Boston, MA People of a certain age will recall the Howard Johnson restaurant and motor lodge chain with its iconic orange roofs. By the 1970s it had become the largest restaurant chain in the U.S. with 1,000 locations (’28 flavors’ of ice cream) plus 520 hotels. In 1979, when Howard B. Johnson, son of the founder, sold the motor lodges to Marriott and the restaurants to a British company, senior operations analyst Eliott Zeprun found himself out of a job. “I knew the hospitality industry inside-out. I also had long-term personal connections with hundreds of service and maintenance contractors and hotel and facility managers across the U.S.,” Zeprun said. “I wanted to find a way to preserve those relationships and turn my experience and contacts into some sort of business.”
Armed with an idea and a Rolodex (before computers), in 1984 Zeprun teamed up with a former HJ colleague to launch EZ Maintenance Services LLC, focusing on the hospitality, restaurant and retail industries with an east coast focus – from Maine to Florida. “My initials–EZ–made it easy to create a company name!” Today his late colleague’s wife Janice Charles handles customer calls from a Florida office.
“We work with pre-qualified vendors in most trades who respect our high standards and pre-established rates,” Zeprun said. “We screen vendors for proper licensing and insurance so customers have peace of mind.”
Asked about the keys to the company’s success, Zeprun provides several reasons:
(1) All contractors are continuously monitored for performance and quality assurance, ensuring only the most qualified contractors are dispatched;
(2) EZ promises rapid response, 24/7, ensuring safety and comfort for guests;
(3) Because EZ pays vendors within 14 days, they like answering EZ’s calls;
(4) Clients receive fast service, thanks to EZ’s excellent long-time relationships; and
(5) Vendors are local and know if they respond quickly with competitive prices and quality service, they’ll get a steady stream of business from EZ; and
(6) All service calls are answered within five minutes.
By working closely with client facilities on a regular basis, EZ and its vendors know the properties well and provide strategic proactive and reactive maintenance that protects and extends the life of the asset while saving the owners time, money and headaches. EZ’s network of contractors specializes in a wide range of fields including plumbing, HVAC, electrical, elevators, sprinklers, drywall, locksmith services, roofing, glass, overhead doors, and much more. Another key to EZ’s success: They have an on-call 24/7 noted electrical/mechanical engineer with decades of experience who specializes in hotel facilities maintenance solutions.