One or Two Man Crews?

I’ve been in business for 20 years. We’ve been doing exhaust systems for 18 years. I don’t recall ever having only one man going out to do any exhaust system.

As long as I own this business, I do not foresee ever-sending only one man out to do an exhaust system! We make it a practice to never send only one man out to do anything! Of course we deviate from this from time to time, but not with kitchens! We have too many liabilities to let a fellow get hurt trying to work by him self.

My pennies worth :)

Dave Olson
Here's my point-

There are several hood cleaners doing jobs as a one man operation. They have been trained to work as one man. When they go to a job, as one man, they are looking at the same job as two people would. Every job a one man gets is not an ideal hood system with a history of frequent cleanings. They are prepared and trained to do this job as one person, David Lee was not.

You can teach a person how to blast grease, but this will not prepare them to work alone.

You can't say the one man doesn't work just because it doesn't work for you.

Forgive me if this post seems patchy. I'm playing catch-up with my weather cancelled accounts from last week and need to get some sleep.

I'm not trying to get down on dlee, I have spoke with him and messaged him several times. He is trying to make this business work just like the rest of us. Starting out as a one man operation will be very difficult not having the proper training. And splitting the profit with a partner makes it even harder. I hope he will have success with whichever option he chooses.
Success Story


I know a guy out here in New Mexico that runs a one man operation and is quite successful. He's been in business for close to 15 years and claims to gross over six figures a year.
He pulls an enclosed trailer with a Hotsy machine and a water recycling setup.
I know he services all the Wendys restaurants in New Mexico on a quarterly basis.
I don't know when he sleeps though, I think it's Sundays only.
The only accident he's had recently, is when he got rear-ended on the way to the bank to cash all them checks. Missed a few days work.

Brazas Fire & Safety
If I were to pick a chain for a one man operation it would be Wendys. Easy stores to clean.
ive gotta replie ta this one
2 man are better, fer the simple reason of saftey and security
and by the way i'd love ta see a 1 man crew do 250,000 ayr
And this is question is for rusty
Rusty how can a 1 man crew call 911 if he has slipped off a roof
or ladder and is laying on the ground unconcious?
or be polishing the hood while the other man is putting up the truck??
I relized you'll probally have some answer to justify your train of golden tounge talk, but the fact is 2 are better than one

i mean 1 man would have ta do 4 stores a night at 250 each=
1000 a night x 5 =5000 a week x 50 weeks= 250,000
3hrs per store x 4 stores =12hrs days x 20 days a month=240hrs a month x 12 months thats some where in the nieghborhood of 4880 hrs a year when a normal 40 hr week a yr is only is 2080 hrs a year so thats like working 80 hrs a week all year and thats not inc. all the soliciting paperwork ect, ect.
like i say i dont think your doing that are you??
2 men are better than 1 and thats all there is to it and i think 99.9 % of the boys in the hood would agree with me
ive been doing this fer over 10 years.... hoods and nothing but hoods and i cant see how a 1 man crew is more efficient than a 2 man crew........
Not just any person has this level of competence. One must achieve the 'VBES' designation (I'm sure you know this stands for Vegetable Byproduct Extirpation Specialist). It takes many long years of intense and arduous study, but there are tremendous benefits - just think of the prestige and pride that will well up when you present your VBES-anchored curriculum vitae to a potential client. Stack this on top of a RETCH certification and one would be the envy of the professional world such as doctors, attorneys, CPAs, and all other such lesser individuals.

Rusty just can't take the heat when he makes one of his claims.
Josh, You got it half right. We ( those who read and post on this board) got tired of him repeating himself ( over and over and over... IE: Tooting his own horn) . But hey, thats my opinion and I'm sticking to it! Don't take it personal. Oh, ditto what David said.
I'm not sure that I would call it heat that he gets on his claims. Some posts were becoming more like attacks. Heat mostly, but some attacks.

The repetition goes both ways. "one man works", "no it doesn't", "one man works", "no it doesn't". I'd say that pretty much sums up this incredibly long thread.

By the man works.:D

You just don't get it-one man works with limited applications. One man could paint the Golden Gate Bridge, it would just take more time-that is all we are saying. If a manager can manage his helper-then it works. That is it in a nutshell.
David Saulque said:

Rusty, no single man crew can service $120,000 per year. The number just not there. Lets say you service one unit per night @$300X5=$1500 or $6000 per month or $72,000 per year. That guy would earn his keep.

Just my two cents


This statement started this whole thing. Since then we have found that one person crews do make about $120,000 in cleanings per year. Give or take a few thousand $$.

So, are you saying that Rusty was accurate in his statement of one man earnings?


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Josh, have you recalculated your cost of doing business yet?
Most of those items are needed no matter how many on the crew.
The only thing I'm calculating right now is all the extra expenses of trying to grow a business. It costs a lot to have people work for you, that's the bottom line.

How much is the extra stress worth? Would you figure that per job or on an hourly rate? I'm gonna have to get a 10% raise just to cover all of the Sam-e and Kava tea I've been chuggin down.

Here's another list...of things not needed by a one man operation:



Counselor (so you don't take your anger out on your employees)

Chiropractor (for when you break your back bending over backwards for a restaurant owner who is upset because your employee missed a spot on a filter)

Hardware store account (so you can get a sprayer on credit because you already spent the weeks profit on hose repair, lost tools, your accountant, your bookeeper, your counselor, and your chiropractor)
I will back Josh and Rusty. I was trained at CHDCA 2 years ago. Started with a helper, then he quit. I still clean alot of the ones we cleaned before, in the same amount of time, but alone. I will admit the security thing is one to look at. I still do them alone. I am not looking at 250,000, but I will be in the 6 figures this year. Oh dont forget ALONE.
A good accountant for the year end reports and filings and to double check all the bookeeping that you and your software do is a small investment and in many cases will actually save you money.
The cost of operating your business is a basic that you must know to make any business decisions, that is why it is one of the first things you will learn in business school and one of the first things a bank will look at when you want to finance a loan to buy that new unit youv'e been looking at.
Just a basic this much money in minus this much money out= this much left over. doesn't matter if you have 150 people working for you or you work the rusty way. Are you making money or not?
Your helper is only as good as you train him. Sure your times will be the same if he doesn't get to the back door when you do.

Single man crews are limited as to the size of job and other factors that limit the ability of the crew to complete jobs.

Safety is the only issue-just that alone is worth the few bucks.