Adam Kurena is a Donatos franchise partner who originally lived in Ohio and later moved down south to Savannah, Georgia. Since partnering with Donatos in 2019, he has learned how we work together to support his personal values on a day-to-day basis. When considering becoming a franchise partner, he wanted to work in an environment with simplified operational systems, a strong work-life balance, the chance to build meaningful customer relationships, and above all, serve the people around him. In 2023, Adam is doing just that.
Primed from the Past
Adam’s interest in the food industry started early on as he took a restaurant job in college and stayed in the field for the next 20+ years. He eventually worked his way up to manage as a partner at a pizza restaurant for several years, but he felt that his time with his family was lost in the crazy hours and busy schedule that accompanied the role.
Adam decided it was time for a change and was drawn to the concept of owning his own business in an industry he was already familiar with. He sought out franchising, a career that allowed him to work for himself while building personal relationships with customers, getting quality time with his family, and giving back to his local community. He’d heard about Donatos — and we checked all his boxes. “It was the Donatos core values that made me choose them over others,” said Adam. “Coming from Ohio, I was familiar with the product and its quality and knew it was a great opportunity to bring the business down south and help it grow. It was kind of a no-brainer.”
A Values-Based Lifestyle
As a franchise partner, Adam immediately felt the impact of support from the leadership teams at Donatos. The ability to work for himself and experience the benefits of the local community franchise feel while receiving high-level support made the perfect recipe for success. All Donatos franchise partners have access to a robust support system that takes on a myriad of forms, from budget development and marketing support to business consultation to operational feedback and more. “The core structure is amazing. Having people helping you who’ve been with the company for decades speaks volumes in terms of retainment. From the top down, the leaders are out in the communities serving others. This is not a one-off business role, everyone truly has a passion for what they’re doing,” Adam commented.
The communities of Chatham County, Georgia have certainly felt the impact of service from Donatos. Adam makes it a point to help out many local groups and people in need. When the pandemic began, his franchise business worked with “Meals for Medical”, offering discounted food to EMS, first responders, and hospital staff. His Donatos location hosts donation nights to raise funds for homeless and struggling veterans, and additionally works with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, and other animal-based groups.
When the pandemic restrictions lessened and classes resumed, Adam and his team sprang into action again. Over a three-month period, they spent three days a week going to 2-3 schools per day, feeding teachers and all the school’s staff. Adam states that overall, they’ve been able to serve 75 percent of all schools in Chatham County.
“My biggest passion is just helping people. I believe that when you do right by others they will do right by you, and that’s proven to be true,” Adam notes. “Donatos and its values and leaders allow me to live that out while enjoying my work every day.”
A Future of Growth
Donatos has had upward growth trends over the years, with more than 440 current locations. Adam looks forward to the continued success of his franchise business as it continues to reach new people and gain loyal customers. “We’ve almost doubled our sales since opening and have also seen an increase in transactions.” As for developing additional restaurants, plans are in the works for two new Donatos locations. “We’re currently at the build-out phase for the first location, which we hope to open around the end of May this year,” says Adam. “Our goal is to grow as large as possible, expanding into other areas of Savannah. We’re in the process of looking at several other store locations.”
Just four years after opening, Adam has developed his Donatos business successfully and continues to aim high. With operational support, proven systems for efficiency, and our emphasis on values, Donatos is proud to work with franchise partners like Adam who embody the kind of business leadership that truly makes a difference. His advice to others considering becoming franchise partners? “Donatos has been a great company for us to work with. It’s a great opportunity, and I can’t say enough about how what we do as partners show a direct reflection of Donatos as a business.”