PIZZA MAKER TO BUSINESS OWNER
Wednesday 7 June, 2023: Domino’s newest franchise partner, Alok Yadav, 36, fulfilled a life-long ambition this week by opening his very own Domino’s store, 16 years after he joined the company as an in-store cleaner.
Alok came to the UK from India as a student in 2007 after landing a year-long placement as part of his college course. Having left Delhi only knowing how to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in English, he spent hours learning how to pronounce words like ‘chicken’, ‘anchovies’ and ‘pineapple’ from the Domino’s menu.
Downtime outside work was also spent role-playing with his colleagues until he mastered, ‘Hi, this is Domino’s, my name is Alok, how may I help you’, so he could answer the phone and take orders. Alok quickly learnt the language and excelled to become the store manager at the Portsmouth North End Domino’s.
Alok, who opened his first Domino’s store in Swaffham, Norfolk this week on Monday 5th June, is enrolled on the Domino’s Homegrown Heroes programme which offers past and present team members the opportunity to own a Domino’s store and become part of its franchisee system.
He said: “I knew I had to learn the language quickly if I wanted to progress, but it was really hard.
“It was tricky when someone ordered a Meatilicious pizza because I couldn’t say it.
“As I was young, I’d only heard of onions and tomatoes, so I had to learn the names of the other toppings and how to say them.
“It wasn’t easy. My colleagues were great in helping me learn and I was determined to do it as I really enjoyed working in Domino’s.
“We spent hours in the flat above the shop going through the phone greeting and working on the toppings.
“So that was how I learned English.”
“I then had more confidence and I quickly rose from team member to supervisor, to store manager all within a year.”
Alok even met his partner, Rachel Yadav, while working in a Domino’s store, having fallen for her while they were colleagues in Farnham.
Having risen up through the ranks to Area Manager, Alok began to get itchy feet and yearned to own his own franchise. He was ready for the next challenge.
Whilst waiting in the wings for his opportunity with Domino’s, Alok has become an extremely successful entrepreneur, opening over 40 outlets, including coffee shops and other pizza stores.
But there was always a special place in his heart for Domino’s, so when the opportunity came to have his own shop via the Homegrown Heroes programme, he grabbed it with both hands.
Alok said: “I was always in contact with my ex-colleagues at Domino’s so when I heard that Domino’s was onboarding new franchise partners through the Homegrown Heroes programme I just had to get involved. It was special for me.
“Working at Domino’s gave me the business acumen which has served me so well over the years. It’s a great place to build a career and provided me with opportunities and valuable skills. It was my first love as they gave me my first job, so I have really come full circle now.”
“It’s been an incredible journey for me and I couldn’t be happier.”
Dan Maund, Franchise Development Manager at Domino’s UK & Ireland, said:
“Alok was one of the first people to apply to the Homegrown Heroes programme, reinforcing his commitment to the brand. His entrepreneurial mindset and determination that was developed through his time at Domino’s has empowered him to open several successful businesses over the years. We’re proud to have Alok come the full circle and open his first Domino’s store in Swaffham.”
Domino’s franchising through the Homegrown Hero programme:
Franchising enables entrepreneurs or budding businesspeople to start a new venture from the ground up, with the backing of a household brand.
According to NatWest, in 2018 the UK franchise market was worth £17 billion.
Domino’s Homegrown Heroes programme offers driven, entrepreneurial people with experience working in the Domino’s network, the opportunity to own their own store and become a Domino’s Franchise Partner.
The programme provides tailored support to successful applicants, helping them every step of the way before they run their own store and have their very own slice of the business.
Apart from brand experience, a minimum of £70,000 is required to get started and the process takes between six and 14 months. If you’ve ever worked for Domino’s anywhere in the world, you can apply to become a Homegrown Hero here.