Secrets of a Domino’s franchisee

Astrid Patil owns Domino’s Pizza stores in Alton, Christchurch, Evesham, Farnham, Cosham, Portsmouth, Southampton and Worcester with her husband and business partner Anil. Business at all eight stores is up on last year. Buy why?

RB: What three factors are contributing to Domino’s current success?AP: The success of Domino’s Pizza is down to consistently delivering great product, exceptional customer service and fantastic marketing.

RB: Is Domino’s an exceptional case? Or is the whole fast food industry seeing a boom?AP: We can’t really speak for our competitors but Domino’s is continuing to achieve fantastic growth. While some of the fast food chains are closing stores on the high street, Domino’s is opening 50 new stores each year and is well on track to meet its target of 1,000 stores by 2017.

RB: What are the challenges you face right now?AP: Acquiring and retaining good staff can sometimes be a challenge, although the current economic climate has created an increase in the number of people applying for jobs in some areas.

Running a number of stores across the country means that we always need to bear in mind regional differences to ensure we meet the needs of our customers and offer great value in each location. This can be anything from making sure our meal deals are right to adjusting our menu with different pizza toppings.RB: What are the advantages of operating under a franchise business model during a recession?AP: Domino’s provides ongoing support for all of its franchisees through activity such as the sponsorship of TV shows like Britain’s Got Talent. The company has fantastic brand awareness, which can really help to ensure that when people treat themselves, they’re more likely to choose Domino’s. We’re also finding in the current climate people are trading down: instead of having a meal out in a restaurant, they’re ordering a pizza.

The franchise business model means that we can take advantage of Domino’s continual new product development programme to tempt new customers in-store to try the latest pizzas.

We’re also supported by the head office team who assist with everything from ingredients and equipment purchasing and supply to operations and IT.

RB: What’s the most popular pizza at the moment?AP: Our newest pizza – the spicy Piri Piri pizza – is selling very well and Pepperoni Passion is certainly still a firm favourite among customers.

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