This week on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Chuck Thorp — CEO and majority owner of DoubleDave’s Pizzaworks — shares the story of how this company of humble beginnings has grabbed a slice of the pie in the ultra-competitive pizza industry. On the podcast, Chuck recounts this amazing journey, which, for him personally, started in a pizza delivery car.
From pizza delivery to pizza boss, Thorp has been delivering the goods, which is attributed to his passion for his product and his customers. The story of DoubleDave’s and Chuck Thorp has inspiring takeaways for entrepreneurs of all industries, including hiring tips, what drove Chuck to the franchise model, and one single invaluable piece of advice that you won’t want to miss.
The EnTRUEpreneurship Takeaway:
"My parents would say I started as an entrepreneur as a very young guy, but I think, later in life, it was the people I worked for that probably mentored me more into the entrepreneur lifestyle."
"Never compromise what your gut tells you."
"Pizza is a game of pennies — if you drop a pepperoni on the floor, it's costly. If you make too much dough and you have to throw it away the next day, you're throwing money out the back door."
"[When evaluating quality franchisees], I look for 'mayors of our communities' — extroverted people who are able to identify the top-25 movers and shakers in their 3-mile radius, whether that be a football coach, a pastor, a youth leader, or whoever else that might be."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
0:58: Chuck recounts his start as an entrepreneur — which partly involves selling rather unusual Christmas presents to his classmates — and his motivation behind driving his own business.
2:10: Chuck shares the story of how he first met “Double Dave” — David Davydd Miller — and how he quickly went from park ranger to delivery boy to store manager.
5:26: Thorp expands on how Miller finally convinced him to manage a DoubleDave’s restaurant and the friction that this decision caused between Thorp and his own parents.
7:05: Chuck tells Wes what it was like owning his own pizza restaurant right out of college and shares the secret to his early success.
10:02: Chuck discusses his promotion from store manager to Vice President of Operations and his need to scale quickly, which ultimately drove him towards the franchise model. Chuck also discusses the advantages and difficulties of the franchise model and how he best prepared for that transition.
14:14: Thorp retells his and Dave’s most critical mistake as they continued to scale DoubleDave’s Pizzaworks, and all of the fallout that came from the bad decision, which involved cutting nearly half of their underperforming franchisees.
18:08: Now that the pizzeria is once again moving towards success, Chuck reveals his top-3 criteria for finding the right franchisee and discusses what’s next for the thriving restaurant.
20:45: Chuck delivers one invaluable piece of advice that he wishes he would have known when he first started his entrepreneurial journey years ago.
Bullet List of Resources –
Double Dave’s Pizzeria
Chuck Thorp Personal Accounts