NORMAL — Management hopes dine-in and delivery customers alike will benefit from a new Domino's restaurant in southeast Normal.
"We want to provide the fastest service that we can to all our customers, and out here east, the campus store delivered here, but it was a distance," said General Manager Gabriel Potter, referring to Normal's other Domino's at 305 W. Beaufort St., near Illinois State University.
"We always want to be more modern and compete, and 'pizza theater' is part of that. ... We're really trying to promote the dining experience as opposed to pickup and delivery, and right here off of Veterans (Parkway), it's a great spot to have a 'pizza theater.'"
"Pizza theater" is a new type of Domino's store that lets customers see their food as it's made, including a close-up view of employees tossing dough, adding sauce and putting ingredients onto pizzas. The front counter has large windows wrapping around the kitchen toward the rear of the restaurant.
Potter said customers seem to appreciate that approach at the 1910A E. College Ave. location, which opened Monday, though business is just starting to shape up.
The store is expected to have 15 to 20 employees, but that could ramp up as business increases.
"We're a little bit slower than expected, but we're still waiting on a couple things like the big sign out front. We're going to have one so people on Veterans can see it," said Potter.
"We're taking it slow at this point, making sure that all the employees are prepared and ready to go," Potter said. "We're always training, making sure people are on top of everything we do."
The store is in a new building next to Sherwin-Williams in front of Meijer. Joyner Construction of Springfield built the $850,000 space, according to a building permit, and it's expected to also house a physical therapy business.
The Domino's restaurant is a franchise store owned by MBR Management Corp., a St. Charles, Mo.-based company that owns more than 80 Domino's locations across Illinois and Missouri. Its other locations include Beaufort Street, 2205 E. Oakland Ave. in Bloomington, Lincoln and Morton.