March 20, 2013 - Leader Editor
Seth Partaka, manager of the Oxford Domino’s store and a 1994 OHS graduate, takes another five-star pizza out of the oven. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
It appears the Domino's Pizza in Oxford has been extremely successful at avoiding the dreaded Noid.
Last week, the 979 S. Lapeer Rd. store received its fourth five-star rating in about two years from the corporate inspectors who evaluate each Domino's location.
"It's not an easy thing to get," explained store owner Robert Kasgorgis. "They received 93 out of a possible 100 points. That gives me a great deal of satisfaction."
Chris Brandon, a corporate spokesman for Domino's Pizza, indicated that only 121 (or 2.46 percent) of the 4,928 stores in the United States have received five-star ratings during four of their last six inspections.
"In our system, back-to-back five stars, especially in this case, is an outstanding accomplishment," he said.
During the most recent round of inspections, 409 stores (or 8.4 percent) received five-star ratings, according to Brandon.
A store's score must be in the 90 to 100 range to achieve a five-star rating.
The inspectors evaluate each store about two to three times a year, Partaka explained.
They examine the store's cleanliness and image, the staff's appearance and the quality of the food, from how it's stored to the way it's prepared.
"It takes a lot of work to keep it up," said store manager Seth Partaka, who's a 1994 graduate of Oxford High School. "It's hard to keep it up month after month, year after year."
"They test us on every aspect of the menu," Kasgorgis noted. "Everybody in the store (during the inspection) has to make different things on the menu and every aspect is graded."
Receiving a five-star rating means "every single thing they made in the store that day was above and beyond the specs," he noted.
But the rating isn't entirely based on what happens the day of the inspector's visit. Service time over the last 28 days is also evaluated and included in the score.
"That's like 20 percent of your five-star grade," he said.
In order to get all the service points, Kasgorgis explained that at least 85 percent of the store's deliveries must be on time.
At the Oxford store, 93 percent of the deliveries were on time.
"The five-star rating is incredibly hard to obtain because virtually every single aspect of the store has to run almost perfectly for a period of 28 days," he said.
Partaka, who's worked for Domino's since 1995 and been store manager since November 2010, attributes the store's success to its employees.
"It's a great staff," he said. "You couldn't ask for better people."
Kasgorgis noted that inspections are always a surprise. There's never any advance notice. "They could pop in at any minute on any day," he said.
Kasgorgis knows of a store in Novi that was visited by inspectors at 12:30 a.m., right before closing.
"There's no time or day that's off-limits," he said. "They expect you to be ready 365 days a year at any given time."
Given Kasgorgis believes the customers are the real inspectors, he urges his staff members to treat every single day as if they were expecting a corporate evaluation and maintain that same level of readiness and quality.
"We do a self-evaluation every week just to make sure we're within Domino's guidelines," Partaka said. "We try to keep things in the five-star range."
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.