Mike Schlater: From Pioneering Pizza Purveyor to President of Master Franchise
LEAMINGTON, Ontario, May 12 /CNW/ -- Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ), the recognized world leader in pizza delivery, this month celebrates its 25th anniversary in Canada and Mike Schlater, who opened the first Domino's Pizza store outside the United States on May 12, 1983, is celebrating his homecoming after recently being named president of the Master Franchise.
Today, Domino's Pizza stores throughout Canada will be donating $2.50 per order to local charities in celebration of the 25th anniversary.
Founded in 1960 in the U.S. college town of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Domino's Pizza grew slowly but steadily throughout the United States in its first 20 years, but it was a pioneering young entrepreneur who saw the potential to deliver pizza to hungry customers in Canada. Mike Schlater, originally from Ohio, opened his first store in Winnipeg, thus turning Domino's Pizza into an international enterprise, which today has more than 8,600 stores in more than 55 countries.
In 2008, Domino's Pizza of Canada Ltd. is a system comprised of 140 individual franchise owners, who operate a combined 280 stores. Domino's Pizza has a presence in every province, and two of the three territories. The northern-most store in the Western Hemisphere is in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. Delivery personnel there can often be seen making deliveries via snowmobile when the weather dictates. The store that lays claim to being the "most remote" Domino's Pizza store in Canada is in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Schlater, who operated stores in Canada for several years before becoming a multi-store franchisee with stores across the U.S., recently returned to Canada after being named President of Domino's Pizza Canada Ltd., which is now based in Leamington, Ontario.
"I feel like I've come full circle," said Schlater. "It's hard to believe that 25 years ago, I was just opening that first store in Winnipeg and now, I've got the pleasure of leading this great company into the next quarter century. We've had our ups and downs over the years, but the strength of our system is in our business model and in our franchisees. I see great things in store for us."
Schlater noted that Domino's Pizza is looking to build momentum by opening at least 75 stores within the next five years, with the goal of having at least 350 Domino's Pizza stores operating by the end of 2013, the year in which Domino's Pizza of Canada will be celebrating its 30th anniversary.