Denver Biscuit Co. plans drive-thru restaurant in Centennial — The Know
Had the idea come up just over a year ago in the offices of Denver’s Atomic Provisions to open a drive-thru window at their next restaurant, “we would have laughed ourselves out of the room,” Bob Schmied told The Denver Post.
But the operating partner for Denver Biscuit Co. (see also Fat Sully’s and Atomic Cowboy) is getting ready to do just that as construction begins on a former Steak ‘n Shake in Centennial, where the biscuit company will open a standalone restaurant with a drive-thru by fall.
“Biscuits are good, genuine comfort food,” Schmied said, “We thought we could make them even more convenient to our customers.”
The reasoning is simple. Last March, when restaurants closed to in-person dining for the first time during the pandemic, Atomic Provisions’ six Front Range stores switched overnight from selling around 15% of their food in takeout orders to 100%.
“Within two to three weeks, we were setting sales records in some of our restaurants,” Schmied said. That’s because Fat Sully’s could sell its pizza by the slice (for $3.95) out of a walk-up window, and biscuits followed suit.
Now Schmied expects to do 50-60% of biscuit business in Centennial through the new drive-thru as well as over third-party delivery sites. And that’s even with around 90 seats inside the restaurant, and as many or more outside.
“It’ll be a beautiful environment,” Schmied said of the planned patio space.” “We want people to be able to sit and look out at the mountains and forget they’re in Centennial.”
And while Atomic Provisions is already getting complaints from new Centennial neighbors because there will be no pizza (just biscuits) onsite, Schmied said the addition of Fat Sully’s could always come down the line. The business is also “actively” looking for real estate to open more locations in south and north Denver, he added.
For now, Atomic Provisions is ramping up after reducing its staff over the past year to hire around a dozen salaried team members and 80 to 90 more hourly employees for the new store.
“The biggest resource that’s hard to find in any business but particularly in restaurants is great leadership talent,” Schmied said, “so we give our people a line of sight on where they can grow with us.”
And after 2020, he promised, “We owe them a year of management and leadership development.”
Watch for the opening in September or October at 8271 S. Quebec St., and find more info at denbisco.com.
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