Business management

The rise of franchising

For Mike Racz, establishing a franchising empire started with delivering Domino’s pizzas. Since then, he’s certainly enjoyed more than a slice of the action.

Mike shares with us his inspirations, franchising mindset and what makes Domino’s his first business love

Q. Hi Mike, please tell us about your business background.

I’ve always had a talent for business. Even as a six year old, growing up in a disadvantaged area of Hungary, I have always been creative with my business deals. When I turned 20, a good friend suggested a move to the US. I jumped at the chance but unfortunately green card issues stopped us in our tracks. A month later, a new plan was formulated and we relocated to the UK instead.

Initially we arrived in Wales where I spent the first few weeks working nonstop in a local factory. Work certainly consumed my time and after a variety of jobs, I eventually moved to the North East where I started working for Domino’s on 4th October 2004. Instantaneously I fell in love with the business -

the brand, the pizzas and being part of a team. Early 2005, I realised that this was a lifetime commitment and a year later, in June 2006, I finally opened my very first store in Hartlepool. Fast forward to June 2024, where I welcome the opening of my 60th Domino’s store.


Q. Domino’s is a franchise, of course. How did you feel about that?

Initially I was unsure about starting my own business, but I’ve always enjoyed accomplishing a deal or two. Even when I was collecting and trading basketball cards back home, I was always creative with business ventures. You need to follow your passion - whether it’s a franchise or not. For me, Domino’s is something that I love and I’m passionate about. I believe that Domino’s is the best pizza in the world so you could say that belief has formed my calling.


Q. What’s in your diary in a typical week?

Typically, my day starts around 6am. I check my emails (with a cup or two of espresso), trying to reply to as many as possible before it’s time for the school run with my 12-year-old daughter. My first Zoom normally starts around 9.30am before my first business review of the day - checking progress of sales, labour costs and various other related items. I never find time to listen to the radio or even turn on the tv, my day is normally filled with Zoom meetings plus I need to focus. With 11 different business sectors, I need to switch seamlessly between brands constantly throughout the day.

I do try to keep meetings to a minimum though, because my daughter may have a school sports match and I will always collect her from school. Back at home, I love to cook, using fresh food each day and at some point, I need to accommodate an hour’s cardio on my exercise bike. I’m constantly on the go, both mentally and physically.

Around 7.30pm, it’s back to work for another three hours of intense business development, before retiring to bed around 11.30pm. No two days are the same, however.

I do like to stay hands-on with the business so between Christmas and New Year, I’ll deliver pizzas. I really enjoy it, plus it gives me a chance to return to my roots and interact with our staff and customers.


Q. What’s the secret of your success?

Confidence certainly plays a large role because people who take bigger risks need to be more self-assured in both themselves and their abilities. So, I guess that’s why we take risks. Because you’re confident that you can succeed. You need to believe in your own abilities, your team’s abilities, and your business concept. And you need commitment! It’s a bit like a marriage. I don’t necessarily work more hours than most people. I love what I do so I don’t see it as work. To me, it’s a way of life.


Q. What is it about franchising that suits you?

For me, it’s about proof of concept. You save a lot of time, because you don’t have to think about a logo, your branding, your positioning, your supply chains, etc. To a good extent, it’s all pre-existing. Franchising also brings scalability, and a good franchise could result in hundreds of opportunities within the UK. If you start out on your own, statistically speaking, it’s likely that you will never own more than two stores.

In franchising, you’re still your own boss as it’s your limited company and liabilities but with a familiar name above the door.


Q. What would you tell someone who was thinking about taking on a franchise?

Whatever franchise you’re considering, make sure you love and understand the product. Spend time on due diligence; because unfortunately, not every franchise business will succeed. You’ll need to align your motivation and understand why you want this. If you were to rank the top 100 franchises in order of money generation and pick the best as your franchise, then I think you’re setting yourself up to fail. You certainly need to pour your heart and time into it. And you need to employ a great accountant.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic answer. But once you have made up your mind, that it’s what you want to do - then go for it.

You’ve got this!

Find out more about franchising.

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