Bermuda’s newest and most modern fast-food restaurant, and another sibling among Marico Thomas’ ‘Hub’ family of companies, opened this week, giving customers the ‘drive-thru’ experience.
‘Pinky’s Drive-Thru’, located on Middle Road, Devonshire was unveiled to mobile traffic last week, with an initial one-day burst of free meals during a soft opening, that also served as a staff training exercise, followed by a full rollout.
For Thomas, Bermuda’s unquestioned ‘king’ of the fast-food franchise variety, the choice to delve into the genre first introduced to the industry in 1947 by American businessman Sheldon “Red” Chaney, is cast as an expected link to the empire that has ‘Four Star Pizza’ delivery service as its foundational stone.
The opening represented a long-awaited return to the fastest manner of customer obtained, ready-to-eat products, as well as a relief provider for the ‘embattled’ local entrepreneur, who has made more headlines than he’d prefer regarding permitting, relative to an exhaust fan installed on another intended enterprise in St George’s.
Thomas made an aborted attempt at opening the spot last September, with the official naming and ribbon cutting exercises, thus last week’s re-opening came with much less public fanfare, but gave many thrills — and a few spills — for owner and staff.
“Pinky’s Drive-Thru is now open,” said Thomas, most recently in the news announcing one day a cessation of the St George’s Square project, only to have Government higher-ups cajole and convince him to reconsider. “It’s a relief, to be quite honest. “The project is nine months later than we expected.
“Even when we tried to open up last September, we had additional setbacks, so we set back the opening until this year.
“It’s a wonderful thing, yes.”
The owner asserted that he was eschewing maximisation of profits by hiring locally and allowing Bermudians to be trained and equipped to flourish in the industry.
“We started off with this as an opportunity to hire Bermudian staff,” he said. “We could have hired a bunch of people from outside of Bermuda, who have all of the the necessary experience, and would have had a flawless initial experience with me not having to go down there, providing my expertise.
“But in the context of us wanting this as something for Bermudians to be successful in our ability to manage and run it without me having to be hands-on.
“It’s a path of information transfer and development that needs to take place within all our stores and they have performed and adapted very well and I’m intensely proud of how they’ve taken on responsibilities.”
“On the first day of testing, when we were giving away some free food, it was absolutely wild.
“We served people for an hour and took a break, doing that off and on for four sessions during that day. The first hour we didn’t do so well, but the second hour double the people came and we had to make some adjustments, so by the third hour they got better where they absolutely ‘killed’ it.
“The progression was fantastic. The next day they again nailed it and now we’re open, where things are going very smoothly, he speed of service is awesome, without traffic backed up into the road and people seem to be really satisfied.
“The next thing for us is to expand the menu, adding things slowly over time This week we added a bunch of salads, soups, chili, donuts, coffee and kids’ meals.
“I think we’ll work with those for two weeks and then we’ll start serving breakfast.
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