Doing the little things that make a big difference

When my father-in-law, Jim Grote, started Donatos in 1963, his guiding principles were based on The Golden Rule: “Treat others the way that you want to be treated.” He created a culture that is pervasive here today.

He built a business where you could bring your principles to work. Jim strived for consistency, as he knew this operational foundation — combined with an outstanding product — would translate into a great experience for his customers.

Whether your company has one location or offices across the country and around the world, paying attention to the details, building relationships and making a difference in the lives of the people in the communities that you serve goes a long way in determining the success your business will achieve.

We have found in our 55-plus years serving pizza that being a good neighbor and caring both about those we serve and those we employ is an incredibly important foundation to build upon. This can range from the upkeep of your property to being involved in local events and looking for ways to help those around you in times of need, to providing meaningful jobs, income and an opportunity for advancement to members of your community.

It also translates through your attitude toward service to your customer.

Hear the voices of customers

Listening to customer feedback is such an important way to become even better at what you do and to be able to improve necessary things at the local level. This may come through online surveys and transaction-based follow-up, casual conversations with guests in your building or paying attention to what is being said about you on social media.

The best way to know where your business stands is to listen to the voices of your customers. They also like to hear directly from you, whether through personal interactions or social media feedback.

There is no better advertising than hearing your customers positively share your story and your culture with others.

Reach into the community

Another important aspect of being the best that you can be in your community is by leaving the four walls of your building and getting out in the community.

If you are in a sales-related business, you want to investigate all the potential opportunities in your market or territory. Beyond that, though, being a good neighbor means connecting with those around you and not just waiting for them to come to you. You can find out a lot about your community just by changing up the route that you drive to work every day, taking a walk around the block where you are located, visiting other businesses in your area or volunteering your time at an area nonprofit.

While sales are important for the viability of any business, focusing on the details, doing the right thing and treating others the way you want to be treated will go a long way toward making you the best on your block.


Tom Krouse is the president and CEO of Donatos Pizza. Tom has over three decades of restaurant industry experience, countless civic contributions and an award-winning career in marketing and management.