November 15, 2010 // Franchising.com // Employees from Fazoli's in Lubbock, Texas brought home the coveted Red Colander trophy after winning Fazoli's National Pasta Bowl Championship, held recently at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando Resort. The quiz show-style competition tests players' knowledge of Fazoli's restaurant operations and culture. Preliminary rounds determined the four finalist teams who advanced to Florida.
Each received $500 American Express Gift Cards, the trip to Florida, a day at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and bragging rights among associates at Fazoli's 220 locations across the country.
"This year, we weren't going home without the trophy," said restaurant General Manager Angie Pena, who coached the employees along with Director of Operations Mark Crayne and Fazoli's Franchise Business Consultant Gregg Siepker. The Lubbock restaurant has had a team reach the final four for the last three years, but they never won. Crystal Cash participated on the 2008 team, and Kishai Ortega was on last year's team that came in second place.
By missing only three questions out of 27, the Lubbock team defeated the reigning Pasta Bowl champs from Lima, Ohio, as well as, teams from St. Joseph, Mo., and Pensacola, Fla. The contest consisted of three rounds of nine questions, with contestants answering three questions each round without help from their teammates. Questions covered everything from guest service to recipe ingredients, food safety, cook times and even the pattern of butter applied to a pan of Fazoli's signature breadsticks.
The National Pasta Bowl Championship kicked off Fazoli's annual conference. The Ritz-Carlton ballroom was filled with Fazoli's franchisees, company restaurant operators, suppliers and support staff who cheered on each of the teams.
"Continuous learning in a fun and exciting format is vital to keeping associates engaged in our business," said Dennis Benson, "by improving their knowledge of our products and procedures, they can provide our guests with the best possible food and great service, which are Fazoli's hallmarks."
An American family favorite for more than 20 years, Fazoli's (pronounced Fuh-ZOH-lees) is a leading, next generation QSR franchise opportunity. With an all new premium menu, a contemporary new restaurant design and fresh leadership, Fazoli's is well positioned for growth. Fazoli's is expanding in select markets throughout the country. Founded in Lexington, Ky. in 1989, Sun Capital Partners acquired Fazoli's in 2006.