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a blog by Chris Barrow


Dinner with a client last night in Farnham and, for a change, we decided to walk past Pizza Express and through the door of their sister company, Zizzis – their brand new restaurant opened in the town just a few days ago. You have heard me say before that, when traveling, I mostly eat with good quality franchise businesses, so as to guarantee quality of food and delivery. I have even joined the loyalty card club at Pizza Express! As my client and I discussed his business, we concluded that he already has a hugely successful practice which has plateaued in terms of profitability – and yet there is almost an absence of internal marketing systems – because the clinicians and the support team have never had it so good. We estimate that profits would rise (maybe double) if they were following systems. We called over the restaurant manager and, after explaining that we were not mystery shoppers, asked what systems existed at Zizzis? He explained that the management receive formal training and that there is ” a big book” that explains exactly how to run a Zizzis franchise. Further, he explained that all staff – chefs (clinical) and servers (support team) receive on-site training at another successful branch before they are “let loose” on the local customers. This made me think about dental practice: 1. is there a “big book” in your practice? Answer is always “no”; 2. do the clinical team get on site training? Answer is always “no”; the support team get on site training? Answer is always “yes” but there is no “big book” – it’s just word of mouth. Again, I see the need for systems and for a franchise approach to dentistry. The fusilli Gorgonzola was wonderful.

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