Domino’s Pizza on Tuesday unveiled a new “store of the future” design and a reworked logo as the next step in the chain’s ongoing brand repositioning.
The new store design aims to put pizza front and center with a “Pizza Theater” format that will have “pizza-making artists” hand tossing dough and creating custom-made pies in front of guests — a move that may better position the brand to compete against a growing number of build-your-own fast-casual pizza concepts .
The new logo, however, doesn’t include any mention of pizza, just the simple red-white- and-blue, single-tile domino that company officials hope will become as recognizable as the Nike Swoosh or the Golden Arches.
The move is part of an ongoing effort to re-invent the pizza delivery brand, said Chris Brandon, a spokesman for Domino’s.
Over the past several years, Domino’s reformulated its core pizza recipe and has been working to revitalize sales with an expanded menu that this year has included a line of Artisan Pizzas  and side items like Parmesan Bread Bites and Stuffed Cheesy Bread, and sandwiches.
“More than 80 percent of our menu is new or revamped since 2008,” said Brandon. “This is not so much a sign of what’s to come, but what we’ve already done.”
Russell Weiner, Domino’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement that 2008 was the year the company recognized a need to change.
“We began to expand our menu, develop a whole new recipe for our pizza and come up with new, breakthrough ways to talk about our brand with consumers. We began to interact with customers in innovative ways through technology, mobile devices and social media,” he said. “The next step in this process is to build the store of the future, featuring new store signage and a simple, visually striking logo — because we believe Domino’s has become an iconic global brand that is instantly recognizable.”
Nearly a dozen locations featuring the new look have opened, from Las Vegas to Gulfport, Miss., the company said. All new units to open in the U.S. and some international locations will have elements of the new design and the new logo.
Existing stores that undergo a major remodeling will be allowed to use the new signage. “The best way to signal that there’s something new on the inside is to create something new on the outside,” said Weiner.
Depending on square footage, the Pizza Theater stores may have a “comfortable lobby,” as well as an open view of the food preparation process, including a step platform for kids to watch their pizza being made.
Guests may be able to order from a kiosk and track their orders electronically. Stores may also feature a chalkboard to allow guests to express creativity or give feedback.
Units may also have a case with grab-and-go offerings, such as salads, cookies and milk, or mini-dessert parfaits. Some may also offer in-store dining space and big-screen TVs.
Brandon said one goal of the design revamp is to improve the customer experience as a growing number of guests pick up their pizzas. Currently, about 30 percent of guests pick up from Domino’s stores, a number that has grown in recent months in part because the chain has been promoting a $7.99 deal for a large pizza with three toppings, available for pickup during the week, said Brandon.
“People are starting to realize where their local Domino’s Pizza is located,” he said.
Domino’s, however, has struggled with negative order counts among U.S. stores despite positive same-store sales. For its June-ended second quarter, same-store sales in the U.S. rose 1.7 percent, reflecting gains of 1.9 percent at franchised locations and 0.3 percent at company-owned stores. International same-store sales rose 5.7 percent. A year ago, however, same store sales were up 4.8 percent domestically.
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino’s operates 387 restaurants and franchises another 4,514 units in the United States, and it franchises 5,023 locations in more than 70 international markets.