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Looking Good, Feeling Great

Brian Lane of Bingo Pet Salon Builds His Grooming Empire

Brian Lane came to the world of pet grooming in an unexpected way. “My background is in sports marketing,” he says. “I was working for the NFL helping to run a community event for the Super Bowl. In 2011, a job opened with the Detroit Pistons, and after making it to the final round, the NBA lockout happened, and they froze hiring.” A friend of Brian’s was opening the original Bingo Pet Salon in Royal Oak and offered him a job handling the marketing.

“Unfortunately,” says Brian, “the shop opened in October, and with the weather being cooler, the shop was slow to start.” The owner planned to shut it down after a few months of losing money, but Brian offered to take it over. “I worked 93 straight days before having my first day off,” recalls Brian, but soon he started to see profits. After 10 years of operating successfully in Royal Oak, and with the boom in pet ownership during the pandemic, expansion was needed. Brian opened the second Bingo in Clinton Township in October of 2022, and a third location in Hazel Park earlier this year.

“One of the things that makes Bingo different is how we approach the grooming process,” explains Brian. “For many shops, people just drop off the dog, ask for a ‘puppy cut’, and come back for pick up. For us, ‘puppy cut’ has no meaning. We prefer to ask specific questions and try to get your pet to look how you want.” Of course, the finished result depends on the pet’s hair and coat condition. “I once had a lady bring in her shih tzu and wanted it to look like a bichon,” he recalls. “Unfortunately, there was no way to get her dog to look like the picture she showed me because of the way her dog’s hair laid.”

The services offered at Bingo Pet Salon depend on the dog and their coat type, says Brian, such as their “groom spa” package for longer-haired dogs. For keeping dogs fresh between cuts, Bingo offers the “Face, Feet, and Fanny” package. “Instead of a full cut, we just trim around the face, feet, and fanny.” Smooth coat, shedding breeds can enjoy the “bath spa” package, with a 3-step deshedding process. Specialty services include the blueberry facial scrub, which helps with tear stains, oatmeal baths for dry skin and allergies, lavish paw scrub for cracked or damaged pads, skunk baths, scented sprays, and more.

Brian also owns the Bingo Institute of Grooming, along with another shop owner. “We both noticed the shortage of qualified, trained groomers, and together opened the institute in 2015.” The institute has graduated over 40 groomers from its rigorous program, some of whom now work in the three Bingo locations. “One of the biggest myths about grooming is that it is easy,” says Brian. “It’s very important to our industry that we make sure we only hire properly trained and skilled groomers.”

Giving back to the community is important to Brian. “Bingo has offered free grooming services for local rescues and shelters to help animals get adopted”, he says. Since 2014 their nonprofit, BingoCares, has groomed over 1000 dogs and cats.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Clinton Township and Macomb County community and look forward to growing here for many years to come,” says Brian. “My motto when working with our staff, clients, and community is, ‘How can I help?’”