Months after Domino's dropped the news that it would redesign its logo and locations nationwide, several restaurants in Seattle and Ann Arbor, Mich. became the first to unveil the changes.
The revamped Domino's feature open kitchens that showcase employees spinning dough and baking pizza. Customers are encouraged to write comments in colorful chalk on a chalkboard covering a large wall, and the layout has been altered to provide seating.
Judging by pictures from AnnArbor.com, walls in an Ann Arbor shop are adorned with stylized statements that have a look similar to the graphic designs on boxes of Domino's pan pizza, which is another recent effort by Domino's to shake up its business.
The Los Angeles Times also shares that Seattle stores will have a refrigerated section for grab-and-go items like salads and milk.
AnnArbor.com spoke with Domino's franchisee Dave Cesarini, who expressed excitement about the redesign. Cesarini owns several stores around Ann Arbor; his Traver Village store is the first Domino's location in Ann Arbor to be revamped.
“Once we launch this from the grand opening standpoint, our sales absolutely -- and our customers -- will increase,” he said. “Being the first in Ann Arbor and one of not many in the country is awesome.”
The LA Times also reports that Domino's plans to redo the 74 franchise locations in the greater Seattle area by the middle of 2013, which would make it the first market to get a total overhaul. The chain plans to hire 800 new full-time and part-time employees in the area, a result of both new store openings and sales growth.
Musing on the locations' new open kitchen, Domino's chief executive officer Patrick Doyle told the publication that employees' theatrics aren't an act. "This is the way we always made our pizzas. A lot of people just had no idea," he said. "It was sort of one of those lightning-bolt moments where we said, 'Gee, maybe we should show them.'"
Last August, Domino's chief marketing officer Russell Weiner told AdAge that the chain doesn't intend to become a dine-in establishment across the board, despite the addition of seating to some shops.
The last few years have seen remarkable change for Domino's. In 2009, the chain redesigned its core pizza recipe, and more recently has led a media campaign admitting that its old pizza was subpar.
Take a look at the redesign below: