With no job and little education, Tom Potter borrowed the money to launch his Eagle Boys Pizza brand and it was a risk that paid off. He now operates 145 stores nationally and sold the brand in New Zealand after building the business to 40 stores. Eagle Boys remains one of a few wholly Australian owned and originated fast food companies whose expertise is exported globally.
In 1994 Tom accepted a scholarship to attend Harvard Business School and graduated Valedictorian. Today, Eagle Boys is expanding into Asia and the company’s $100M plus turnover looks set to rise with the dough.
Tom Potter is Managing Director and founder of Australian owned Eagle Boys Dial-A-Pizza and in his early 40’s heads an expanding $100 million plus pizza empire across Australia and Asia.
Tom left school at 15 to become an apprentice baker but found himself jobless at 23. In 1987 he borrowed the money to open his first pizza shop in Albury, New South Wales. Today he has built his business to over 145 stores throughout regional and metropolitan Australia, basing stores across Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and ACT.
The Eagle Boys enterprise employs over 2,300 full-time and part-time employees.
Tom has set down an ambitious national and international growth strategy for Eagle Boys in the next five years with a focus drive into Victoria and the Asian markets. This following building a 40 store network in New Zealand in only a few years, winning the majority of the market, and selling the operation to a multinational and the proverbial “offer that was too good to refuse".
Eagle Boys was awarded the FAANZ Award for Master Franchise of the Year in 1996 and has collectively won the New South Wales and Queensland Retail Franchise of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Eagle Boys now remains one of the only wholly Australian-owned and originated fast-food companies, both competing against a majority of offshore-owned fast-food operators in Australia but also exporting its expertise to other countries.
In 1994, Tom Potter was named the Australian Young Business Person of the Year by the Australian Financial Review, entitling him to a scholarship to attend Harvard Business School. He completed a three-year OPM Executive Education Degree and graduated Valedictorian of the 1997 class.
Tom is a keen sportsman and a past member of the Board of Ports Corporation (Queensland), Wallace Bishop Jewellery, the Committee of Brisbane, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Young Presidents Organisation (International).
Tom started his business life with only a basic education behind him, no money and no mentor.
How did he achieve so much in only a few years in one of the most competitive industries in Australia?
How did he become Australian Financial Review Young Business Person of the Year? Why was he chosen to deliver the Valedictorian speech on behalf of his graduating class at the world famous Harvard Business School.
As a result of his aggressive and creative marketing Tom’s took on the multi-national Pizza Hut Corporation in a Federal Court battle over who really is Australian in this industry. Eagle Boys won the case and received nation wide support and press and media coverage.
As a speaker, Tom Potter is inspirational. He not only tells his story but motivates students be better and to ask more. Tom creates an atmosphere where the audience wants more. He tells of his success but is also openly discusses his challenges. We are very thankful that Tom Potter gave us his time, the students consistently went back to his words during the teaching of Small Business Management and HRM topics.
Prince of Peace College
Tom Potter has the ability to connect to all levels. His life story is inspirational. A true fighter- Passionate about people and product .Hands on, practical and successful. From a Baker to the Founder of one of the Country’s most successful Franchises. His presentation was motivational leaving me with a blueprint for life. – “Life is about doing things, not having things.
Victoria Foodco Group Pty Ltd
Tom is a compelling and dynamic speaker whose message is important for graduates – be creative; show commitment and passion for what you do, and ; have fun. As entrepreneurial skills and approaches become increasingly significant in many professions, Tom’s example will continue to inspire and motivate.
Head of Campus
Bendigo La Trobe University
Tom Potter was excellent, both delivering his presentation, and in the lead up to it. He took the time to come to our office and ask meaningful questions to find out more about our audience. His presentation itself was a great balance of business stories and practical lessons and comedy which kept the audience highly engaged. Our attendee survey responses indicated 78% thought Tom was ‘Excellent’.
One delegate comment was: I particularly enjoyed Tom Potter's address for his naturalness and down to earth recommendations to run a successful business
The Tom Potter story is not about Pizza. Tom shared with our team his story of Vision, Courage and Resilience. He shares how it you don’t get it right the first time, your courage and resilience will carry you over the line. This is a human story that we all relate too and any business owner or manager who needs to lead and inspire teams would benefit from the Tom Potter story.
Total Childcare Solutions Australia Ltd
We had over 400 people at our conference engaged in Tom’s presentation. The mixture of life experience and relevant stories resonated with our members. Tom did a break out session with our High Achieving members and really cut through with messages about how to grow and lead a dynamic business.
Astute Group – Financial Services
Haven’t spoken to anyone who didn’t love your speech. Not often have I seen that many questions asked after a presentation and they would have kept going if we had the time.
Delightful informal speech, thoroughly enjoyed by Jani-King’s senior management group. The presentation was humorous and pitted with numerous learning experiences and wisdom from Tom’s recent past as a business leader and as an entrepreneur.’
Tom Potter has the ability to connect to all levels. His life story is inspirational. A true fighter - Passionate about people and product. Hands on, practical and successful. From a Baker to the Founder of one of the Country’s most successful Franchises. His presentation was motivational leaving me with a blueprint for life – “Life is about doing things, not having things.”
Foodco Group Pty Ltd
You made a big impact on our managers both during and after your speech. The exit surveys post the conference was really positive about your session in particular. You really resonated with our group. They are all aiming to make their centres “Zebra’s amongst horses.
Tom is an outstanding speaker whose breadth and depth of business experience, as well as engaging and candid delivery style, will deliver value to any business audience. He has terrific insights into the growth and management challenges faced by entrepreneurs big and small, including guerilla marketing, growth strategies and corporate governance. He speaks from the heart, doesn’t mince his words, and leaves the listener with valuable and practical nuggets of wisdom they can put into practise straight away.
Franchise Advisory Centre
Tom was extremely insightful and an engaging story teller. He shared the positives of innovation in business, zig when others zag! Thank you Tom.
Tom so glad we were able to share your wonderful life experiences in person and well worth the quick fire flight up and back in a day.
You are an inspiration to what can be achieved in business in our great country and so glad our clients were able to benefit from your pearls of business and life wisdom.
“The feedback for your session was outstanding."
Australian Financial Services
“It was, without doubt, one of the most stimulating presentations and discussions from a guest speaker in recent times."
The University of Queensland
“I wanted to thank you personally for your valuable contribution to the inaugural Lion Nathan Australia National Sales Conference."
“We would like to give our sincere thanks and congratulations for a terrific address at our recent breakfast meeting."
Franchise Council of Australia Ltd
“Your presentation was very well received, and enjoyed by all. Many commented on your ‘real world’ approach."
YPO International Convention
“Thank you again for a fantastic presentation. We look forward to working with you for our future events."
Queensland University of Technology
“Your delivery and address was very motivational, stimulating and was greatly appreciated by our members."
“Tom fitted into our needs. It was good to see someone who was able to connect to the resellers"
Dick Smith Electronics
“Tom was the exact person that we were looking for at a CEO event. Tom was able to connect with his peers and tell his story in a no-nonsense manner. After the session I spoke with many of the delegates and everyone agreed that Tom was one of the best presenters at the summit."
“Excellent! Good mix of business stories & humour, Well suited to our audience. Made a number of key points as per the brief and kept the delegates attention."
“Excellent. Great teller of an outstanding story that was ideal for our audience of independent retailers"
John Danks & Son Pty Ltd