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Opening a Domino’s Pizza Franchise: Info and Costs

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In the U.S., it’s almost impossible to not have heard of Domino’s. A staple of main streets and sports arenas alike, Domino’s has a wide reputation and a steady fan base across the country. If you’re curious about franchising, opening a Domino’s pizza franchise may be just the right endeavor.

In this guide, we’ll cover the details of opening a Domino’s franchise, including cost and fees, corporate support, framework, and more. Having all of this information will help you make an informed decision on whether owning a Domino’s franchise is the right move for you.

What to know about the Domino’s franchise

As one of the largest pizza chains in the country, Domino’s started as a single pizza shop in Michigan in 1960. The chain quickly grew, and it’s now a worldwide brand, with over 17,000 franchise units in the U.S. and across six continents in 90 international markets.

Although Domino’s started as just pizza, they’ve branched out quite a lot into sides and appetizers, such as buffalo wings, breadsticks, desserts, and more.

They’ve also integrated technology into their brand, enabling customers to easily order and then track their pizzas through the Domino’s app. They are often launching customer service initiatives, such as their new “Delivery Insurance,” which are popular with customers and add to creating a loyal customer base.

Many Domino’s franchisees own more than one Domino’s location—more than half, in fact. Domino’s very heavily favors internal candidates for opening up franchises, and generally puts more stringent requirements on external candidates. Additionally, franchise agreements last for 10 years.

One of the keys to finding the right restaurant franchise opportunity for you is understanding the corporate framework and expectations of a potential franchise. Be sure to learn as much as possible about this franchise—from costs to corporate support to your responsibilities—during the discovery phase, and be sure to read the franchise disclosure document carefully.

Does Domino’s make money?

Domino’s surpassed earnings expectations in 2019, with net sales of $1.15 billion, rising 6.3%. They also had a same-store sales growth of 3.4%, which indicates that many of their franchise locations are doing well. The number of Domino’s stores is growing, too—they added 141 net new restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone. Throughout 2019, their carry-out sales also grew almost 4%.

Types of Domino’s franchises

There are a few different types of Domino’s franchise stores that you can consider as you’re looking into Domino’s franchise opportunities. The type of store that you’d like to open will affect your initial investment and total cost as well its location.

  • Traditional store: These are retail outlets like the ones you are most used to—often in shopping centers or other retail hubs—that have ample parking for both customers and delivery drivers. They offer both in-store dining as well as carry-out and delivery.

  • Non-traditional store: These are the locations that you see within other, larger locations, such as those in malls, office buildings, stadiums, and more. These often only offer carry-out, though some do have a few seats inside.

  • Transitional stores: These locations are located in smaller markets and have more scaled-back, customized menus to meet this smaller client base. They begin as carry-out only stores, but may be transitioned to a traditional store once the market is proved out.

Training and education

Domino’s franchisees are required to complete a training course at Domino’s corporate headquarters: four days of Pizza Prep School as well as a Franchise Development Program that lasts five days. Franchisees will also undergo in-store training that will last from six to eight weeks.

The type and length of the training you will undergo depends on how much experience you have within Domino’s as a manager (including Domino’s Pizza High Performance University Crew and Manager Development Programs).

Domino’s franchise costs

How much is a Domino’s franchise? Costs come in a few different categories, including one-time, upfront costs as well as ongoing fees, such as the all-important franchise royalty fee. We’ll cover some of the major costs below, but keep in mind that these numbers reflect averages or estimates, and your area will have the most significant bearing on how much you’ll actually pay.

One-time costs

Initial investment: Initial investments will vary quite a bit based on your location and the type of Domino’s you want to open. On the low side, you can expect to invest around $145,000; on the high end, the total can climb above $500,000.

Initial franchising fee: The Domino’s initial franchise fee is $10,000 for building a new store or refranchising a closed store. Do note that Domino’s sometimes charges a “reservation fee” of $25,000. The franchise disclosure document that you receive will have more details on this additional fee.

Net worth: The current net-worth requirement is $250,000.

Cash liquidity: The liquid capital required is $75,000.

Ongoing fees

As with the vast majority of franchises, franchisees will be responsible for ongoing franchise fees. These include:

Royalty fee: The franchise royalty fee, which is the main source of revenue for franchisors, is about 5.5% of a store’s weekly gross sales.

