Little Caesars adding drive-thru to improve service

Little Caesar’s Pizza is adding a drive-thru window to its Danville location at Southwyck Plaza on South Main Street.

Patrick O’Connell said he and his partner, Zack Farahmand, purchased the location and 18 others in Southwest Virginia in 2007. Since then, the partners — who are based in Rocky Mount — have been focused on improving their locations by adding drive-thru windows, or considering moves to locations that will allow them to add the feature.

Five of their locations have the drive-thru windows now, complete with menu boards and a speaker system to place orders. Three more will get them this year, including the Danville location, O’Connell said.

O’Connell said the drive-thru concept fits well with the company’s Hot-N-Ready concept — menu items that are ready for immediate pickup any time the store is open.

“We’re constantly makings pizzas, and pizzas are constantly coming out of the oven,” O’Connell said.

The Hot-N-Ready menu at the Danville location includes the basic cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, chicken wings and Little Caesars’ Crazy Bread. From 4-8 p.m. a supreme pizza and Italian cheese bread are added to the Hot-N-Ready menu.

O’Connell said the drive-thru will add to the convenience of purchasing the Hot-N-Ready line because customers will not have to get out of their cars to grab dinner and head home.

“And, people don’t want to have to unhook their kids from their child seats to come in and pick up pizza,” O’Connell noted.

Customers can also call in orders from the rest of the menu, and use the drive-thru to pick those up as well, O’Connell said.

The project began five months ago, O’Connell said, with negotiations with the shopping center’s owner, Jeff Benson — “He’s been great … he loved the idea.” — followed by various planning phases.

Construction on the drive-thru has already begun, and O’Connell said they expect it to be completed in the week ahead. It will open as soon as construction is completed, but an official “grand opening” is scheduled for Aug. 20.