June 11, 2014 // Franchising.com // LEXINGTON, Ky. – Just in time for summer road trips and family outings, Fazoli's is bringing its popular fast, fresh Italian food to three new communities as it opens three new restaurants, with eight more to come this year. The premium quick-service restaurant chain opened a franchised unit last month in Dubuque, Iowa. This week it debuted in Glenwood Springs, Colo. A third franchised location opens later this month in Whitehouse, Texas. All three are operated by new franchisees and are located in travel centers along major interstates. They are the first of 11 franchised and company restaurants scheduled to open this year.
The growth comes as franchisees, which make up approximately 45% of Fazoli's total units, reported May same-store sales jumped 8.3% over last year, adding to a 14-month streak of comp-store sales increases.
While other Italian chain restaurants are struggling, Fazoli's continues to grow sales and add locations. "Consumers today want high quality, flavorful food at an affordable price, which is exactly what Fazoli's is delivering," said Carl Howard, president and CEO.
"Innovative new promotions, like the Ultimate Pasta Bowls and the extremely successful Cheesecake with Nutella are creating a lot of enthusiasm among guests and franchisees," said Bob Hoseus, a Columbus, Ohio-based franchise owner who set a new historical store sales record in May. "Along with strong sales, it's very exciting to have new operators invest in the Fazoli's system."
Howard added that new franchisees – especially convenience store and travel center operators – are attracted to the brand because it offers a compelling alternative to other QSR concepts. "Fazoli's is helping them elevate the quality of food and level of service they offer their customers, enabling them to generate more traffic." He added that c-store and travel center restaurants units draw local guests as well as travelers.
After Whitehouse, Texas, the next location, operated by the company, is scheduled to open in late August in Dayton, Ohio, followed by franchised restaurants in Elkins, W.Va., Franklin, Ind., Parkersburg, W.Va., Indianapolis, Ind., Morehead, Ky. and Tyler, Texas. Fazoli's this fall will open its first college campus location, which will be operated by Texas Tech University.