Marketing and advertising fee: You can expect to pay around 3% to 4% of your store’s weekly gross sales for marketing and advertising supported by corporate, but this fee may be higher.

Be aware that fees don’t end here: You’ll have other various fees—such as real estate fees, inventory and supply chain, and fixtures—that you’ll either have to pay once or as ongoing fees. Again, carefully review your franchise agreement for the most updated, accurate picture of fees and expectations.

Franchise financing 

Many people who are looking to open a franchise location need franchise financing. This can cover both initial costs, such as the franchise fee and fixtures; real estate; and any other major costs.

Like many other franchises, Domino’s doesn’t offer direct or indirect financing for their franchisees, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you need capital to open a Domino’s franchise. Third-party lenders are often a good option, since they provide loans including equipment financing, term loans, personal loans for business, and more.

A strong financing profile, such as good credit and any other history in business, will help you secure a business loan. These credentials will also help determine how much capital you will receive.

Domino’s franchise pros and cons

As you’re considering the full picture of whether or not to open a Domino’s pizza franchise, you’ll want to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of franchising in general, as well as those specific to just the Domino’s brand. Let’s take a closer look.

Pros

  • Well-rated: Domino’s is often well-rated as a top pizza franchise to own.

  • Minority and veteran discount: Franchisees who are veterans, minorities, and women might have opportunities to receive significant discounts on the initial franchise fee and opening costs. This is especially true for internal candidates with a year of management experience.

  • Opening cost: Compared to some other fast-food franchises, Domino’s franchise costs are on the low side.

Cons

  • Absentee ownership: If you’re looking for a franchise that’ll let you be offsite, you won’t be able to do so with a Domino’s franchise.

  • Internal candidates: Domino’s gives heavy preference to internal candidates, which can make requirements more stringent if you don’t come from within the Domino’s management ecosystem.

  • Territory: Domino’s does not offer territory protection, which shields franchisees from other approved franchise locations coming into their market.

The bottom line

If you’re looking to buy a franchise, there are a lot of pros to Domino’s franchises. As with any franchise, you’ll want to be sure that you request the full franchise disclosure document so you know exactly what’s expected of you from Domino’s’ corporate headquarters as well as the most current fees you are paying.

Also note that Domino’s gives very strong preference to internal candidates who want to open a franchise. If you’re very interested in a Domino’s franchise as an outside candidate, you might want to consider starting within the company as a worker and then applying for a franchise from there. It’s a good way, too, to find out what the day-to-day routine at a Domino’s is really like.

Either way, be sure to speak to as many current and former Domino’s franchisees as possible during your discovery process to get a firsthand look at what your experience will be like. If you ultimately find that Domino’s isn’t the right franchise for you, there are plenty of other food franchises to explore, as well.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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How to Start a Niche Foam Party Business: Kid’s Party

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Foam parties have become popular and are great fun. If you didn’t know what a foam party is, it is a party or event where participants have fun dancing amidst foam created by a machine. The machine creates bubbles of foams that envelop the place, creating a fun environment at the party. If you are a business person, then a foam party business is a great idea.

You can get a foam machine and use it to throw foam parties and make money from it – relatively affordably.

photo credit: Roaring Foam

Can you make money through foam parties?

Yes, you can make money if you have a foam machine. Parties are common, and party-goers get bored with the usual stuff. A foam party is an innovative way of partying. It allows participants to let go, dancing in joy amidst the foam. This kind of party would be popular, and you can make money by offering a different experience to participants.

Creating a niche market

When you want to make money from a business, you will find that there are many others with the same idea. You need to do something different so you can succeed. This is where finding a niche market helps. A niche market is a specific category to which you can cater. Kids Foam Party is such a niche market. While there are many businesses catering to foam parties in general, foam parties for kids is a niche idea. This is a business idea that can help you succeed and make money.

Planning your business

Now that you have found your niche, it is important to plan your business before you get started. The first thing is to be clear with what you are offering. You are offering a foam party, which is an event where there is a dance floor filled with suds. When this party is offered for kids, they will enjoy it the most. They would not only dance but play in the foam and have a great time in general.

Taking proper safety precautions like setting the depth of the foam and insisting on face coverings ensure there are no problems.

