Shifflett finds success as Domino’s franchisee

Memphis Standout profile for The Memphis Daily News

Sept. 13, 2013

When he was a teenager, as happens with teens throughout the country, Jason Shifflett went looking for a job.

That first part-time job for the Harding Academy student was at a Domino’s Pizza, the first national pizza company to roll out dough in Olive Branch, where he lived.

“One day when my mother was getting her hair cut, I went to the Domino’s Pizza store and peeked in and saw that there were a lot of people that were younger that were working in the store, and I decided to apply.”

Too young to drive at the time, he began by answering phones and making pizzas, “doing everything inside the store that you could,” he said. “Really just fell in love with the business.”

Right out of high school in 1994, Shifflett moved from Olive Branch to Oxford, Miss., for college at the University of Mississippi and a course set for pre-med with intentions of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon. He stayed on with his boss, Diane Barrentine, a franchisee who also owned a store in the college town, as well as in Southaven and Senatobia.

“It was a natural fit that I could put myself through school working at Domino’s while studying to go to med school at some point.”

Barrentine would eventually need a manager in her Senatobia location, an hour from school. To make it more challenging, the store was underperforming at the time, unable to turn a profit, which is what a manager’s bonus is tied to. To make it worth his while, Shifflett approached Barrentine with an offer.

“I said, ‘Let’s make a deal: You pay me a fair salary … but give me 100 percent of the profits for the first year.’”

Faced with the prospects of selling or closing the store, she accepted. He managed to turn the store around while still a full-time biology student at Ole Miss, and brought in $1,800 profit in the first four weeks, a trend which continued . . . (read more)