First drive-thru Lenny's in Memphis area opens

Date

Mar 11, 2013

For Memphis entrepreneur James Kelly, partner at Kelly Green Restaurants, tweaking an already finely tuned business machine doesn't just make sense -- it make dollars and cents. Kelly is a franchisee for Lenny's Sub Shop and operates 10 of the stores in Memphis. And now he's become the first local franchise holder to launch a drive-thru Lenny's, which is located in a former Arby's at 4740 Showcase Blvd. The store officially opened this week, replacing the franchise's previous location at nearby 4668 American Way near the old Mall of Memphis property. Kelly was leasing the previous site, but bought the new property and spent about three months transforming it into a Lenny's.

Kelly expects the new drive-thru to boost the store's sales by at least 30 percent, and he said in-store and drive-thru traffic this week is off to a strong start. "It's been crazy, ever since we opened up here and the customers have been constantly coming in and driving through," Kelly said. "This has always been a good area for us, so when we toyed with the idea of offering a drive-thru, this was the community we wanted to try it out in. We're offering that deli-fresh experience in multiple ways." In addition to drive-thru and walk-in sales, Kelly's customers can call in orders that may be picked up inside the restaurant or at the drive-thru window.

The Lenny's chain offers drive-thru options in other markets, Green said, but his is the first in Memphis. Depending on how it fares -- and he's expecting explosive growth -- he may offer the service at other locations.

"It's all about convenience and variety," said Kelly, a franchisee since 2005.

"This is a natural progression of our business model that's already proven successful, and we think it'll prove even more so."

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