How I got here

24 March 2005 by
How I got here

At just 28, Jim Dove owns four Domino's Pizza stores in and around Birmingham. Not bad going for a guy whose main reason for studying cookery at school was that the class was packed with girls.

No doubt he learnt a fair bit about the opposite sex, but studying cookery also helped him discover a love for hospitality's service ethic. As a result, Dove went on to take a BTEC in hotel and catering and passed his City & Guilds 706/12 at college, and was soon working in local hotels and bars. The opportunity arose to move from his Shropshire home to Coventry to rent with his brother, and in 1996 he went for an interview at a Domino's store in the city. The brand was in its infancy in the UK at the time and Dove admits he didn't know much about it. Impressed during the interview, he decided to become a manager-in-training at the store. Later in the year he became store manager in Nuneaton, followed by management positions in Oxford, Rugby and Shirley. At 25 he was promoted to corporate area supervisor, and two years later corporate area manager, a move that equipped him with the management and business skills he now relies on. To reward his commitment, Domino's directors then offered him the rare chance to be a joint venture partner in Birmingham - essentially a franchisee. Dove took on ownership of four stores in the area, with the company taking a majority stake in the venture, enabling him to make the deals at a significant discount. Only a handful of such deals are currently operated in the UK, but Dove hasn't been fazed, although he admits to being nervous. "When you're an area manager you tend to think of the units you oversee as yours," says Dove. "But this really is my business now, with all the associated risk. It's a very different proposition when you've got to put your own hand in your pocket." Doves's parting advice is always listen to colleagues. "It pays to get everyone involved, no matter how junior, as it's often where some of the best ideas come from," he says. Career highlights 1996 Starts career with Domino's as trainee manager in Coventry 2001 Corporate area supervisor 2003 Corporate area manager 2004 Joint venture partner, Birmingham
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