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How our franchise business coaches help keep your Mountain Mike’s Pizza business on track

An entrepreneur opening their first Mountain Mike’s pizza business doesn’t have to look far for help when they run across an unexpected challenge or an unanswered question. We have professional franchise business coaches (FBCs) on the team for franchisees to turn to in almost any situation.

Our FBCs know the Mountain Mike’s Pizza winning recipe inside and out. They have years of business experience and sometimes, as in the case of Nancy Soufi, have even been franchisees themselves.

Soufi co-owned a Mountain Mike’s Pizza location for 27 years before selling her share of the pizza business and taking a break to travel abroad (she spent three months in Madrid teaching English to children in refugee camps). When she got back to California, she found herself missing her old job, so she contacted the corporate office, which just so happened to be looking for a new FBC.

The fit is perfect.

“Because I’ve been where they are, I can talk to the franchise owners, give them different suggestions and different advice,” says Soufi. “We work together. We work as a team. I’m not here to tell them what to do, I’m here to help them. I want to increase their sales, give them peace of mind, ease their stress and help them in any way I can.”

Teamwork in tough times

Soufi advises franchise owners of about 30 restaurants in California, from San Jose to Bakersfield. She is typically on hand for a restaurant’s grand opening to help guide the system’s newest franchisees as they ramp up their pizza business, but she also advises some owners who’ve been with Mountain Mike’s Pizza for decades.

She has a rotating schedule to allow for one or two in-person visits a month to each restaurant,  but this became challenging when California issued stay-at-home orders. Still, it didn’t stop her from taking care of her people.

“During the shutdown, and as an essential business, we adopted all the COVID-19 related health and safety protocols that the MMP Franchise Support Center sent to us,” said Diana Benyamin, who owns franchises in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. “Nancy Soufi has been there for every step of our journey in Santa Cruz, especially during the quarantine. She has encouraged us and helped us. She is in contact with us daily, and we call her any time we have a problem. She answers us even after her working hours.”

Outside the pandemic, that can mean Soufi will offer practical help to a franchisee who’s changing credit card account information on a Sunday or picking up cheese from a nearby franchise to deliver to an owner unexpectedly running low. And during the pandemic, for Soufi, it meant calling every one of her franchisees every day — or even twice a day, if needed.

“It was a hard time,” Soufi says. “I wanted to make them comfortable. I wanted them to know I really appreciated every second they worked. I apologized for not being able to be there in person, but if they wanted to FaceTime or talk over the phone, I wanted to be there any time.

“I really do care for all of them. I feel like some of them are my kids or could be my brothers. I try to help them as much as I can,” she says.

Best advice for Mountain Mike’s Pizza owners

New or veterans, Mountain Mike’s Pizza franchisees can all benefit from what Soufi considers to be her most common piece of advice: Bring the passion.

“You have to have passion for what you’re doing,” she says. “This is very important. If you like the brand and love what you’re doing, you will be successful.”

Is there anything she’d say to a prospective buyer about being a Mountain Mike’s Pizza franchisee?

“I’d want to tell them you’re in good hands. You’re going to start working with a great family. It’s all about teamwork. Guests are your assets, and you — the franchisees — are our assets.”