We're about an hour outside of Seattle but from the excitement and the energy of both the employees and customers, it feels like we are in the heart of the city. This Domino’s in Lacey, Wa. has been kind enough to let us shadow them during the biggest pizza day of the year, the Big Game.
With the Seahawks in the national championship football game, we could really feel the employees of this store stepping up to make sure everything ran smoothly. In fact, preparation began a few weeks ago when the store used the NFC Championship game as a Big Game dry run. They were able to get a feel of how many pizzas they could expect to make and know how many employees they’d need on staff to ensure every customer would be satisfied with the quality of the pizza and the speed in which it was ready. The food preparation started two days early to make sure they’d have enough to cover the entire football-filled day.
Below is a recap of my amazing day. Keep an eye on this blog for a video that should be up soon!
Major preparation begins.
At this Domino’s franchise, more pizzas have already been ordered for this Big Game than last year’s game.
The team huddles to really get pumped up about the day. Check out all of the action here.
A massive rush begins. All hands on deck! The passion and love for customers in the building is contagious and you can really tell just how much everyone wants their store to outperform the already high expectations.
We went out for a delivery with Eric, a driver who just got promoted to Assistant Manager! I’m interested to learn that this store finds most of its success by delivering one order at a time.
Eric's bosses approached him a few weeks ago about moving up in the company, which is something that he had his eye on for a while. Keep an eye out for a blog post with his story and how he was able to move up the ranks.
I also learned that the better the team is doing, the more lucrative the night will be. "When customers are happy, the tips are better," Eric said.
The game begins and the customers and employees join together for a "Go Seahawks" chant.
I kind of thought that once the game started orders would calm down a bit. I was wrong.
The employees are informed of the fastest score in Big Game history by friends texting them and drivers coming in after hearing it from customers. In fact, one driver was informed when the customer opened the door screaming at the top of his lungs, "Safety!"
We talked to Brandon about why he loves delivering pizzas. "I get paid to listen to music and I love the freedom of being on the road. Also, the tips don't hurt." His best advice to new delivery drivers: always double check your order and learn the menu because you’ll get asked about what's on the pizza. Also, be prepared to do other jobs in the store when there's downtime.
A bell rings when a pizza goes into an oven in under two minutes. Let's just say the bells are really ringing today.
We went out on a delivery with Stephanie, who has been a delivery expert with Domino's since August. Big Game parties were lining the streets and the energy was infectious. She enjoys delivering pizzas because of the environment and interacting with people, "It's honestly a blast. I love this job."
Like the other drivers we have talked to, Stephanie agrees, the better the Hawks are doing, the better the tips.
Stephanie is saving all of her tips for a summer trip to Europe with her best friend. Delivering pizzas and striving to work hard is very motivational for her and she loves to see all her hard work pay off. "I did that all by myself," Stephanie said.
It’s halftime. Calls have picked up and more and more orders are starting to come in. The staff hasn't slowed down in their energy.
We went on a delivery with Dana, who is moving at the end of the month to Arizona and is hoping to transfer to a store there. Thanks to the Domino's network, Dana has a guaranteed interview when she moves. She enjoys that she gets to be in a car, driving around and collecting tips. Her friends are always surprised by how much money she makes.
The manager of the store, Vicky, has a chance to sit down and talk with us. It’s easy to see just how proud she is of her staff and how well they have prepared for this day. When we asked her what is the number one thing that she looks for in a job applicant she responded, "With the right attitude and motivation we can train you to do anything."
The hype of the game was winding down and the store started to clean up and get ready for the end of the night. A few people are getting sent home so they can catch the end of the game.
Personal note -
I want to send out my sincerest gratitude to Domino's Pizza and Team Seattle for letting us shadow your team members for the day. Part of me thought that some employees may be a little sad that they were missing their team's Big Game because they were scheduled to work. I was not only surprised by just how excited and passionate everyone was, but by the fact that not one person in this awesome store was in a bad mood. In fact, I was continually pumped up by the mood and energy that every single person working there was radiating.
My first trip to Seattle has been amazing. The energy of this city, their passion for football and the fact that the people here may be the friendliest I've ever encountered has created one more 12th man. I hope to see you soon, Legion of Boom!