Avia Collinder, Business Reporter
On Wednesday, Wisynco Foods Limited, the franchise holder for Domino's in Jamaica, opened its 12th pizza store and first for downtown Kingston.
The store, which employs 15, is being used as testing ground for a new concept referred to as 'Pizza Theatre', which allows customers a cinematic view of the food preparation process.
Domino's, which already claims 65 per cent of the local pizza market, is aiming for an even bigger share through expansion.
The current store at 19-21 King Street, which will have its banner opening on August 26, is to be joined later this year by a 13th at Sovereign North on Barbican Road in Liguanea, and two more at undisclosed locations in 2014, according to Wisynco Foods CEO Sean Scott.
The downtown store is also rolling out a one-slice summer deal costing J$150 per slice.
Scott did not disclose the investment at King Street, but said it is being used as the launch point for the rebranding of Domino's, and the inception of the pizza-theatre concept, a feature which will also be introduced at the upcoming Barbican store.
"Our décor has been substantially upgraded and we have opened our back-of-house kitchen to allow our guests to view up close the pizza-making process," Scott said on Wednesday.
"On a visit to our King Street location, customers will be able to see our dough being tossed in the air in the spirit of the original Italian art of pizza making, as well as witness our team itemising each pie with fresh, premium toppings," he said.
The King Street store is also the first to unveil the new Domino's logo.
The 'Pizza Theatre' format will showcase pizza-making artists hand tossing dough and creating custom -made pizzas in front of customers while they wait on their orders. The physical outlay features a lobby with seating for approximately 40 persons, as well as an open view of the food preparation process, including a step platform for children to watch their pizza being made.
The store also features a chalkboard that will allow guests to express their creativity or simply leave feedback on the service.
"In summary, our new store is something Jamaica has never seen before and we are so excited to have opened the first of this new concept in the heart of downtown Kingston," Scott said.
"This new store design will improve the customer experience for our guests that pick up their pizzas from the store, and will be the standard restaurant build out for new restaurants going forward."
The target market: "anyone" based in the area or in commute. The location, Scott said, was a no-brainer, given its "incredible buzz and energy".
Domino's closest competitor is Pizza Hut, operated by Restaurants of Jamaica.
Pizza Hut entered Portmore late last year, which was previously Domino's territory.
While Scott says Domino's welcomes competition, it is currently running a promotion on weekends throughout this month that offers specials of J$100 and J$150 per pizza slice plus free samples of Coca Cola.
The soda is bottled in Jamaica by parent Wisynco Group.
"We encourage competition as it provides an opportunity for expansion in the market for our products," said Scott.
"However, we are resolute on focusing on our mission of becoming the best-run Domino's franchise in the world through increased operational efficiency, providing great customer service, and ensuring that each customer receives their pizza within 30 minutes of placing their order," he said.