Franchise: Domino’s Pizza
Cost of start-up: £82,000
When he was just 20-years-old Antony Tagliamonti had to make the choice between spending his savings on a Lotus, or opening his first Domino’s Pizza franchise. Fortunately, he chose the latter and six years on has an income easily great enough to satisfy his love of fast cars.
“I have been at Domino’s since just before my sixteenth birthday, I was working as a driver to begin with and I got to know a lot of people there.
“I just really liked the company from the start. The whole process, the systems – how they go from order to delivery.”
Tagliamonti remained in the employ of Domino’s during his teens and into his 20s, also completing A levels and holding down a job in the syndication department of the Times newspaper. He ‘didn’t sleep much’, preferring to work instead – a habit that continues to this day.
All this graft had led to substantial cash savings, the question was, what to spend the money on?
“A friend of mine, who was running the Woodford Green franchise and was having trouble with his business partner, suggested that I take over a part of the business.
“I was saving up for a new car at the time – a Lotus. I love fast cars and I desperately wanted a Lotus Elise.
“But I just thought: What is more sensible? – A flash car or setting myself up for the future? I decided that it made sense to get into the business that I already knew I loved.
“The store was valued at £165,000. As I was buying half a share it cost me about £82,000 to set up. The first £20,000 was out of my own savings the remainder came through a loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
“I was advised me to do this as the RBS recognise the Domino’s brand, they know how we operate and I had a business manager appointed to me.”
Tagliamonti’s partner soon sold him the remainder of the franchise. At the age of 20 he was remarkably young for a franchisee. However, he insists that all you really need the will to succeed; not to mention a love of hard work.
Without any doubt Antony Tagliamonti is a man prepared to put the hours in:
“I was working 60- 65 hours each week, sometimes getting up at 7am and not going to bed until 1.30am.
“You have to be responsible and be able to handle the different elements of managing and the demands of the business are high. It is not just a 9-5 you have always got to be on the end of the phone.
“It is hard work but if you do it then you will reap the rewards.”
Life as a franchisee
Tagliamonti can testify to the high level of support that he receives from his franchisor. He was young, had never run a business before and had not been to university, having finished education after his A-levels.
“Domino’s gave me a lot of help and the network between franchisees and head office is brilliant. They are always there at the end of the line with advice when you need them. They don’t just throw you in at the deep end.
“They will help you right across the board from HR to marketing, it is really useful. You know you are selling a tried and tested product and that if you follow the plan then you will succeed.
“I meet up with other franchisees on quite a regular basis and there is a great camaraderie when we do. It is great to swap ideas and stories and find out how each other is getting on.”
Tagliamonti adds that his family have always been around to lend a hand, and support from them was and still is very important.
He now runs three franchises employing approximately 80 staff and has sold one franchise that he was running to another franchisee. The money he has made in the last six years means that he has owned many cars, Lotus, Porsche, BMW, to name but a few. The Lotus Elise that he passed up now seems like an amusing memory.
Tagliamonti says that his ‘operation’ would run by itself even if he is not around, however the franchisee likes to be involved and is unlikely to take much time off even when he feels he can.
“As much as I like to work all the hours, you don’t have to do it that way. I am just a workaholic so I can’t help it.”