I was a cleaner at Domino's who spoke no English – now I run my own store… here's how I did it | The Sun

A DOMINO's cleaner who spoke no English quickly soared to success – and now runs his own store.

Alok Yadav has revealed how lists of toppings taught him words such as "chicken" and "anchovies" and how to pronounce them, having arrived in England only able to say "please" and "thank you".

His dedicated toil led to a rise through the Domino's ranks – culminating now in being given his own franchise outlet of the pizza chain, in Swaffham in Norfolk.

He has also found love working for the firm, first meeting his partner – and now wife – Rachel when they worked together at the Fareham branch in Hampshire.

Domino's has hailed 36-year-old Alok as one of their "Homegrown Heroes".

He initially took a job at the chain 16 years ago as an in-store cleaner while studying for a year-long placement at university

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Alok, originally from India, arrived in Britain in 2007 and only knew basic phrases such as "please" and "thank you".

But after starting work at Domino's as a cleaner he devoted hours to scrutinising the menus and learning how to pronounce words such as "chicken", "anchovies" and "pineapple".

Even when his shifts had finished, he collared his colleagues for role play exercises which helped him master the phrase: "Thank you for choosing Domino’s pizza – my name is Alok, how can I help?"

The Delhi native excelled answering the phone and taking orders and was soon promoted to store manager, running a Domino's branch in Portsmouth's North End district.

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And this week he realised another dream through the company’s Homegrown Heroes programme, opening his very own franchise in Swaffham, Norfolk.

He said: "I knew I had to learn the language quickly if I wanted to progress, but it was really hard.

“It was tricky when someone ordered a ‘Meatilicious’ pizza because I couldn’t say it.

“As I was young, I’d only heard of onions and tomatoes, so I had to learn the names of the other toppings and how to say them.

“It wasn’t easy. My colleagues were great in helping me learn and I was determined to do it as I really enjoyed working in Domino’s.

“We spent hours in the flat above the shop going through the phone greeting and working on the toppings.

“So that was how I learned English.

“I then had more confidence and I quickly rose from team member to supervisor, to store manager all within a year.”

But he yearned to run his own franchise – and seized his opportunity as part of the company's Homegrown Heroes programme.

Alok said: “I was always in contact with my ex-colleagues at Domino’s so when I heard that Domino’s was on-boarding new franchise partners through the Homegrown Heroes programme I just had to get involved.

“It was special for me – working at Domino’s gave me the business acumen that has served me so well over the years.

“It’s a great place to build a career and provided me with opportunities and valuable skills.

“It was my first love as they gave me my first job, so I have really come full circle now.

“It’s been an incredible journey for me and I couldn’t be happier.”

Dan Maund, franchise development manager at Domino’s UK & Ireland, said: “Alok was one of the first people to apply to the Homegrown Heroes programme, reinforcing his commitment to the brand.

“His entrepreneurial mindset and determination that was developed through his time at Domino’s has empowered him to open several successful businesses over the years.

“We’re proud to have Alok come the full circle and open his first Domino’s store in Swaffham.”

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Domino’s programme offers driven, entrepreneurial people with experience working in the company network the chance to own their own store and become a franchise partner.

The scheme requires brand experience as well as a minimum of £70,000 to get started, with the process taking between six and 14 months.

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