We had some friends round the other night and I went out and picked up five pizzas. There were seven of us including Guy and Kitty and normally when we eat in the pizza restaurant itself, we'll have a pizza each but for some reason, on Friday night we managed only two between the seven of us! So I've been dragging bits of pizza out of the freezer each day and chomping my way through Avocado Surprise, Perfect Pepperoni and something else only J knows the name of.
Pizzas in France leave a lot to be desired. Very thin, crispy bases and a variety of toppings never before encountered – including the avocado one mentioned above.
And then you’re sitting in front of the telly and Dominos are sponsoring some show or another and your taste buds go wild. Now I reckon Dominos do the best pizzas going but I haven’t tasted one for several years! I love Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust and Pizza Express’s Sloppy Guiseppe, but I could kill a Dominos right now.
Quite a few years ago when my eldest son, Stephen, arrived at my bachelor pad in Maidenhead for a long weekend and decided to stay for two years, I eventually decided my philanthropy was going too far and started to charge him rent. I took £100 a month off him and said it would be used for eating out.
We went to the Mexican and the Italian and the French and the pub but eventually, most of the money actually went to a Dominos franchise about 250 yards from my house.
The conversation usually went as follows when I emerged from the car after a 2 hour drive home through central London, ‘what do you fancy eating tonight dad?’ ‘Oh I can’t be bothered going out tonight or cooking anything so why don’t we just get a Dominos.’
After several months of this, Stephen would call Dominos of a night and they’d actually be on first name terms and not need to take an order because they now knew what we wanted. They’d have a chat and we’d get a few freebies and the guy would be at the door within minutes because of the short trip on his scooter. The pizzas were always roasting hot which isn’t always the case with pizza deliveries, and they were deeeeelicious.
After spending quite a bit with them, I casually mentioned to Stephen that he should seriously consider taking on a Dominos franchise and that I would help him with the cash.
He’s probably reading this right now and either (a) cutting his wrists because he didn’t accept my offer or (b) desperately trying to think when I made this amazingly generous offer but needless to say, he declined and of course the rest is history.
Back then, Dominos was in start-up mode and were looking for Franchisees and about £150k to start a delivery/take away premises, but Stephen wasn’t sure – maybe he thought he’d get fat eating all the profits!
Today Dominos is 600 stores strong in the UK and it now needs £280k to start a franchise and their profits are booming thanks to the recession when people are eating in more.
Stephen, we could have made a fortune!
And with that we move on to a 'lady' who made one fortune in one business and is out to make another in a completely new line of activity. Monaco Nigel's latest post is now available but contains adult themes.