Special Projects For 57

FAST40 2011

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Dirty job sustains Durham-based company D unnWell LLC made its mark by taking care of chores chain restaurants would rather not worry about, such as cleaning kitchen exhaust systems and maintaining fi re-sup- presion equipment. It's a growth business: Revenue doubled between 2008 and 2010, and its workforce grew by 50%. The Durham-based company doesn't clean the exhaust vents or check sprinkler systems itself. Instead, it built, and now manages, a national network of vendors that cleans and maintains those systems. It also uses technology to document customer expectations and job results. "Our value is in providing information and intelligence about services being performed in their facilities and also providing manage- ment and oversight," CEO Joe Dunn says. He founded the company in 2003 as a commer- cial-kitchen exhaust-cleaning service, with the work done by his own technicians. He also sold a few DunnWell exhaust-cleaning franchises, but they didn't have enough long-term revenue potential so he bought them back in 2007 and refocused on providing building management and oversight for large restaurants. DunnWell targets multistate chains and works with a single point of contact who makes decisions for the entire chain, instead of with individual managers. DunnWell's largest customer is Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants Inc., which operates 1,600 eateries, including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille. DunnWell services 400 of those restaurants. DunnWell manages kitchen-exhaust cleaning operations in popular chain restaurants, including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille. "We never missed a beat" in picking up such a large customer, he says. "There's not a self-perform- ing provider out there that could do that." He added the fi re-prevention business in 2006, building a similar vendor network across the country. He says it turned out to be a good move, accounting for 85% of revenue growth between 2008 and 2010. DunnWell uses ServiceNET, software developed in-house by Brian Smithwick, the company's chief technology offi cer, that lets its customers track service history and manage maintenance expenses. The company continues to grow rapidly, with a 40% increase in business between August 2010 and August 2011. Executives also are exploring the health-care market, primarily nursing home and assisted-living chains, and are considering expand- ing into mechanical and equipment repair. Other ideas for new revenue streams include licensing out its ServiceNET software to building-services techni- cians who want to start their own business. DunnWell LLC 4601 Creekstone Drive, Suite 200, Durham, N.C. 27703 8 NORTH CAROLINA MID-MARKET FAST 40

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