Sales Uptick, New Franchisees Position Chain for Expansion
November 19, 2013 // Franchising.com // LEXINGTON, Ky. – Never has Fazoli’s longtime tagline – Fast, Fresh, Italian – been more indicative of its future. Having just celebrated its 25th anniversary, the premium QSR brand is on a fast growth track, with franchisees reporting same-store sales increases 41 of the last 43 months.
"In October, our franchise system experienced a remarkable 8.1 percent sales jump over last year, which was up a very solid 12.2 percent on a two year comparison," said Carl Howard, Fazoli’s president and CEO.
"Fazoli’s early success was based on its unique position as the nation’s only Italian quick-service restaurant chain," Howard said. "We stayed true to that focus, but 25 years later, Fazoli’s is, in fact, a fresh concept very relevant to today’s consumer and operator."
A revamped menu goes far beyond the original offerings of spaghetti, lasagna and fettuccine Alfredo. Today, guests line up – or drive up – for contemporary, freshly prepared culinary creations ranging from nearly a dozen unique Oven Baked Pasta entrees, Fresh Chopped Salads and sandwiches to new limited time offerings like Chicken with Marsala sauce paired with fresh mushrooms and served over cheese-stuffed Mezzaluna Ravioli. However, it’s indulgent, fresh-from-the-oven, all-you-can-eat breadsticks, first served on day one, remain a popular signature item.
The chain also has refreshed all of its restaurants with a bright, modern colorful design. To further differentiate it from other QSR chains, Fazoli’s replaced disposable plates and plastic utensils with real plates and silverware. Meals are now delivered to tables, leaving busy families more time to visit.
As a result of the brand’s update and strong sales, franchising is on an upswing. Fazoli’s has found considerable success expanding into travel centers. Colorado convenience store chain LOCO, Inc. recently broke ground on its first Fazoli’s franchise, located in Glenwood Springs. "We decided to go with Fazoli’s because of its willingness to be flexible, for its marketing programs, type of food and willingness to support franchisees," said Pete Lipson, LOCO owner.
So far this year, Fazoli's has secured commitments from new and existing franchisees for nine new locations. Agreements for more than 20 additional restaurants are being finalized.
The chain, owned by Sun Capital Partners, currently operates or franchises approximately 220 units in 27 states.
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With approximately 220 restaurants, Fazoli's is America's largest Italian fast-casual chain, serving freshly prepared entrees, Submarinos® sandwiches, salads and pizza.