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--Objective Facts--

Founded in 1963 by Jim Grote, Donato's Pizza is a relatively new pizza chain. It is expanding quickly and attempting to compete with the likes of Papa John's, Pizza Hut, and Domino's. It may not be in your area yet if you're far from Ohio, but keep your eyes peeled. It distinguishes itself from competitors by being both a dine-in and a carry-out/delivery pizzeria. The company has a genuine commitment to making a product superior to those of its competitors. Donatos' pizzas have an aged provolone cheese as opposed to the mozzarella (with much higher fat content) of its competitors. The pizzas are topped completely from edge to edge and are cut in a rectangular grid style. Also available are toasted subs, salads, breadsticks, and wings.

--Personally Biased Rants as an Employee--

Donato's is owned (at least partially) by McDonald's, so it's probably not going to go belly up. However, they will have to abandon this idea of being both a restaurant and a carry-out joint, because it just isn't working out. Donatos' food really is better than that of the other big chains, but they'll make you pay for it. I shudder when I tell customers the prices; I regularly sell mediums for $13+ and larges for $16+. Take advantage of coupons and specials if you want a decent deal. The prices are good for me as a driver though, as I don't go to the seedy neighborhoods now nearly as often as I did with Pizza Hut.

Speaking of delivery, Donato's (in my area anyway) predicts a delivery time of 29 minutes to its customers, which is a damned ridiculous promise to make and it will soon bite the upper-management people on the ass. Drivers here have less in-store work than drivers at other chains, and we get a better chunk of the delivery charge, plus the customers are generally more affluent and tip better. Unfortunately, we don't have many delivery orders and are not nearly busy enough.

If you're thinking of giving Donato's a try, don't let me discourage you. I can honestly say that we're clean and sanitary, and we make a good product. Use the internet ordering system at www.donatos.com and save someone the trouble of making out your garbled voice on the phone. And support your local college kid by ordering a delivery (and tipping well), not that pick-up shit.

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