Surprised and disapointed to see that Donato's in Maumee has closed. It was our favorite pizza place in the area.
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I am surprised by this and also not surprised. Their pizza was very good, especially the hand-tossed style. Being a man of convenience, I also liked their drive-up window. However, their prices were high and and their coupons were rarely that great. Hopefully something good like Five Guys will go into that spot.
had Donatos in Findlay, it sucked. Never bothered to try the one here because it was in the strip with Deet's and Chipotle, no brainer. I can stay home and have better pizza. Sorry for their fans, tho.
I think when it first went in they were getting biz from the Maumee movie theaters. Prices were a lot higher than most other places, too.
As an ex-pizza restaurant owner, I can attest that the Toledo area is a saturated market and very difficult for new chains to break into. A single pizza restaurant with high overhead is doomed unless its owners have deep pockets to advertise the place and to absorb a few years worth of losses.
This is also the birthplace of Marco's Pizza, and that chain vigorously defends its home turf. Marco's has survived and thrived despite the efforts of big national chains like Pizza Hut and Papa John's to make inroads into their market share. Domino's has made several failed attempts over the past few decades to carve out a presence, and the only reason Little Caesars has a presence is that they have been in Toledo since the 1960s (i.e., got their start when Marco's Pizza was still in its infancy). LC, however, has about half the number of stores it had at its peak in the late 1980s.
The only pizza places that seem to find success in this market are those with low overhead and with dedicated owner-operators on site. A few of these have emerged as local competitors of importance in their own right (Gino's, Vito's, Bambino's) but their recipe for success was similar: a dedicated owner-operator putting in 80-hour workweeks and striving to make a quality pizza seven days a week.
Donato's advertised "over 100 pepperoni's on every large pizza". We bought one and there were < 80. Booo !
Bennet's on Airport Hwy at Holloway Rd in Holland sold recently and is now called Mamma Mary's. The pizza, which was once pretty darned good, has gone to terrible. The crust was so rubbery it fought back when you tried to eat it. Sausage is no longer crumbled meat but thin slices with absolutely no sausage flavor. They'll be done in 6 months or less.
I hope the Bennet's got all their money upfront in cash - no payments. Otherwise they'll be getting the business back.
Happy's Pizza on Dorr also closed. They had above pizza imo and pretty good weekday deals, too.
I know the owner recently was involved in some major drug investigation in the Detroit area.
Donato's is quite popular in Northern Kentucky/Cincy. I've eaten their pizza quite often there.
Didn't even realize that there had been a Donato's location in the Toledo area. Perhaps because I don't live in Maumee?
I've always had good experiences when eating Donato's out of town, but agree with historymike that it would be difficult for additional pizza chains to break into the market here.
Not trying to hijack the thread but Pizza Hut was mentioned above. Haven't been a fan of theirs for years but decided to give their new location in the Point a try a few months back. It was the most God-awful excuse for pizza we've had in years. Have no desire to give them a second chance.
For our tastes, Marco's still puts out the best pie in the Point. Never cared for Bambino's - apparently not enough others did either since they were replaced by Vito's - whom we've also given two chances and they failed miserably. Have to agree with historymike. It's a tough market to break in to - especially in an area so completely saturated with pizza joints.
Foodie, agree with you on Pizza Hut. We used to like them long ago, but we had an extremely negative experience with one of their drivers about 18 years ago, and that was it for me. We much prefer Marco's over any other local fast-food pizza, plus it's nice to support a local company.
I'm a Vito's guy. Never had a bad slice...
I'm a Vito's guy. Never had a bad slice...
Same here, I do make the occasional run to Happy's just because you can get a decent amount of non-pizza items.