Jeremy Jenkins of His & Hers Limousine
in Tampa, Fla., grabs up much of the local retail market with this 200-inch Cadillac Escalade stretch limousine. He says limo work challenges in the region include sudden tropical rains delaying flights and weddings, and warmer temperatures requiring more powerful ACs inside the stretches.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Jeremy Jenkins already knew how to tend to customers before he made his first chauffeured run. As a part-time chauffeur in 2006, he began escorting a few regular patrons of the bar where he worked, who had a limousine for nights on the town. “Back then I chauffeured for this privately owned limousine, and started thinking it could be a good business. I enjoyed the work,” he says. Jenkins had prior history in restaurant management, and once he found the right business partners, he decided to go “all in” to the limousine industry.
The facility has a detailing bay, a lounge, and room to house the fleet. Its location near a busy road actually brings in some walk-in traffic, Jenkins says. “Our location gives us good advertising, which is fortunate. Not many other limo companies have that.”
Jenkins started with a single Lincoln Town Car Stretch and within three months added two more. Jenkins says the growth happened quickly, and before long, investor talks became more serious and Jenkins managed the purchase of a long established 30+ year-old company called His & Hers Limousines. The His & Hers name was chosen by the prior owners to help capture the wedding market.
The purchase increased the fleet to nine, and Jenkins grew the business on a steady supply of retail clients. His previous job as a bartender was conveniently located inside the pub and grill of a local country club. Jenkins’ contacts there proved vital in the early years. “I was very fortunate to be in the country club setting. A lot of the first few years consisted of pushing papers and trying to get the brand name out there. Our early runs were club members whose kids had proms or birthday parties,” he says. When asked what customer service skills transferred from bartending to limo driving, Jenkins responds, “That the customer is always right. As much as you hate it and know you’re right sometimes, you just have to move forward with that attitude. It can be the smallest thing too that can upset a customer, whether it’s something the chauffeur says in the middle of a ride, or not having the water bottle cold enough — you just have to be professional at all times.”
Jenkins uses LimoAnywhere, and says the LimoAnywhere DA Network has made affiliate farm-outs easy. “Everything was on paper,” he recalls of his early days. “All over the desks and on the walls with the trip times. Everything is much easier to manage now.” He also uses the new Book.limo booking widget from Rental Limo, and reports that it brings in new clients with booked reservations each day.
“I like that I’m able to meet new people,” says Jenkins about his favorite aspects of the industry. “Taking care of celebrities is cool, but donating to charities is important.” His & Hers gives complimentary rides to the Children’s Dream Fund. Some of the memories are framed on office walls. “Everybody loves to see a limo pull up,” he says, “95% of them are smiling and experiencing that ‘wow’-factor.”
His & Hers Limousine operates a mix of 25% corporate, and 75% retail. Jenkins says retail work has risen steadily year after year, but he is looking to add more corporate jobs to his books to manage revenue dips during the down season. “Our season is pretty much October to May, then it goes down,” he says.
To increase business travel farm-in work, Jenkins has become more involved in industry associations and trade shows. He is the vice president of the West Florida Limousine Association (WFLA), a member of the National Limousine Association (NLA), and a member of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce.
His & Hers Limousine’s
12-vehicle fleet consists of sedans, SUVs, stretch limousines, and party buses. Jenkins buys new and used vehicles from local dealers and also online, and has sold vehicles on the LimoForSale.com online marketplace.
Jenkins has battled TNCs as they’ve entered the Tampa region and disrupted the normative ways of business. “It’s tough; we have clients who use TNCs when they’re in other cities, and sometimes we get calls requesting cars in an hour’s time, which is difficult. There’s a challenge in dealing with the new tech. We have plans for an app, but it’s hard to pull off on-demand and provide the same type of service with the same quality of chauffeur,” he says.
To stay competitive, Jenkins pays attention to what other operators are doing in different markets. “You’ve got to know what’s going on,” says Jenkins, who finds reward in the challenge, “I like going to association meetings and finding out what other situations limo guys are involved in. That’s the way I learn the business, talking to people.”
His & Hers Limousine
Location: Tampa, Fla.
Owner: Jeremy Jenkins
Fleet size: 12
Vehicles: Sedans, SUVs, stretch limousines, party buses, minibus
Annual Revenues: $850,000
Info: (877) 717-6653