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PIZZA PIONEERS STILL GROWING
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Domino’s first NZ franchisees adapt, improve, expand
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The Lea Family "Domino's has fuelled our growth"
The Lea Family have 4 Domino's stores already and still growing
Back in 2003, Franchise New Zealand magazine featured the Lea family who owned a Pizza Haven outlet in Manurewa. Rob Lea was in college and his brother Brian was completing his B.Com in management and marketing at Auckland University when they bought their first franchise, together with dad Graeme and mum Beverley in 1995. A second, in Papakura, followed a few years later.
In 2005, Domino’s bought Pizza Haven and began rebranding all the stores – starting with Manurewa. ‘It was the best thing that could have happened,’ says Brian. ‘As a result, our first store increased turnover by a factor of four and the increased business meant that our original Manurewa territory has since been split not once, but twice. We now have four highly busy and successful stores and find the Domino’s model makes it easy to grow from a single store to many.’
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (DPE) was Australia’s first publicly-listed pizza company and is the master franchisor for the Domino’s brand in seven countries. DPE and its franchisees operate over 2000 stores, making it the largest franchisee for the Domino’s Pizza brand in the world.
Brian believes that what has kept the brand ahead of the game in a hugely competitive market is the fact that it has combined size and volume with quality and innovation.
‘We’ve been in pizzas for 24 years and found that Domino’s has fuelled our growth and helped franchisees like us get better at what we do all the time. Like any business, you need to work at it to succeed, but it is great – if you train your staff well and maintain a great in-store culture aimed at first-class customer service, then Domino’s is a winner.
‘There’s been continuous product development, new recipes and fresh add-ons all the time. Marketing has changed enormously since we opened our first store with the emergence of the internet, then email, mobile phones, apps and social media but Domino’s has always been ahead of the rest. Technology has changed how we operate in-store too, with better product delivery and service, and better management systems to increase control and profitability.
‘Nearly a quarter century on from when we started, my brother Rob and I continue to run the stores, and mum still looks after the bookkeeping. Sadly, Dad passed away four years ago, but it was his faith and vision that got us started and we’ve gone on growing – now we’re looking at store number five!’
Scott Bush, general manager for Domino’s in New Zealand, says, ‘The Lea family are an excellent example of how good franchisees can adapt, change and grow within the Domino’s network. They have achieved success not just through hard work and application but through welcoming and applying new technologies as they’ve become available.
‘Domino’s has made huge investments into digital technology over the years. Pizza Tracker, developed 10 years ago, was our first-ever digital project and gave our customers the ability to track their pizza all the way through make, bake and delivery in real time to ensure that a pick-up customer can arrive just as their fresh, hot pizza is ready. We’ve gone on developing it ever since – these days, it even works with smart watches. Meanwhile, our GPS Driver Tracker lets home delivery customers know exactly how far away their pizza is, and helps keep our drivers safe, too. On any one day we have up to 40 digital projects underway across the whole business, all aimed at improving the product and giving customers time back to do the things they enjoy.’
Perhaps Domino’s best-known innovation recently has been the world’s first commercial pizza delivery by drone last year. ‘It’s an ambitious project but a serious one,’ says Scott. ‘The tests showed enormous promise and ultimately we intend drone delivery to be fully integrated into our online ordering and GPS systems.
‘Domino’s is dedicated to delivering fresh, hot food to every doorstep. New stores are now being equipped with ovens that cook pizzas to perfection in just four minutes. At the same time, we continuously test and upgrade ingredients to improve the customer experience by, for example, removing excess salt or reducing fat content.’
With over 110 stores, Domino’s is already New Zealand’s number one pizza company. ‘And there’s room for many more – especially in fast-growing areas,’ says Scott. ‘Our vision is to have 200 stores here in the next 5 years. The investment for new franchisees is from $500,000 depending on location and the returns for good operators can be considerable.
‘If you’re prepared to put your all into a great opportunity, now is the time to come and leverage off that with Domino’s. Remember, Domino’s is the market leader and we want franchisees who will keep us Number One.
‘We want to hear from everybody who is interested in owning their own food business. We especially love entrepreneurial people who can see the benefits of a great system, have the skills to question how it can be improved, and the vision to grow a great business. As Brian and Rob have proved, for the right people, owning one Domino’s can be just the start!’
See this advertorial on page 25 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 1
Contact details for Domino's
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