November 08, 2012 // Franchising.com // Franklin, Tenn. - Old Chicago, the nationwide pizza chain known for its deep-dish pizza, fresh pasta, and extensive beer menu, is coming to Franklin. The new restaurant – opening November 12 and located at 440 Cool Springs Blvd. – will be the first new Old Chicago restaurant in the nation to premiere Old Chicago’s newly rebranded concept.
The new restaurant is owned by partners David Stephens, Harold Wallace, Paul Friedberg and Larry Kagley, who also own six other Old Chicago locations throughout Indiana and Kentucky, as well as two others in Tennessee. Prior to joining Old Chicago in 2004, the partners were multi-unit Applebee’s franchisees with decades of industry experience.
“Old Chicago is a unique concept – that’s one of the reasons we were drawn to it in the first place,” owner David Stephens said. “It’s a high-quality, family-friendly restaurant with a high-energy bar. There’s something for everyone, and that makes it really special.”
The Franklin location is the company’s first to roll out the new and improved look, designed to update Old Chicago’s image for a more modern and demanding customer base. To reenergize the brand, Old Chicago’s corporate team underwent a full year of beta testing, experimentation and consumer and industry research to design a new look and an improved menu.
“It’s the new Old Chicago for a modern crowd,” said co-owner and vice president of operations Harold Wallace. “The menu, the look, the vibe are all updated and improved to appeal to a broader audience.”
Among the many changes, the exterior will be more eye-catching with new signage and a bright red color scheme. On the interior, the bar and dining room, though still separate, will be more open to give the place a more cohesive and energetic feel. In the kitchen, reengineered layouts and new technologies like improved pizza ovens mean guests will get fed faster than ever. The biggest changes, however, can be seen in Old Chicago’s updated menu, which features over 50 new additions as well as improved recipes for old classics.
“Our best products – pizzas, calzones, and pastas – are all still on the menu, but they have been improved: we’re using fresher ingredients and making everything from scratch,” Wallace said. “More flavorful food means more customer satisfaction, and that’s incredibly important to us.”
All in all, Stephens and Wallace are confident the new changes will be a success.
“We’re excited to be the first test market for the new and improved Old Chicago,” Wallace said. “The corporate office has been working hard on this for 18 months, and we are eager to see that hard work pay off.”
Stephens agrees – and says he’s already looking forward to a bright future filled with more restaurants.
“Even before the rebranding, my manager called Old Chicago the ‘Ritz-Carlton of pizza and more,’ because it has everything – delicious food, exceptional service, and a unique atmosphere,” he said. “And now, this franchise is truly unstoppable.”
Old Chicago was founded in Colorado in 1976, and has grown to nearly 100 locations in 22 states. Franchising opportunities are available in many markets. For more information please visit www.ocfranchising.com. To find a restaurant in your area visit www.oldchicago.com.
Sanderson & Associates, Ltd.