Domino's responds to Honor Oak expansion debate

We recently reported on the plansby Domino’s Pizza to open at Honor Oak, in what used to be the Old Bank. Domino’s picked up on the tweets about it and contacted us to say that they would be happy to answer questions about the issue. So we asked them three questions, based on the conversation that had taken place on the site. Here are their answers:

Can you provide any details of how you propose to change the exterior of the building, which is quite handsome? The petition against the plans has included a mock-up of how it could look – how accurate is it?

We have attached a mock up of the signage – although we are just reviewing it at the moment and as you are probably aware, we’ve withdrawn the signage application while we do so. We hope you’ll agree is better looking than the mock up that has appeared on the petition.

It is in our best interest to make sure the site is attractive on the eye – but obviously we do need to get stand out from the rest of the parade to ensure people know we are there. We’re just trying to get some photos of others sites where we’ve been sympathetic to the building – when we do we’ll send them over so readers can see what can be done.

Why have you chosen this this site? Why not another site, that doesn't require change of permission and which doesn't mean the loss of a restaurant space to the high street? Why can't a takeaway service that presumably relies on phone and internet orders rather than walk-in trade be located somewhere less prominent?

We have been looking for a site in this area for some time now – and sites are hard to come by. As we normally need to get change of use to A5 planning class (which is what a branch of Domino’s falls under), we do look for former restaurants or pubs as these tend to be easier to get. In addition, we do get a fair bit of carry out business – fuelled by some very competitive deals for carry out customers. We have redesigned our store layouts too recently to make the carry out area a really pleasant place to be, including a step for children so they can see how the pizzas are freshly made to order.

Why are you looking to expand in to this area at this time?

We know that Honor Oak is a good area for us and while we do already cover part of the trading area from existing shops, it will allow us to provide a much better service to the local community with quicker delivery times.

Splitting areas is a regular occurrence in Domino’s as we build our customer base and continue to expand. In addition we are delighted to be bringing new jobs to the area as each store employs around 30 pizza makers, customer service representatives and drivers.

We noticed some comment on Brockley Central about Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s in the US. It is worth clarifying that we are a wholly-owned UK company (Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland PLC). Tom has got his own views and they don't reflect ours. He parted company with Domino’s over 12 years ago in the US. 

UPDATE: In response to comments below regarding the lack of sensitivity towards an historic building, Domino's added:

We are willing to listen to concerns about being sympathetic to the building and we can certainly work with planners to come up with signage that will not detract from the building’s current look. We do already have a number of shops in listed buildings and in conservation areas and we are listening to the residents’ concerns both on here and via Twitter.

Here is a photo of the protest that took place last night.