The idea that ‘Every piece is important’ is on full display in the newly created mural at Donatos Pizza in the John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Located in Concourse C of the airport, a 42- foot long mural displays and celebrates Central Ohio’s cultural diversity.
The Ohio-based fast-casual pizza chain unveiled the mural project in conjunction with the recent opening of its second airport restaurant location. The mural project was a collaboration between 29 artists and one photographer, and included 88 pieces of original art that were inspired by the artists’ family members, neighbors, teachers, mentors and people they interacted with in their daily lives. The idea for the design was created and implemented by Allison Westrick, Design Principal and Founder of Sketch Blue Brand Identity + Retail Design, in conjunction with the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
“At Donatos, our philosophy is ‘Every piece is important’ and that carries beyond the pizza,” says Dave Parsons, PR & Communications manager for Donatos. “Like pepperonis or mushrooms, every person brings a unique perspective and different flavor to our culture, and we wanted to celebrate the diversity that brings us all together”.
“It’s incredible to see the different artists’ styles, the different choices they’ve made, the stories behind all the faces,” says Westrick. “Nobody is really famous, but they’re really loved and that’s why they are important.”
Donatos was founded in 1963 when Ohio State sophomore Jim Grote bought a small pizza shop in Columbus, Ohio from a young seminarian for $1,300. The company was classified “Best in Class” and acquired by McDonald’s Corporation in 1999, at a time when the burger giant was buying small concepts. McDonald’s sold the chain back to Grote and his daughter, Jane Grote Abell, in 2003. Today Donatos has 160 franchised and company owned restaurants in nine states with several more in planned development.
The restaurant, which is owned and operated by franchise partner Touchstone Hospitality, Robert E. Lee, III and Curtis Jewell, serves wings, sub sandwiches, appetizers and salads in addition to its award-winning Edge-to-Edge® pizza, Donatos’ trademark that refers to toppings that go right to the edge of the pizza. Along with dine-in experience, Donatos also offers delivery and catering services in its traditional restaurant locations.
“We’ve always been about more than just serving pizza,” Parsons added. “Since the beginning when Jim Grote served Donatos pizzas to his classmates and neighbors, Donatos has been a proud community member, working to create connections, inspiring communal harmony and dishing up deliciously hot pizza and warm hospitality to bring everyone together.”
To continue its mission of ‘Every piece is important,’ Donatos is looking to expand into more markets. The brand is looking for enthusiastic and passionate franchise partners to augment its growth. The average annual volume per location exceeds $1 million. Stores typically average 2,000-2,500 square feet, and roughly 30 primarily part-time associates are hired to staff a singular location.