After more than a quarter of a century, and growth from a single location into a dozen stores in their home state of Utah, Wendel Burt and Ron Burt have turned over leadership of their tire dealership to another generation of Burt brothers.
Technically, it’s two bands of brothers. Or, a class of cousins. Five cousins, Wendel’s and Ron’s sons, are equal-partner owners of Burt Brothers Tire & Service Inc. Jake, Jeremy and Jason — Wendel’s sons — and Brandon and Cory — Ron’s sons — quietly took over ownership in January 2019. They are celebrating their first complete year as owners.
Jeremy Burt says, “Dad stopped his college education and worked in an auto shop to support his young family. He discovered that he had a knack for working with both cars and people, and he and his brother took a huge risk in starting their own store.”
The Burt brothers opened their first store in August 1991 in Bountiful, Utah. At the time, they had a simple goal, one which they’ve shared with Modern Tire Dealer previously, “Sell at least one tire every day.” By 2016, with nine stores, the Burts said the goal was to sell 340 tires a day.
Wendel and Ron Burt remain members of the board of directors, and they help with the real estate side of the business. They still stop in from “time to time,” Jeremy says, but, “We want them to enjoy retirement. They have paved the way for Burt Brothers Tire & Service and have put in over 40 years in the industry.”
The brothers made for a dynamic team. Wendel was the “gregarious” one working with consumers, with Ron laser focused on the details of the company.
“The company’s motto of ‘Burt Brothers does it better’ was Uncle Ron to a T,” says Jeremy. “He saw to it that every store was clean and organized and that every transaction conformed to a high standard of excellence.”
The five cousins learned that all of those details matter, and “we’ve all done the grunt work of cleaning up the bays. We’ve worked the registers and been salespeople and store managers and developed a deep connection to this company and its customers over the years.”
Already, the next generation of the Burt family is working to streamline processes behind the scenes to make the business more customer friendly.
“The five of us bring many different skillsets to the business in the areas of training, sales, technology, marketing and fleet operations. There is a powerful synergy when we leverage everyone’s different abilities,” Jeremy says.
“The more we can use technology to make the back end of the business as efficient as possible, the more time we’ll have to devote to our top priority — the customer. Our fathers always said to treat every customer like they were the only one, and we intend to continue that.”
The next generation of Burts has also put its stamp on the company’s expansion. In 2019 Burt Brothers opened its first store in downtown Salt Lake City, added a fleet facility next to the existing Bountiful location, and acquired a former Firestone Complete Auto Care store in Draper.
So, what’s next? It’s quite a list:
- add more top tires to their inventory;
- open more locations to serve more Utah residents; and
- continue to support of local charitable initiatives, including Coats for Kids, the Angel Tree program, and Teacher Feature, which provides a new car to a nominated teacher.
“Our plan is to continue to live up to our slogan, ‘Burt Brothers does it better,” for our customers, for our employees and our community. We also look to grow and expand as the timing is right,” Jeremy says.