RNR Tire Express franchisee Manuel Marin-Foucher has followed a similar mantra throughout his business career: “I know nothing, but we’ll make it happen.”
Such was the case when he signed an agreement to own an RNR location in the Portland, Oregon, metro area. He’s in the process of negotiating a lease right now, but he already has plans to expand further. “Probably next year, I’m gonna start locking in all the territory,” Marin-Foucher said. “They know that about me. I want to build an empire.”
RNR, which stands for Rent-n-Roll, started in 2000 as a lease-to-own tire shop. The franchise offers the option to buy today and plans to pay weekly or monthly.
Marin-Foucher grew up in Mexico City and later moved with his family to the island of Cozumel, Mexico. He comes from a family of hospitality entrepreneurs under the InterContinental Hotels umbrella, which led him to pursue a business career of his own.
He attended college in Mexico City with the goal of leaving the family business and going off on his own—and, ideally, moving to the United States. But, while on vacation in Acalpulco about 14 years ago with his friends, he was kidnapped.
“It sounds crazy, and it was crazy, but it’s not like I was kidnapped for days. It was more like half a day, but you don’t know when you’re gonna be released,” Marin-Foucher said. “It was a dark. I had no clue how many hours I had been kidnapped.”
His kidnappers released Marin-Foucher and his friend, but he said most people kidnapped in Mexico aren’t so lucky.
“That triggered something in me that I said, ‘Hell no, I cannot stand this anymore. I want to move to the States,’” Marin-Foucher said. “Where I’m from is super safe, but I didn’t want to go back to the island, it’s too small for me.”
Now, he lives in Portland with his three sons. He ran a market in Portland that showcased Latino-owned businesses and later served as CEO of a property management company and the head of operations of Bravo Fit, a Planet Fitness franchisee with locations in Oregon, Alaska and Australia.
But Marin-Foucher had a “be my own boss” attitude so he looked into owning a franchise after previously being skeptical of the business model. “Not all models are good. There’s a lot of really bad ones and I knew that,” he said. His experience at Bravo Fit changed his mind.
RNR’s financials and marketing strategies stood out to him and ultimately convinced him to open his own store.
The initial cost to open an RNR franchise ranges from $610,297 to $1.5 million, according to its website. The company finished 2022 with $278 million in systemwide sales across 178 units.
The automotive and tires categories have some strong players, such as Midas, which ranked No. 52 on the Franchise Times Top 500 list. The 2,000-plus-unit franchise earned $1.86 billion in 2022. There’s also Big O Tires, No. 74 on the list, which did $1.1 billion in sales across 470 units in 2022. There are some sub-billion companies growing in the space, like Tint World.
The RNR corporate team has been “super responsive and supportive” through the process thus far, Marin-Foucher said. “It’s been a delight,” he said.
Marin-Foucher liked that RNR provides affordable options for tires and is looking forward to providing that service to Portland. “Not everyone can afford $2,000 worth of tires in cash. This is great, there’s a market for this,” he said. “I’m betting on RNR Tire and I want to take over Oregon and do as many stores as I’m able to do.”