Employees at a familiar Fulton franchise are celebrating their recent building remodel.
Over the past few months, Pizza Hut has been undergoing an extensive remodel of the interior and exterior of the building. Faye Brosnihan, manager of the restaurant, said the new, modernized look has been well received by customers.
"Everybody has been very positive," she said. "They like how open it is and how much light there is. I haven't had any negative comments yet. We've seen a spike in customers; it's getting back up there again."
Nacoma Scherry, district manager for Fulton and nine Mid-Missouri Pizza Hut locations, said the remodel included improving the exterior of the building to reflect a more modern design. The interior has been opened up to include more natural light, tiled floors and a floor plan aimed at improving traffic flow, he added.
"This particular location was tired and needed an update," Scherry said. "We've completely remodeled the outside and gotten rid of our traditional red roof look. On the inside, we pretty much gutted everything and started fresh. I don't think there's anything in the dining room we didn't touch."
The improved Fulton location is a sign of improvements to come elsewhere, Scherry said.
"We're doing this to every store we own," he said. "In the next 10 years, we will have made improvements to all nine of them."
Brosnihan said the improvements have not only improved the beauty of the store but also boosted morale among employees.
"The change is totally different," she said. "It's fabulous. It needed the update really badly, and now it's airy and light. The staff is more energetic about cleaning and making this place perfect. It's a lot easier for them."
Pizza Hut has been a popular staple for the hungry lunch-goers in Fulton seeking variety, Brosnihan said.
"We do the buffet during the week from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.," she said. "It's in and out, and it's very popular. We get a lot of city workers and staff who come up for lunch and a lot of students on their days off."
Working in a town the size of Fulton provides employees the opportunity to build relationships with regular customers, Brosnihan said.
"Fulton is small enough where you know all the customers that come in," she said. "It's also big enough where you can find anything you need in town."
Along with the improvements to the Fulton location, another location in Callaway County can expect to see similar changes in the near future, Scherry said.
"Holts Summit is next on our list," he said. "Fulton was the first one we updated. The remodels are helping pull in more customers. So far, they like what they see, and feedback has been positive."
Ellie Hathkamp, a regular at the restaurant, said the new look and the friendly staff are worth a visit.
"I like it," she said. "It's nice, bright and cheery. The staff is also very friendly and very helpful."
Brosnihan said customers should come to the restaurant and see the changes for themselves.
"We welcome everyone to come out and look," she said. "It's a big change, and I don't think they'll recognize the interior. We'll still have the same good food."
The restaurant's parking lot will be redone next week.