…insights from entrepreneurs in the food industry in Nigeria

Episode 30: Podcast Interview with the CEO of Eat ‘n’ Go Ltd – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone & Pink Berry Brands

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@dominosng @coldstonecreamery_nigeria @pinkberrynigeria

https://www.eatngo-africa.com

Mr. Pat McMichael hails from Australia and he is an International QSR CEO, Public Speaker and QSR Consultant with over 29 years experience in the food service industry. He is the CEO Eat ‘n’ Go company Nigeria, the company that owns the Domino’s Pizza, Cold stone and Pink Berry brands in Nigeria. He is an epitome of experience in the industry having worked with Domino’s Pizza across many countries in Europe, Asia & Australia. He has impacted the Nigerian dining experience with their brands and they have become well known family brand in Nigeria. Listen to him speak about the company.


Podcast Keynote

Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your background –

Thank you for having me today. My name is Pat McMichael. I have been with Domino’s Pizza for 29 years. I have worked widely around the globe consulting in Europe, Asia, and Australia and now in Nigeria. Over the years, I have helped Domino’s grow their business into 600 stores, 20 branches and franchise in Australia with chains of stores. I was the CEO of Domino’s Pizza in Indonesia, and now I am the CEO Eat ‘n’ Go Nigeria – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery and Pink Berry Creamery .

Domino’s Pizza came to Nigeria in 2012 and right now across the 3 brands, we’ve got 88 stores in Nigeria and we are growing substantially, and we are very  focused on opening the right shops in the right places.

Across your 88 locations in Nigeria, how many Domino’s Pizza are there?

There are 41 Domino’s Pizza outlets. We are majorly operating in markets like Lagos, Abuja and Port harcourt.

 

What’s the first thing you consider before you pick a location?

First thing we consider is the demand, the population, class of the population; is the area quite affordable then, demographics and presence of other business.

How do you ensure consistency of products across your locations?

First and foremost, we are not a franchise business. All  our stores are operated by the company and we built supply chain system that enables us to  control all our processes from warehouse to the manufacturing plant to the store and delivery right to the customers’ door. That chain is never broken; we have control over all the entire process. We deliver to outlets in trucks and we make sure that everything is being controlled – the product, the warehouse to the customers. Our team also go through constant training and we make sure we recruit talented employees and we keep them engaged by offering internal growth path, benefits, above market salaries and constant training.

Listen to the Podcast to learn more how they maintain quality and standards across their stores.

How has the Nigerian experience been?

Doing business in Nigeria is not easy, it requires a lot of understanding of the marketplace, the logistics, infrastructures in the marketplace, and doing all that right. I think if we hadn’t understood it any faster than we had; we would’ve ended up  a failed business. As we improve, we grow faster than we did previously. We started learning about things to introduce in the Nigerian market and each year becomes better.

‘I was talking to a colleague of mine and said, this market is the hardest market I’ve ever been in 29 years.‘ What I mean by that is not the personal demand but the infrastructures. For us to actually open our front door, we have to put enough infrastructures in place to support the business. So, we have to have our own power, water supply and more. There’s a lot of work that goes into opening an outlet and to serve a customer the right product.

Will there be Franchising at  Eat ‘n’ Go Nigeria 

We don’t have plans of franchising at all. We are actually great at running our business. We got various departments – the master training department, costing, unit operations and operations authentications. You know if you are good at running your own business, there’s no need to franchise.  Some companies franchise because they want other people to run the business and secondly, they want to grow fast and when you are doing that you may not be able to control quality. We don’t need to expand just like that; we need to expand in the right space, right shops, for the right result and efficient operations.

Is there any strategy behind opening locations close to each other like in Lekki?

It’s all about the customers. We try to service people in populated areas by bringing the outlet closer to them. So, it all depends on how you want your customers to get through to your business and your product. You know with market here, we consider the population and if you think about the behavior yourself; when you live in a place and you have to walk 5 min to 10 min away from home to get your lunch or diner or whatever – that’s the distance you can go. So, we open our shops for customers’ convenience within a community. Talking of the Agungi/Ologolo outlets, they are pretty close but the customers on the separate sides of the road visit the store on their axis and won’t have to crossover. So, two shops opened within an area cater to different local market.

