Sunday, October 18, 2009

Add a Mand

The following two items are reprinted from the Gazette in their entirety, and with links to the original stories. I'll save my commentary for the following post.


Coronado grad chases that pie in the sky
2009-08-25 21:31:13

Two years ago, Tony Mand was struggling to keep what he had as rising cheese prices and a falling economy threatened to wipe out his Mand Made Pizza Inc., which operates four Domino’s stores in Colorado Springs.

Now, as he prepares to celebrate 30 years as a Domino’s franchise owner, he’s dreaming big again.

Mand began in the business as a delivery boy. In 1979, at age 21, he opened his first Domino’s on Peterson Road in Colorado Springs. The Coronado graduate doesn’t have a college degree but relies, he says, on “common sense and business intuitiveness.”

In spring 2007, he seemed on solid footing. He had just opened a Domino’s in Breckenridge and planned on expanding to all the ski towns. Then, cheese prices started to soar, nearly doubling from their low point in 2007 to their peak in 2008 — a difference of $20,000 a month, Mand said.

Other commodity prices, including the price of flour, also rose. Then the economy began to sour and sales sagged, Mand said.

The tough times forced him to close the Breckenridge store, and he had to get a loan to keep the other stores in operation, he said.
Several factors put his business on the road to recovery.

“Domino’s started giving us new products — the sandwiches, gourmet pizzas and the pastas,” Mand said. “They all had a punch.”

Then the price of ingredients fell to what Mand calls reasonable levels, allowing him to offer a $3.99 carryout medium pizza this summer.

“I’m going to the moon now.” Mand said. “I have stores up 100 percent over this time last year.”

“Now I can see the 100 happening again,” he said.

ANNIVERSARY PARTY_Tony Mand, in celebration of his 30 years as a Domino’s Pizza franchisee, is having a prize drawing, 4 p.m. Saturday,, at his store at 6870 Galley Road, Galley and Peterson roads. $15,000 in prizes; top prize includes $2,000 in cash, a Kymco scooter from Fremont Motorsports, season passes to Monarch ski resort and other items. Contributions of food to Care & Share are suggested.


April 22, 2007 2:19 AM
Tony Mand wants to be the king of pizza.

His goal is to own 100 Domino’s franchises within seven years. He currently owns 12 Domino’s stores — five in Colorado Springs, four in Pueblo, one each in CaƱon City and Florence and one that just opened in Breckenridge.

“I plan on trying to expand to all the ski towns,” he said. He also owns 49 percent interest in nine Domino’s stores in Oklahoma.

Mand, a graduate of Coronado High School, was 21 when he opened his first Domino’s on Peterson Road. Now 49, he has seen plenty of peaks and valleys in his career. In an ambitious expansion effort in the mid-1980s, he opened 11 Domino’s stores in one year in the Chicago area. Nine lost money and he sold them in 1990.

“Now I want to expand again,” he said, “but I’m going to pick the cities and the situations and the people and the potential partners so much better.”

QUESTION: How did you get into the pizza business?
ANSWER: I started delivering pizzas. I didn’t really even know what the word “franchise” meant. They explained it to me at age 19 and told me I could have my own someday. I just put my nose to the grindstone, and by age 20 I was already building the store.

Q: How did you make that leap that quickly? It had to take more than just hard work.
A: It really doesn’t, not if you put your nose to the grindstone well enough. You have to be very driven, very tenacious. I don’t know how smart I am, but I’m very tenacious.

Q: If you reach that magic number of 100, will that make you the top Domino’s franchisee, or are there others with that many stores?
A: There might be people that are going to have more stores than that. But I plan on maybe making more money than the people with more stores. I want to get my volume to a mark that is very high. I want to take most of the records from Domino’s. I know that sounds like a lot of talk, but I think I’m actually going to back it up.

Q: What’s the key to expanding and keeping tabs on all those stores? Good managers?
A: The biggest thing is going to be people. It’s not going to be anything but that. We now have lots of ways that we’re going to be training people, making people better and picking better people.

Q: People looking to start their own business often consider a franchise. What advice do you have?
A: It’s kind of tough. There are probably some franchises you can get involved in and it’s the best thing in the world, based on timing. What does timing mean? When they’re hot, when they’re new.

Q: What’s your greatest strength as a businessman?
A: That tenacity. And risktaking, which is also the reason I’ve almost gone bankrupt three times. My greatest strength is my greatest weakness. And now that I understand that better, I hope to limit my weakness and increase my strength based on some experience at what the risk-taking should be, where I should stretch out, the buffers that I should have.

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0272 or Answers are edited for space and clarity. Send suggestions for a Q&A subject to

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