Raj Lehl wanted to be an entrepreneur, just like his father, who had started businesses on two continents and eventually settled in Canada. Thinking about his own prospects, Lehl came to California in search of his big opportunity.
He found it in Mountain Mike’s Pizza. “People would talk about Mountain Mike’s Pizza — the pizza, for sure — but also how involved in the community it is,” Lehl said. “Running my own Mountain Mike’s has been a great way to connect with the community. There are many repeat customers and I’ve gotten to know them.” Today Lehl operates two Mountain Mike’s and is in the process of opening two more.
Lehl acquired his first Mountain Mike’s franchise in Lake Forest, California, in 2017 — just as co-CEO/Owners Chris Britt and Ed St. Geme were coming on board. “They bring a franchisee-first mentality,” Lehl said. “They allow us to operate, give feedback and succeed.”
And they’re always ready to help. “There’s a lot to learn about the business and the brand, but you get the support you need,” Lehl said, thinking about getting started in the business. “Bigger brands have many more layers (of management) but I always get a fast response from Mountain Mike’s leadership.”
Would Lehl make the same decision to start a Mountain Mike’s Pizza? “Yes, I would,” he said. “And from a financial standpoint there’s definitely an upside.”
Lehl’s father is proud. “My dad was very supportive when I told him I was moving to California, and excited for me when I told him about Mountain Mike’s,” Lehl tells us.
And now the second-generation entrepreneur is ready to help support new franchisees. “Use all of the support tools from corporate,” Lehl advises. “Get to know your customers and get to know your community.”
After a moment’s thought about being in the Mountain Mike’s Pizza system, he says: “We all support each other, it’s like a family.”
No one knows that better than Raj Lehl.
Learn more about joining Raj and the rest of the Mountain Mike’s family by clicking here.