This past Sunday, I heard a guest speaker get up and tell about his experience with Donatos Pizza. He was involved with a very large youth camp and was elected ”chairman of acquiring of food”. So of course the first thing he thought would be suitable for everyone would be pizza.
So he begins the process of getting estimates from local pizza restaurants for SEVENTY FIVE pizzas. He called Dominos, Pizza Hut, and Papa Johns. Seeing that all the prices were pretty competitive he called a place called Donatos Pizza. He told the store manager that he was getting estimates for seventy five pizzas. The manager asked who he had gotten estimates from and the “chairman” told him who he had called.
The manager said, “I guess they gave you an estimate of around $_______.” The chairman was amazed.
“How did you know?”
“Well that’s about my cost to make the pizza. If you’re just going to choose on price, we won’t be able to compete.”
He asked why he was so much higher. The manager told him, the quality of the pizza is much higher. First, he told the “chairman” they use real cheese!
“What? They don’t use real cheese?”
The manger went on, “Plus we use 100 pepperonis on each pizza. The sauce is not from a can. We make it fresh every day. We spend a considerable amount of time and resources to ensure that our employees can cook our pizza to the standards our company expects. “
They moved from talking about the pizzas to the event. They spoke for a few minutes, then the “chairman” told him that he really wanted to do business with Donatos. “Is it possible to maybe leave a few pepperonis off and skim on some sauce, so his cost would be lower so they can do business? “
“Unfortunately not”, he said. There are going to be roughly 300 people at your event. Most of them have never heard of Donatos. They will try our dumbed down pizza, assume that’s the way all of them are and never have a Donatos again. That’s not what we want. What we want is when people try our pizza, to fall so in love with it, they never want to eat any other pizza.“
The manager of the store realized he was turning down a lot off business. He also understood the real COST of the 75 pizzas. And he refused to compromise his principles of quality.
The speaker wasn’t scheduled to speak this past Sunday. So when he was asked to speak, he couldn’t wait to tell this story. The three different services he spoke at totaled to around 1200 people. Everyone was able to hear how their store REFUSED to serve a compromise.
As a leader, what are the principles that you should REFUSE to compromise?
Just a side note this whole week, the Donatos parking lot has been FULL!!