Shop Look: Valvoline Instant Oil Change of Reno, Nev.

Nov. 23, 2021

This unique VIOC recently started operations in Reno, and business has picked up nicely.

SHOP STATS: Valvoline Instant Oil Change   Location:  Reno, Nev.  Operator: Bristlepine Ventures   Staff Size: 12  Shop Size: 3 Bays   

Starting with Experience

This shop is run by three partners. John Christensen is a former Oil Can Henry’s franchisee who went into business with two former service center managers, Ruben Nunez and Nakoma Reynolds, to build and run this VIOC.

“I grew to really value them as people , and the oil change business is a lot of work,” Christensen says. “And these guys are very hard workers and quality individuals.”

They signed an agreement to open four service centers in the Reno area, of which this is the first. The leadership team worked to create a building with a distinctive, modern look.

It opened in June of 2020 after preparation and construction. Reynolds and Nunez work on-site. Despite an expectation of a slow ramp-up period in this new market, the shop had a great opening run.

“We just came out of the gate super strong, probably in large part due to the efforts and really hard work of Nakoma and Ruben,” Christensen says.

Unique in the System

The ownership team worked to create a modern, sharp shop that retains the VIOC branding and identity. What they came up with is just that, with stone touches on the lobby column and three spacious bays to the side.

“This one is a three bay. It’s very attractive,” Christensen says. “It's based off of Valvoline's prototype drawings, but we also customized it a little bit to give it a high desert architectural style.”

Christensen’s wife designed the customer waiting area, down to the classic Reno street photo on the wall.

Attention to Detail

Working with the VIOC model, in which most customers stay in their vehicles, the owners knew that the shop bays would get a lot of face time with customers. So they made sure that it was created to stand up to use and be easy to keep tidy and simple.

“We want our service center floor to really look like a showroom rather than an automotive quick lube,” Christensen says. “We try to keep all of our product inventory out of sight. I think we just have batteries out on the service floor.”

That’s true on the walls of the shop, too. There’s little signage, save for the necessary safety details. It’s less overwhelming for the customers, and it gives a sleek characteristic to the shop.

Correction: The original version of this story misspelled Ruben Nunez's name.