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MOD Pizza Tale Shows Power of Culture, at RFDC Panel


MOD Pizza's founder believes in believing in people, which can be a risk but often pays off.

We’ve all heard tales about creating the right culture at our companies. But the story of Cory tops them all, as told by MOD Pizza’s founder at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference today.

As Scott Svenson tells it, a hiring manager there took a risk on Cory, despite his showing up at a job interview wearing a prison monitoring device on his ankle, after serving three stints in jail. Another manager questioned the move, but Cory was hired anyway and turned out so well he was eventually promoted to general manager. Shortly afterward, however, a $2,200 deposit went missing.

Cory was immediately suspected, but after talking to him MOD decided to trust him that the lost deposit was a mistake, not a theft. Cory went on to become one of MOD Pizza’s most valued and influential employees, rising to lead trainer among other roles, Svenson said.

Fast forward to a MOD Pizza all-employee meeting, in which people were asked to tell what MOD means to them. A big man with a bald head and all the tattoos you might expect from his history, Cory spoke last, and turned his back on management to face his peers. “MOD means everything to me, and none of you guys are going to fxxx it up,” he declared, according to Svenson. That’s the kind of culture and message money can’t buy.

Svenson and two other CEOs, Phil Greifeld of Captain D’s and James White of Jamba Juice, talked about brand transformation at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, which continues until Wednesday at noon. The annual conference draws more than 2,400 restaurant operators and financiers, and is sponsored by the Restaurant Finance Monitor, sister publication to Franchise Times.

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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