Domino’s Franchise Management School Sets Up Aspiring Franchisees for Success

Published: June 6, 2024
FMS Class
Domino’s Franchise Management School January 2024 graduating class is shown at the World Resource Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The heart of Domino’s business is the best-in-class franchisees who feed the power of possible across the country every day. These ambitious individuals uphold the brand’s values while putting in the awe-inspiring work to build a culture and manage a successful business of their own.

Before purchasing their first store and establishing a business mission, aspiring franchisees are called to attend Franchise Management School (FMS) – a uniquely comprehensive training program held at Domino’s World Resource Center that transitions individuals from store management to business ownership as Domino’s franchisees.

Divided into two programs – undergraduate and graduate – FMS is designed to thoroughly inform, inspire and transform driven team members into outstanding franchisees.

"FMS gives you the insight and knowledge to effectively run your business,” said Kelly Ramos-Campos, a Domino’s franchisee who is based in Phoenix. “However, it does so much more than that if you savor your time through FMS. The program allows you to flourish, connect and build relationships that will impact you for the rest of your Domino's career.”

As classes start in the undergraduate program, the primary objective is to transition from store operator to owner through the support of corporate teams, guest franchisees and third-party subject matter experts. Incoming franchisees participate in classes focused on the “business of the business” – including financial acumen, valuation and negotiation, and entity types. Graduate school takes things a step further, as classes take a deep dive into the mindset of a true business owner – presenting business plans, identifying programs to engage with and learning the more tactical knowledge to begin one’s franchising journey.

“We provide new franchisees with the foundational knowledge they need to be successful when they walk out of FMS,” said Jessica Arnal, Domino’s manager of new franchisee development. “On a more human level, they know they’re not alone in this journey. They have access to amazing people – both on the corporate side, and within our existing U.S. franchise system – who want to see them succeed and are more than willing to lend a hand if needed.”

As the program aims to educate, it also intends to provide a network to support each individual franchisee’s journey. Incoming franchisees get the opportunity to hear from current U.S. franchisees who have firsthand experience growing their business – and a breadth of wisdom on the realities of getting started.

“I strive to remind incoming franchisees that they are in the program for a reason, and it’s their hunger and drive that led them to this point,” said Connor Hurteau, a Domino’s franchise owner in west Indiana. “The reality is that there will be questions, a need to adapt and challenges that come with starting out, but it’s vital to remain active and present while learning from one another.”

In the spirit of connecting and collaborating, incoming franchisees create and present business plans that allow them to share their history with Domino’s, store purchasing plan and the business goals they have regarding operations, growth, and meeting customer needs. Pitches are followed by feedback from FMS leaders and fellow classmates, encouraging incoming franchisees to lean into the support and feedback they receive throughout their journey.

"FMS is the perfect example of how Domino’s invests in their franchisees,” said CJ Johnson, a Domino’s franchise owner in Ohio and West Virginia. “I started as a driver when in college for mechanical engineering. Twenty-plus years later, as an operations director, they showed me how to write a business plan, create proformas, take a hard look at my markets – the list goes on and on. Not enough good can be said about the amazing support I have received from these awesome people. Their entire job is to help you be the best franchisee you can be. This is just another reason why we are No. 1 and will continue to be!"

To recognize new franchisees for completion of the program and their commitment to the brand, FMS is concluded with a graduation ceremony and celebration.

“Our class members put in a tremendous amount of work ahead of graduation,” said Jessica. “We love to celebrate their accomplishments and the bright futures ahead of them. We become so close to the candidates as they progress through the program that each class feels like family. Seeing our franchisees move forward, growing their businesses and achieving the goals they set for themselves is genuinely a remarkable feeling.”

More than 95% of Domino’s franchisees in the U.S. started as part-time pizza makers or delivery drivers who worked their way up to purchasing their own store.

Learn more about the path towards franchising with Domino’s here.