Business owners Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman co-founded College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving in the early 2000s. Nearly two decades later, the company has more than 150 franchises in the United States and Canada.
Tonight, viewers will see Soliman and Friedman visit a few of those locations but the employees won’t know who they are. Friedman and Soliman are kicking off the 11th season of the popular reality TV show Undercover Boss. The episode premieres tonight (January 7) at 8 p.m. on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.
This Is the First Time 2 Bosses Have Been Featured on the Show at the Same Time
The College HUNKS Hauling Junk episode is making history at Undercover Boss. It’s the first time the show has featured two bosses at the same time, according to a press release.
However, CBS explained that Soliman and Friedman will have to handle certain tasks separately:
Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman, who co-founded College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving over 15 years ago, go on separate missions to make certain that the foundation of their company is strong enough to withstand exponential growth in the next couple of years. Will they need to do any heavy lifting within their company after seeing what’s happening on the front lines? Will they (or any items in their care) crack under pressure while undercover?
Friedman said of the experience, “The opportunity enabled us to find and explore areas where we can make improvements to our brand. We were honored to be a part of these undercover missions and more importantly to be able to shine a light on and support some of our hard-working team members.”
Soliman added, “We’re known for our world-class company culture and service, and through Undercover Boss, Nick and I were able to see our organization with an unfiltered lens. We’re looking forward to taking our learnings from our experience and applying them to growing our company and our teams.”
Soliman Says His Mom Inspired the Initial Idea for the Company
In a preview clip for Undercover Boss, Soliman explained that his mother provided the original inspiration for the company. He said while he and Friedman were home from college during summer break, she recommended they use her “beat-up cargo van” to earn money. “She’s like, ‘take that van, you guys could be, like, the college hunks who haul junk,'” Soliman said. “Hey, that’s a pretty good name!”
The duo got started by posting fliers around their neighborhood to attract clients. But they soon had a start-up fund to grow it even further.
Soliman pitched the idea for College Hunks Hauling Junk as part of a business competition at the University of Miami during his senior year, according to his CV. He ultimately won the Leigh Rothschild Entrepreneurship Competition and the $10,000 grand prize.
According to the company website, HUNKS is actually an acronym. It stands for: Honest, Uniform, Nice, Knowledgeable, Service.
Friedman & Soliman Now Own 2 Businesses Together
Friedman and Soliman went to school together in Tampa, Florida. They first met during detention in 10th grade, according to a preview clip of the episode. They had both gotten into trouble for running onto the football field during a game and fighting with the other team. They’ve been friends ever since.
Soliman attended the Herbert Business School at the University of Miami. He graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, according to his LinkedIn account.
Friedman went to Pomona College in southern California, where he played on the men’s varsity basketball team and was A NABC Academic All-American. According to his LinkedIn, Friedman studied economics and Spanish and earned a bachelor’s degree.
Soliman and Friedman now own two businesses together. In addition to College HUNKS, they are the co-founders of Trash Butler, a trash removal and recycling service for multi-family communities. Trash Butler’s website says its teams “service over 175,000+ units across 35 states in the country and has been voted one of the top amenities by residents and property managers.”