daVIDO’s $3.75 Pizza has hit a milestone. The restaurant, which has been serving up Italian favorites with an American twist, is celebrating 20 years in business.
Owner David Holt, the restaurant’s namesake, started the business in 1994 after working years in the restaurant business before opening daVIDO’s $3.75 Pizza. He got his start in 1979 when he opened his first Blimpie restaurant in Buckhead, with two more locations soon to follow.
The idea for what would become one of South DeKalb’s favorite pizza joints came from a relationship Holt had with one of his Blimpie customers, who was the property manager at a shopping plaza at the intersection of Covington Highway and Panola Road, in Lithonia. The property manager asked Holt to consider opening a business in his plaza, birthing daVIDO’s.
“We started the restaurant with one major idea in mind: To be a safe haven for youth. There were a lot of gangs in the community when we first started and I wanted to provide a place where the kids and their families could enjoy a great product in a great environment,” said Holt, who says the $3.75 price was stamped into the restaurant name to remain affordable. “We made it through the recession and other tough times because we kept the same price points.”
Now, at 66 years old, the restaurant franchisee is looking to leave the business to his 34-year-old son, Anthony Holt, who has been working at the business since he was in high school.
“I think it’s about time for me to open the door to retirement,” said Holt.
Anthony Holt says he is ready for the challenge.
“I feel like my father has passed the baton to me and I’m ready to take daVIDO’s into the future with hopefully, more restaurants all over the Southeast and eventually the nation, if the Lord sees it in His will,” said Anthony.
The Holts say you can sum up the secret of their success in one word: Community. Since the first day of operation, Holt has given back to the community by hiring high school students to work in the restaurant, speaking at countless career days, donating food and beverages to DeKalb schools, offering free pizzas for honor roll students and by partnering with several outreach programs such as the Frank Ski Foundation and the Ryan Cameron Foundation. Holt worked with his son, Anthony, to develop fundraising opportunities for local schools and churches as well.
“We really believe it takes a village. When you continue to stay involved in the community, the community will then in turn come out to support you. That’s been the real recipe for success for us. In two decades, the thing I enjoy most about this business is speaking to kids at school career days and being the catalyst for our young employees to learn the tools to business etiquette and customer service,” said David.
“Staying involved in the community has served to be the best marketing tool for us. We have basically become a staple in this community with that idea in mind,” said Anthony Holt.
daVIDO’s serves spaghetti, lasagna, chicken tenders, french fries, homemade cakes, an assortment of fresh salads, Philly cheesesteaks, the best lemon pepper wings in Atlanta, and of course, pizza.
To celebrate the anniversary, daVIDO’s $3.75 Pizza is offering several specials. June 9 to June 13, Monday through Friday, the first 20 customers each day will receive a free small cheese pizza; On Saturday, June 14, large cheese pizzas will be sold for $3.75 (one pizza per person, per visit). You can share a piece of birthday cake with staff members at all daVIDO’s locations on the same day. David says the business also plans to give away two 32” flat screen televisions and free one-topping pizzas through drawings.
You can enjoy the daVIDO’s experience at one of their three locations: 6118 Covington Highway Lithonia (770-808-5855); 4834 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur (770-322-0375); 2040 Eastside Drive, Conyers (770-922-1181)
For more information, visit www.davidos375pizza.com. The pizza chain is also on the social media websites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.