What do you need?

It is obvious that you need a foam machine if you plan to run foam parties. A foam machine is not too expensive. However, you need not buy one immediately. Since you are starting off with a new business, you can get a foam machine for rent. This is a cheaper option allowing you to rent a machine and use it whenever you need it. This will allow you to do a pilot run of your party business.

If the response is good and you start getting many events, then you can consider buying your own foam machine. This would work out better for you.

Kid having fun in foam
photo credit: Roaring Foam

Planning and executing foam parties for kids

With these basic concepts in mind, it is time you start planning your parties. Since you have chosen the niche of foam parties for kids, you need to explore different options. You can have foam parties to celebrate birthdays. There can even be parties for no reason but just to allow kids to have fun. Explore different themes for foam parties and plan the events.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind while planning and executing foam parties for kids:

  • You need to find a venue to host the foam party. The ideal location is outdoors, so the foam does not create a mess inside. When the weather does not permit, you need to find indoor venues with a fairly big hall to organize the event.
  • Apart from the machine, you need the foam solution to create foam. You need to have sufficient foam machine solution to last the entire party.
  • Safety is a very important issue in foam parties. This is all the more important when you are dealing with kids. You need to have a clear plan for ensuring safety in your foam party. Communicate the plan with your clients so they are assured of the safety arrangements.
  • If you are doing the party indoors, you need a tarp to cover the floor and walls. It is important to cover up all the electric and other outlets to avoid them being damaged.
  • Placing plastic furniture is better since it won’t get damaged due to bubbles.
  • Safety arrangements for the kids are very important. Wearing shoes is a must. You can insist on goggles or face coverings to prevent allergies from the suds. You need to take adequate precautions to prevent kids from skidding and falling during the party. There is always a risk of accidents at a foam party, and you need to do everything to prevent it.
  • Preferably, get a waiver from guests to protect against liabilities.

With all this planning, you are now ready to execute foam parties and make neat profits from them.

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What open source-based startups can learn from Confluent’s success story

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It’s common these days to launch an enterprise startup based on an open source project, often where one the founders was deeply involved in creating it. The beauty of this approach is that if the project begins to gain traction, you have the top of the sales funnel ready and waiting with potential customers when you move to commercialize your business.

In the past, this often meant providing help desk-style services for companies who appreciated what the open source software could do but wanted to have the so-called “throat to choke” if something went wrong. Another way that these companies have made money has been creating an on-prem version with certain enterprise features, particularly around scale or security, the kind of thing that large operations need as table stakes before using a particular product. Today, customers typically can install on-prem or in their cloud of choice.

“A key aspect of these kinds of technology-developer data products is they have to have a combination of bottom-up adoption and top-down SaaS, and you actually have to get both of those things working well to succeed.” Jay Kreps

In recent years, the model has shifted to building a SaaS product, where the startup builds a solution that handles all the back-end management and creates something that most companies can adopt without all of the fuss associated with installing yourself or trying to figure out how to use the raw open source.

One company that has flirted with these monetization approaches is Confluent, the streaming data company built on top of the open source Apache Kafka project. The founding team had helped build Kafka inside LinkedIn to move massive amounts of user data in real time. They open sourced the tool in 2011, and CEO and co-founder Jay Kreps helped launch the company in 2014.

It’s worth noting that Confluent raised $450 million as a private company with a final private valuation in April of $4.5 billion before going public in June. Today, it has a market cap of over $22 billion, not bad for less than six months as a public company.

Last month at TC Sessions: SaaS, I spoke to Kreps about how he built his open source business and the steps he took along the way to monetize his ideas. There’s certainly a lot of takeaways for open source-based startups launching today.

Going upmarket

Kreps said that when they launched the company in 2014, there were a bunch of enterprise-size companies already using the open source product, and they needed to figure out how to take the interest they had been seeing in Kafka and convert that into something that the fledgling startup could begin to make money on.

“There have been different paths for different companies in this space, and I think it’s actually very dependent on the type of product [as to] what makes sense. For us, one of the things we understood early on was that we would have to be wherever our customers had data,” Kreps said.

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5 Hobbies That Make Money and How To Get Started

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Money-making hobbies range from walking dogs to blogging to creating and selling homemade goods.

