Eureka Pizza Experiments with Drive-Throughs
That’s right, Rolf Wilkin and his Fayetteville, Ark.-based Eureka Pizza chain serve customers through drive-up windows.
The drive-through locations are at 2900 S. Zero St. in Fort Smith, Ark., and in the former Krystal Burgers location at 1503 S. Thompson St. in Springdale, Ark.
Eureka Pizza serves popular pies, including cheese and pepperoni, with no call-ahead ordering and no waiting at drive-through locations.
Other orders can be called ahead and the customer can retrieve the orders from the comfort of the car.
The idea of a drive-through pizza restaurant is not new. Eagle Boys Pizza in Brisbane, Australia, operated pizza drive-throughs in October 2005, letting customers pick up pies with no waiting during certain hours, according to www.pizzamarketplace.com.
The All-American Pizza Grill in Roy, Utah, also offers drive-through pizza service, advertising fire-baked pizzas in two minutes. Gino Garcia, one of the managers there, said the drive-through operation has been open for about two months and requires special ovens for quick cooking.
“We get customers out in about three, three and a half minutes, from the time they pull up and order until they get their orders,” Garcia said.
Upper Crust Pizza Co. in Jonesboro, Ark., also offers drive-through pizza service, but it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get customers their orders, according to www.ucpizzaco.com.
The opening of Eureka Pizza’s drive-through windows made Wilkin rethink competitors.
Before, he would see what Pizza Hut and Domino’s were doing. Now, he also has to consider other drive-through restaurants, like McDonald’s and Taco Bell, as competitors.
“We never really cared about traffic counts before,” Wilkin said, but now he keeps an eye on the number of vehicles coming to the drive-through.
He did not disclose traffic counts.
However, Wilkin said the Fort Smith drive-through location, open since March, rings up about $13,000 a week in sales.
The Springdale drive-through location, open for about two weeks, increased sales by 45 percent per week compared with before, Wilkin said.
The former Springdale location, without a drive-through window and just blocks away on South Thompson Street, averaged about $12,000 in weekly sales, Wilkin said.
He is considering other drive-through Eureka Pizza locations.
In addition, Wilkin is taking suggestions for other pizzas, besides cheese and pepperoni, to keep ready-made in warming cabinets with no waiting.
I’d suggest, for those summer swimsuit figures, a skinny vegeterian: Tomatoes, green peppers and onions with low-fat cheese.
The Hawaiian is another lower-fat favorite of mine, with ham and pineapple.
To give your suggestions, follow Rolf Wilkin as eurekapizza on Twitter.
Lana F. Flowers is a gifted Arkansas reporter who can handle news about Walmart and retail, movie and book reviews, human interest stories, features and anything else you'd care to mention. She lives in Rogers, Ark., with her husband Jesse, daughter Layla, cats Lottie Boots and Emmy, and dog Fuzzy. Send an email -- firstname.lastname@example.org