Domino’s Pizza Inc. will accelerate its remodeling program to convert all of its nearly 11,000 restaurants worldwide to the “Pizza Theater” prototype by the end of 2017.

The company expects reimaging costs to range between $40,000 and $55,000 per store, to be borne entirely by the brand’s franchisees, officials disclosed during Domino’s annual Investor Day event Wednesday. New stores would cost about $250,000 to $350,000 to build

Leaders of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based chain said the massive remodeling effort would be a catalyst for long-term same-store sales growth, which the brand has updated from an ongoing range of annual increases between 1 percent and 3 percent for its domestic restaurants to a new long-term target of 2 percent to 4 percent.

“If we get this right and get this done,” chief executive Patrick Doyle said, “this is one more thing as you look at the transformation of the Domino’s brand, both in the U.S. and around the world, that we think is going to continue to really drive the momentum on this brand.”

Domino's unveiled the first "Pizza Theater" design in August 2012

Domino’s announcement came the day after the segment leader Pizza Hut opened two stores that offer pizza by the slice, which experts said could shift major pizza players toward growing dine-in sales and traffic at lunch.

Like Pizza Hut’s leaders, Domino’s officials recognized that consumers’ changing needs for more convenience and more upscale environments could play to the strengths of the burgeoning fast-casual pizza segment but insisted that the remodeling program was not just a response to new competition.

“The most important definition of fast casual … to my mind is giving consumers what they want today, versus what you built your business around 25 years ago,” Doyle said.

Fast-casual chains, in pizza or any other segment, are offering better-quality food, modern environments with open kitchens, convenience and relative value, even at slightly higher price points, he said. “If you listen to that list I just gave,” he said, “there was one thing that wasn’t completed yet for Domino’s, which is that you’ve got to have a better-looking restaurant.”

Domino’s last major design overhaul was announced and implemented in the summer of 1997, Doyle said. Currently, only about 200 restaurants in the United States carry the Pizza Theater design.