This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pizza and a movie: a ribboncutting

The newly opened Noble Romans Pizza had a ribbon cutting on Thursday night.
 The Blockbuster chain is no more, but there are still a few Blockbuster stores and Rensselaer has one. It is no longer a franchise but a licensee. The Blockbuster name and rights are now part of Dish Network.

The new pizza part uses space that previously had movies, but the store has not reduced their inventory of movies. Rather they have stacked the older ones on the shelves, so they use less floor space.
 I had the opportunity to take a quick tour of the kitchen area and of course I accepted. New are some larger freezers. As a franchiser Noble Romans wants their franchisees to produce uniform pizzas, so they supply the crust already prepared. I suspect that much of the space in these freezers or cooler is used for crusts.
 At the very back of the kitchen area there were large stacks of boxes. The store expects to sell (or give away) hundreds of pizzas this weekend. (Did you get the post card in the mail that tells you that the first 100 people in line at 5:00 today (Friday) will get a free pizza?) In addition to prepared pizzas, they sell "take-and-bake" pizzas--pizzas that are prepared but which you have to bake yourself.
 I was surprised at how small the pizza ovens were. They are automated and pull the pizza through the oven automatically so they are all cooked the same. I suspect that at 5:00 today they will be given a real test.
 Here is the view from behind the counter with some of the people who came for the ribbon cutting in front of it. The cash register at the right will serve both the pizza business and the movie rental business.
The owner said that a combination of a rise in the price of Redbox prices with a small decline in their prices made them cheaper than Redbox.

Below is the view of the pizza area from the customers' point of view. The addition of the pizza business has increased the number of employees.
I had heard that some of the other Blockbusters had put in Noble Romans, but that was wrong. There was, however, another small chain of video rental stores that added pizza and they liked the results. If this combination of pizza and a movie works well in Rensselaer, it will probably be added to the four other Blockbuster stores owned by Thayer Entertainment, Inc. They are in DeMotte, Delphi, Monticello, and Rochester. The owner lives in Monon.

I talked to the person who does most of the day-to-day managing of the five stores about how a video rental store works. They buy their videos from several sources. New releases are rented most frequently, and they are displayed on the outside walls. When their popularity wanes, some of the copies are sold, often on eBay but also through Amazon. He said all of the eBay sales are through auction, not through the buy-it-now feature. He starts the bids at one cent and offers free shipping. I asked it he ever had DVDs that sold for one cent and he said that that had not happened.

Then it was time to sample the pizza. There were a number of different kinds offered and I liked all the ones I tasted. (The menu is here.)

 They also offered bread sticks (which I did not try) and a cinnamon round drizzled with icing (which I did try and liked).
They have a new Facebook page and if you look very closely you might find me in one of the pictures.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was such a huge crowd as I drove by Friday afternoon. It was fun to see.