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How to Succeed as a Multi-Unit Franchisee: Robby Basati, Mountain Mike’s Pizza

Basati is the owner of 19 Mountain Mike’s Pizza locations. Here’s how he grew a successful franchise portfolio.

Robby Basati entered the franchising industry when he was just 20 years old. After hearing about Mountain Mike’s Pizza from a friend who worked as a delivery driver for the brand, Basati fell in love with the pizza concept and decided to invest as a franchisee when he was still in college. 

That was in 2007, just before the Great Recession. While it was a rough start, Basati says he was able to get his first location off the ground, and after opening a second unit in 2014, he was officially “off to the races.” Over the years, Basati has opened 19 Mountain Mike’s Pizza units, expanding his footprint in California’s Central Valley, Monterey Coast and Inland Empire areas.

Basati says what makes him successful as a multi-unit franchise owner really comes down to the ability to build a motivated team. “The key to my success is the overall grit of my team and our willingness to keep going and create a better life for ourselves, our families and our coworkers,” he said.

For those who want to follow Basati’s path to multi-unit franchise ownership, he says they need to first and foremost be passionate about what they are investing in. 

“The first thing prospects need to do is make sure the concept is right for them and ensure they can see themselves in the business,” he said. “From there, it is all about putting in the hard work and keeping a positive attitude. These things are not always easy, and you are not always going to succeed, but if you keep at it long enough and stay true to yourself, good days will follow.”

To find the perfect franchise opportunity, franchisees need to master the art of due diligence. For example, Basati notes his research process was very hands-on with Mountain Mike’s Pizza. 

“I had acquaintances and friends who were working with the brand both as employees and as franchisees, so I had an in-depth look at the back of the house, front of the house and operations in general,” he said. “By doing thorough research, I was able to determine if the opportunity would fit my personality. I consider myself a people person, and this brand is all about building community and personal relationships, so making sure those values aligned was a big part of my due diligence process.”

If franchisors are trying to find someone like Basati, he says they need to offer more than just a winning concept — they also need a robust support infrastructure.

“The number one thing I look for in a franchise is a strong support system,” he said. “The actual support needs to be personalized as well. It can’t just be a generalized, cookie-cutter system. Franchisees or prospective franchisees will have different strengths and weaknesses, so the corporate support needs to be customized to each owner. In my case, our system absolutely embraced me, and the leadership team mentored me in many of the areas I needed help in. That personalized support will ensure multi-unit owners are excited about your brand.”

For more information, check out the full video interview above.