A Day in the Life: Rhonda Mathews of Kitchen Tune-Up Phoenix

Tunie Rhonda Mathews’s typical day is truly a family affair: She’s partners with her husband, Garth, as owners of Kitchen Tune-Up Phoenix-Mathews.

Life as a Kitchen Tune-Up owner wasn’t on the radar for Rhonda Mathews at first. After both she and Garth faced changes in their professional lives, she chose retirement, while Garth found new work. Garth wasn’t thrilled and kept job-hunting, but Rhonda got busy relishing the freedom of retirement. When Garth fell for Kitchen Tune-Up, he had to sell the idea to a skeptical Rhonda.

Serious consideration during a women’s retreat—plus a great experience with their own home’s kitchen remodel—spurred Rhonda to come out of retirement and join the Kitchen Tune-Up family alongside Garth.

Balancing Work and Life

Now, after three years as a Tunie, Rhonda begins her day by rising around 5:00 a.m. and promptly avoiding work. She drinks coffee, listens to smooth jazz and plays solitaire—and she’s a better Tunie for it.

“Garth and I make a point of not talking about work for the first hour we are up,” she explains. “Being home-based, we discovered early on that every breath was about the business. We had to make changes in order to create a work-life balance.” By ensuring their early hour is time set aside for themselves, the Mathews get energized for the day ahead.

By 6:00 a.m., Rhonda is reviewing the day’s calendar with Garth before he heads out the door. If it’s a Tuesday, the Mathewses will have an early Zoom call to do project planning with their whole staff. They review every project detail from punch list items to installation dates to materials status.

At 8:00, Kitchen Tune-Up Phoenix opens for business. Working from her home office. Rhonda digs into emails and touches base with her customer relations manager and her administrative assistant—each of them has dedicated office space in their homes, she notes. The three stay in touch all day long, keeping the franchise organized.

Rhonda’s days are full with a wide variety of Kitchen Tune-Up tasks. At any time you might find her working on payroll or marketing campaigns, meeting with a commercial realtor, generating monthly reports, doing taxes or hiring staff and contractors. Rhonda handles details getting licensing and insurance, too.

In the afternoons, Rhonda tends to work building the franchise’s Kitchen Tune-Up “look book,” to give clients ideas that spark their imaginations for dream kitchens. She reviews new business leads and prospective clients, orders marketing materials and develops the franchise’s playbook on any given day.

As she juggles all these tasks, Rhonda uses tools available to her as part of a franchise system. She says she’s a big fan of having the support that comes with being a franchisee. Using templates and examples from other Kitchen Tune-Up franchise owners and the Home Office buys Rhonda time that otherwise she would have to spend creating new documents and tools each day.

The Mathewses found they worked well together once they were both Kitchen Tune-Up owners. They focus on hiring the right people and communicating well with both their own staff and their customers. Their own kitchen remodel helped Rhonda realize that customer communication was sometimes lacking in the remodeling industry, and she and Garth make communication a focus for their franchise.

Whatever she’s working on, Rhonda has to make time for Mr. Bean and Missy—the couple’s Chihuahua and cat, who get their lunch when Rhonda has hers.

Winding Up the Work Day

By 4:00, she and Garth are reviewing calendars again and using Kitchen Tune-Up’s Service Minder tool to be sure they’re both on track. While Rhonda says 5:00 is time to shut down the computer and call it a day, she adds that it’s often 6:00 before she’s truly done, after preparing contractors’ paychecks, doing a final email check and debriefing with Garth.

Evenings are for family. Rhonda catches up with their kids and grandkids. The Mathewses’ two daughters and their families live in the Phoenix area, giving the Mathewses plenty of chances for barbecues and swim parties with their four grandchildren. Beach trips and baseball are favorite pastimes

Tunies like Rhonda and Garth Mathews often choose franchise ownership because it gives them flexibility for family time and their own pursuits.

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