What do oil changes and fresh, delicious pizza have in common?

More than you think!

From a quick frozen pizza to a nice night out at a local pizzeria, hungry pizza fans have seemingly endless options for quality and experience. The same is true for oil changes.

Every type of oil change service has an equivalent pizza joint. And while it’s a fun comparison, there are also some important lessons to be learned that can have a lasting impact on your dealership’s success.

At-Home Oil Changes are like Frozen Pizza

You can change your own oil. It takes some time, plus a bit of equipment and know-how, but it’s an option used by some vehicle owners.

These dedicated people who change their own oil typically do it for a few reasons. Some simply enjoy it. They like to work on their car and see it as an easy way to save money and get their hands dirty. Others might see it as the cheapest option, especially when they feel competent doing it themselves.

These individuals are similar to those who buy a frozen pizza. It’s convenient because whenever they need it, they can pull it out of the freezer and stick it in. Just bake it at 475’ for 15 minutes and it’s ready to enjoy! They value the convenience of doing it on their own time and not having to go anywhere to pick up a pizza.

Quick Lubes are like Domino’s Pizza

When you order a pizza from Domino’s, you know what to expect. You won’t be mad if you receive a basic, no-frills pizza that tastes good, but not great. Most people aren’t planning on having a long lunch at Domino’s to soak in the atmosphere and experience. It’s a fast and convenient option that works great when you don’t have much time on your hands and aren’t looking for the best pizza in town.

The same is true when you get your oil changed at a Quick Lube.

You know that you won’t get anything fancy, like a comprehensive checklist of vehicle health, and you typically aren’t looking to build a relationship with your service advisor. You simply show up when it’s convenient, request an oil change, and they have you done as soon as possible.

The goal is convenience and speed. Quick Lubes focus on that competitive advantage, just like Domino’s.

Chain Auto Repair Shops are like California Pizza Kitchen

When you visit a chain pizza restaurant, like California Pizza Kitchen, you’re looking for more than a quick bite to eat. The experience is definitely a step up from Domino’s or Papa John’s. You have the option to sit down and eat your food, and the menu selection is broader than pizza and breadsticks.

It’s a full-service experience. You can get a salad in addition to your pizza, with more specialized toppings and a bigger menu.

This experience is similar to servicing your vehicle at a chain auto repair shop, like Pep Boys or Midas.

They typically offer more services than what’s available at a Quick Lube, but that doesn’t mean they are service experts with factory parts or training. Their competitive advantage is a consistent experience across their shops and more services and expertise than your average quick lube.

Dealerships are like a Locally-Owned Italian Restaurant

Dealerships, on the other hand, are like the local Italian pizzeria down the street. They focus on the experience you have at their restaurant and make sure each item on their menu makes your mouth water.

This Italian restaurant has an extensive menu with a great selection of food and beverages, not to mention their delicious desserts. They might be known for their pizza, but you can order what you want, knowing that it will be authentic and the best quality.

These restaurants have been around for a while and are well-established in the community. They’ve worked hard to build a reputation of quality that their customers can trust.

In many ways, the same is true for a dealership service department. Customers can be confident that their service advisors are experts in the vehicle services they offer. They provide numerous services and factory parts created specifically for those vehicles. Rather than focusing exclusively on price, their main goal is to provide a high-quality experience and top-of-the-line service to their customers.

They have worked hard to build relationships with vehicle owners, knowing that relationships and great service are key to customers returning.

Dealership Lessons to Learn from the Pizza Business

So what does all this mean for you? Well now that you know where your dealership would fit in the pizza industry, there are real lessons to be learned from how these pizza companies attract and delight their customers.

Lesson 1: Play to your strengths

For pizza joints in each segment of the market, success depends on knowing what their customers want and focusing on those qualities.

Domino’s isn’t trying to become the local destination for a nice evening out or offer specialty pizza toppings. On the other hand, the local pizzeria isn’t fighting to compete with Domino’s or even California Pizza Kitchen on price. They understand the quality and variety they can offer and price accordingly.

Instead of trying to be all things to all people, these restaurants play to their strengths. They don’t try to compete with everyone or provide identical offerings.

The same is true for your service department. Rather than trying to compete with every service shop, focus on the competitive advantages you offer to vehicle owners and double down on those strengths.

Lesson 2: Give you customers what they want!

If a local pizzeria was serving frozen pizzas, they wouldn’t be open for long. Their customers want high quality and a great experience, and the success of the restaurant depends on whether they can deliver on those things. No amount of discounts or promotions will save a pizzeria with bad pizza or sub-par service.

Instead of spending your time looking for ways to steal customers from other segments, make the most of the market that is coming to you and press into the competitive advantages that you already have.

A customer who has a great experience at your dealership won’t keep it quiet! Offer the best to the customers who come in your door and find new ways to focus on the quality and experience that you can offer.


Rather than trying to be everything to every customer, focus on your dealership’s strengths. Create an amazing experience for everyone who walks in your doors and emphasize your high-quality services, instead of trying to compete on pricing and convenience alone. Take a few notes from the pizza business and focus on what sets your dealership apart.


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