Pizza Tiger by Tom Monaghan: Book Review

I am a HUGE fan of successful entrepreneurs in every industry.

I study them whenever I can.

About six months ago I was shopping at a local thrift store and I found the book “Pizza Tiger” by Tom Monaghan sitting on the bookshelf.

It had a price tag of 25 cents on it, and it looked interesting, so I decided to buy it.

I absolutely loved this book.

I read it in just a few days.

I couldn’t put it down.

Reading Tom’s story was extremely humbling and inspiring.

I believe every entrepreneur, regardless of what industry they are in, should buy a copy of this book and study it frequently.

Overall, I give it a 10 of 10.

In case you don’t know, Tom Monaghan is the founder of Domino’s Pizza.

His rags to riches story is nothing short of fascinating.

Learning about his setbacks, struggles and defeats kept me in awe and inspired me at the same time.

If you’re trying to build a long-term, successful business and create wealth, this is a book you should definitely check out.

The book is well written, organized and easy to follow.

It’s simply a story of his journey to success.

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Here are a few quotes from the book that I really enjoyed.

Each quote is in bold and italics.

After each quote, I will share my own two cents on it.

# 1 To me, the real substance of life and work is in a constant battle to excel.  

We should all do our best and strive to achieve more.  We should all set goals and try to get better every single day.  We should all pick a profession where we can use our own natural talents and abilities.

# 2 Everything we established in our first twenty years was merely a foundation.  The rest, the entire superstructure of the company, was built in six short years.

It takes time to build the foundation of a successful business.  Good things take time.  It might not take you 20 years to do that, but it will take a while.  You won’t build a successful business until you have built a strong foundation for it.

# 3 Life is too precious to be wasted in doing work you don’t love.

Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.

# 4 Nobody can succeed in business without the help of friends.

Surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you.  Surround yourself with people who are more talented than you are.  Success is a team sport.

# 5 Each man is responsible for his own actions.

Take 100% responsibility for your own life and your own future.  No one cares as much about your future as you do.  Never pass the buck or blame. Man up or woman up.

# 6 The work schedule is our bible.  

Create a work schedule for your business and stick to it.  Be disciplined with your time.  Take an hour or two and plan out your time each week.  Know what times you will work and what activities you need to do during that time.

# 7 Success was merely a matter of time and effort.

Good things take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Nothing worth accomplishing is fast, free or easy.  Have some patience and stay the course.

# 8 You don’t get what you expect unless you inspect.  

I learned this lesson in the Army myself.  Whatever you decide is important, inspect it.  This lets people know you are serious.  Besides, if you don’t inspect things from time to time, you won’t really know how things stand.

# 9 I’ve always believed that the best plan is something you came up with through trying and failing.  

Learn from each mistake.  Learn as you go.  Take each experience and learn something from it.  Real world experience always trumps theory.  As you do things more often, you will naturally improve at it and find ways to be more effective and more efficient.

best plan meme# 10 The customer is boss.

The customer is always king.  They might not be right 100% of the time, but only they decide if your product or service is worth buying.

# 11 … There’s nothing wrong with making a mistake, providing you learn from it.  

Successful people fail their way to success.  They aren’t afraid to fail temporarily.  They learn from everything they do.

# 12 Big obligations make good leaders.

Good leaders embrace responsibility.  They don’t run from it.

# 13 The only irreparable mistake in business is to run out of cash.

Cash flow is king.  You must always have money coming into your business and you must be smart about how you spend it and when you spend it.

# 14 I found I could do a much better job when I had fewer people reporting to me.

Empower people.  Never have more than three to five people reporting to you.  You can’t work with more people than that effectively.

# 15 Don’t neglect the goose that lays the golden egg.  

Always keep the main thing the main thing.

# 16 My philosophy of management is to let executives do their job their way.  

Surround yourself with good people and stay out of their way.  Don’t try to micro-manage them.


Domino’s Pizza was founded in 1960 in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  Tom Monaghan invested $900 to buy the first store.  It took six years before he turned it into a franchise.  By 1978 they had close to 200 stores.  As of 2016, they have approximately 11,000 stores.  They are one of the largest and most respected pizza chains in the world.  Read more about them here.


Tom is a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author.  He owned the Detroit Tigers from 1983 to 1992.  He sold is share of Domino’s Pizza in 1998.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan.  He’s been married to his wife, Marjorie, since 1962.  You can read more about Tom’s story here.


You can order a copy of “Pizza Tiger” right here on Amazon.


In summary, “Pizza Tiger” by Tom Monaghan is one of my favorite entrepreneurial books of all time.

Reading about the history of Domino’s Pizza was amazing.

If you’re trying to build a successful business of your own, in any industry, this book should be studied on a regular basis.

What are your thoughts?  Have you read “Pizza Tiger” before?

If so, how did you like it?

What is your favorite quote listed above?

Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day.


Domino’s Pizza is a registered trademark owned by the company.

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2 thoughts on “Pizza Tiger by Tom Monaghan: Book Review

  1. Greg Boudonck

    Dominoes Pizza is one of the most successful pizza franchises there is. What better person to learn from?

    I learned a lot just by reading his quotes. I also think I would enjoy reading this book, so I am adding it to my list of to read books.

    Some of these quotes really resonated with me. Like:

    #5: We are the only one responsible. I have learned to quit blaming others and to look in the mirror. By fixing my own screw ups, others fall into place.

    #11: Mistakes will happen…but did we learn?

    And Tom’s story shows we can build a dynasty with very little. It is the management and hard work that builds the castle.


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