverage is proof that College HUNKS is an ideal opportunity for leaders from all walks of life. As stated by Omar Soliman, “We’re on a path of a billion dollars. It’s a big number but it’s going to be about the little things. If we can focus on those little things and make them right, we can get there.” Growing the brand to reach this goal will require work from all levels – especially the franchise owners and their teams of HUNKS but we know we are destined for greatness and are ready to put in the work to reach our goal as a company.
Are you driven to reach goals? Are you a natural leader? If so, we should talk about franchise ownership opportunities with College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving . . . and don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be undercover.