Can you give an example of  business assumptions that you made that turned out differently?

When we first got here, we introduced similar products that we have in other countries but in Nigeria, it didn’t work exactly that way. For example, when Domino’s arrived, we had Mr. Garlic bread in the menu and what we had were customers ordering the Garlic Bread but asking that the garlic be taken off. That’s a local taste thing. (Listen to him to know how they have adjusted their product to suit the Nigerian market).

How do you handle deliveries?

In Nigeria, delivery is no different from in other markets like in Australia or Indonesia. Customers don’t answer the door in time, they might be in the shower, they are late, their credit card doesn’t work, etc. Domino’s is a delivery expert because we handle it rightly and we have invested a lot in the logistics of delivery but that doesn’t mean we always get it right, you know. Riders get lost and products don’t arrive quickly to customers – when we make mistakes, we can quickly fix it and do it right. But delivery is not easy, that’s why a lot of companies fail in the market because you have to pay attention.

How do you inspire employees to stay and key into the culture of the business?

You can’t grow fast without staff. You have to have the right staff, product and the right service to grow. So, from my perspective; treat people the way you’d like to be treated – that is absolutely crucial if you want your team to provide great customer service and to stay with your business; providing great training, putting the right pay structure into system, promoting their well being and providing education; promoting staff is also crucial.

We measure our staff retention every year. Domino’s Pizza has 83% retention rate considering staff we hired in 2018 that are still with us now. So, talking about building a strong team;

  • Treat your team the way you want to be treated
  • Provide great trainings
  • Provide education for your team
  • Promote your team members .

(Listen to the podcast to learn more about staff hiring and retention strategies)

 

What advice would you give someone just starting up?

Getting into food business the first time, one needs to have good work attitude. You have to be willing to do what others won’t do. You have to do what will help your business go beyond your competitors in every aspect of your business to win customers, get market share more than your competitors; and you do that with great products, great services, great image and going out there to see what’s in the marketplace; we do all that because we are hungry to be successful. We always want to introduce new customers to our business and we want to grow. It’s all about what you are willing to do to become successful. It’s all about your system, procedure, products and services. But first and foremost, you gotta be hungry to succeed.

Can you pleases give us some Key Performance Benchmarks?

If you want to run a successful food business, you have to keep your KPIs between;

  • 33-34% for cost of goods (Depends on your sourcing)
  • 12 – 15% for immature business marketing; 6% for mature business marketing
  • 15 – 25% Profit Margin (Depends on your margins and overhead)
  • 15 – 27% for Labour cost (General Industry standard may not apply to Nigeria)
  • 3 – 18% for Rent (Depends on the location and perceived ROI).


Key Takeaway Points:
  • Research, Adjust, Adapt, Train, Continuous Marketing and  Empower
  • You have to do what your competitors are not willing to do
  • Constantly push the brand to the people
  • Great products, great services and great image 
  • Put controls in place to maintain your product quality and standards
  • Control all your processes in the supply chain
  • Invest in your team and promote from within
  • Reward your employees and pay above average
  • Serve your community and make sure it is convenient to do business with you
  • Adjust to local taste  and listen to feedback from your customer
  • Build on all prior lessons and experiences
  • Know your Key Performance Indices and  manage them. 

Emeka Editor
Emeka is passionate about the Evolving Business Environment and the challenges bedevilling it. He is ardent and cognizant with the Restaurant Industry having worked in various outfits as a manager and consultant. He is presently working for BusinessFeverNg as the B.D.M and content editor.
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Emeka Editor
Emeka is passionate about the Evolving Business Environment and the challenges bedevilling it. He is ardent and cognizant with the Restaurant Industry having worked in various outfits as a manager and consultant. He is presently working for BusinessFeverNg as the B.D.M and content editor.
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Emeka is passionate about the Evolving Business Environment and the challenges bedevilling it. He is ardent and cognizant with the Restaurant Industry having worked in various outfits as a manager and consultant. He is presently working for BusinessFeverNg as the B.D.M and content editor.

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