Read about these profitable hobbies, as well as what you can expect to make.

1. Driving

Enjoy cruising around town? Give others a ride and make money by becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. Uber drivers make an estimated $5 to $20 an hour, and Lyft drivers earn about $5 to $25 an hour, according to SideHusl.com, a review site for money-making platforms. Note that earnings depend in part on when, where and how often you drive.

To become an Uber or Lyft driver, you must be the minimum age to drive in your area. You must also meet specific requirements related to your driver’s license, insurance and vehicle. Learn about these exact requirements in our guide to becoming an Uber or Lyft driver.

If you enjoy driving but don’t want people in your car, look into becoming a full-service Instacart shopper, which involves shopping for and delivering groceries. Uber Eats and Amazon Flex also offer opportunities to deliver food and other products to homes. Each of these gigs has its own set of requirements, though, so do your research before signing up.

2. Caring for dogs

If your favorite hobbies involve belly rubs, smooches and long walks in the neighborhood, try Wag or Rover. These apps enable you to walk, dog-sit or board pups overnight for money.

Rover and Wag work in similar ways. They both require you to be at least 18 years old, pass a background check and meet other requirements. For both, you create a profile, set your own rates, and use the app to choose which gigs to take. (See our Rover vs. Wag comparison for more specific sign-up and payment information, as well as how the apps vary in the services they allow.)

On both apps, the amount you earn depends on what you charge, how much you receive in tips, and which types of services you provide. As you would guess, boarding typically pays more than walking a dog, for example. But both companies take a bite from your earnings. Rover charges a 20% service fee per booking, and Wag takes 40%.

3. Blogging

If you have a blog that gets decent traffic, try making money from it. Blogging for money can take a few forms. One way is to host ads on your blog through a service like Google AdSense, which is free. Here’s the gist, according to Google: If your website is approved, then you choose where on it you would like ads to appear. Then advertisers bid to place ads where you designated, with the winner’s ads appearing in that spot. (People make money on YouTube through the same service.)

You earn some money when a reader clicks on one of these ads — but determining exactly how much you’ll make is tricky. Explore our guide to Google AdSense to learn more about it.

You could also try writing sponsored content, meaning companies pay you to write about their products. Or, become an affiliate through the Amazon Associates program. That involves linking to an Amazon product from your content and earning a commission when one of your readers clicks through and buys that item. Learn more about how to make money on Amazon through your blog.

4. Posting to social media

Love posting to social media and building a following? On Instagram and TikTok, many users earn money through sponsored photos and videos. Say you regularly post about your at-home exercise regimen. You may agree to post about a retailer’s resistance bands or sweatpants in exchange for cash or free products. (Sponsorships and affiliate marketing are also ways to make money from podcasts, in case that’s one of your hobbies.)

Sponsors may reach out to you to set up this kind of arrangement; you could contact them; or, in some cases, you may consider working through a third-party agency.

The type of content you post, as well as your number of followers and their engagement, will likely impact sponsorship opportunities. Learn more about how to make money on Instagram or on TikTok.

5. Selling your wares

There’s a marketplace for just about everything. So if you’re skilled in a hobby, consider trying to profit from it. For example, if you create jewelry or have an eye for thrifting quality clothes, try selling those items at a local flea market or yard sale, or on a neighborhood website such as Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace.

Or look into an online market that could attract a wider range of buyers. Consider Etsy for crafts or Poshmark if you want to sell clothes online.

These websites charge fees that will cut into your profits. This guide to selling stuff online will help you think through the math and determine if your hobby can become a viable business.

What to consider before making money from your hobbies

Before taking any of the routes listed above, keep in mind that this work will likely affect your taxes. See our guide to self-employment taxes, which includes expenses you can deduct, and how to avoid penalties.

And as you aim to profit from your hobbies, consider whether you will continue to enjoy them through this new business lens. Let’s say knitting helps you relax. Will it continue to do so if you’re pricing, promoting and shipping your homemade wares through an online marketplace? And that blogging hobby: Will writing still be fun or cathartic if you’re occasionally throwing in a sponsored post?

It may be hard to answer these questions until you give the money-making approach a shot. But it’s worth reflecting on the potential trade-offs as you think about turning your hobby into a job.

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