America’s largest premium QSR Italian chain opens three new restaurants and first ghost kitchen in the last 90 days with record nine more locations set to open this fiscal year
Lexington, KY (RestaurantNews.com) Despite the global pandemic, Fazoli’s – the renowned, Lexington-based brand known for serving up premium Italian dishes at a great value – is experiencing record-breaking expansion across the nation, proving its growth and development efforts remain strong as ever.
While Fazoli’s is breaking sales records, the brand is also gearing up for at least 13 new restaurant openings this fiscal year. In the last 10 weeks, the iconic Italian brand has already successfully opened four new locations in Cartersville, Georgia; Sedalia, Missouri; Jacksonville, North Carolina and its first-ever ghost kitchen in Atlanta. In the coming months, Fazoli’s has nine more locations set to open in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina. As a way to provide a fast-track to joining the Fazoli’s Family, the brand’s latest conversion program offers new and current franchisees a Zero Franchisee Fee, Zero Royalty Fee in year one. It provides Fazoli’s franchisees the opportunity to get in business for under $350,000 and the opportunity to quickly build liquidity.
“Even during these challenging times for the restaurant industry, we are thriving and expanding our brand footprint,” said Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard. “We’ve stayed aggressive in terms of our grand opening plan, and it is has definitely paid off. All four of our recent openings have had incredible sales. Our momentum is very high right now, and we have no intention of slowing down.”
Fazoli’s technology strategy is also paying large dividends for new and current franchisees during the pandemic. Fazoli’s off-premise initiatives and upgrades continue to evolve, and Fazoli’s loyalty guests can order and receive the brand’s delicious Italian fare, served exactly how they want it, when they want it. Fazoli’s guests can place an order on their phone or digital device and have their favorite menu item along with hot, fresh breadsticks delivered, available for pick-up through the drive-thru, brought directly to them with curbside service, or have it ready inside the restaurant in a dedicated space for its pronto pick-up orders. Additional technology services, like ordering tablets in the drive-thru, became imperative, and the brand made the move to include them for all new openings. Enhanced technology, along with key service differentiators, like delivering hot, fresh breadsticks to guests waiting in the drive-thru, have been paramount for Fazoli’s. Nobody delivers the service inside or outside of their four walls like Fazoli’s.
As this year’s Steritech Excellence in Food Safety Award winner, Fazoli’s has maintained the highest standards when it comes to the health and safety of its guests and team members. All of Fazoli’s grand opening plans and training initiatives have been refreshed to incorporate its enhanced COVID-19 cleaning and sanitation procedures. In addition to team members wearing masks and gloves and implementing social distancing, Fazoli’s has enhanced sanitation procedures and limited dining room seating. Restaurants have added sanitation stations, sanitation wipes are provided for every guest after they check out and team members wash hands and change gloves every 20 minutes, and clean and sanitize their workstations at the top of every hour. Fazoli’s always operates at the highest sanitation standards to ensure the safety of its guests and team members and will continue to maintain these heightened brand practices across the system, in both existing and new locations.
“We have created new ways to provide the same exceptional service and value to our guests that we did before this crisis,” Howard said. “Our enhanced safety guidelines have been essential to us finding success in these new openings and will continue to be key as we open more Fazoli’s throughout the country. Our brand is experiencing explosive growth, and we are set up for record expansion this fiscal year. We are offering a groundbreaking conversion opportunity with our new Fazoli’s 2020 Franchise Incentive Program. Franchisees can sign a short five-year term, versus the typical 15-year commitment, with zero down payment, zero franchise fees and zero royalty fees in the first year. We have relaxed many of our conversion requirements so operators can get a 2,000- to 3,500-square-foot restaurant open for under $350,000. With our compelling new incentive program, there’s never been a better time to join the Fazoli’s Franchise Family.”
Founded in 1988 in Lexington, Ky., Fazoli’s owns and operates nearly 220 restaurants in 28 states, making it the largest premium QSR Italian chain in America. Fazoli’s prides itself on serving premium quality Italian food, fast, fresh and friendly. Menu offerings include freshly prepared pasta entrees, Submarinos® sandwiches, salads, pizza and desserts – along with its unlimited signature breadsticks. Fazoli’s is a winner of FastCasual and Steritech’s 2020 Excellence in Food Safety Award and was named one of the “Top 200 Franchises in 2020” by Franchise Business Review, a FastCasual “Brand of the Year,” and an Entrepreneur 2018 “Franchise 500.” CEO Carl Howard was named among the most influential restaurant CEOs in the country in 2020 by Nation’s Restaurant News, was recognized as one of the top 25 industry leaders on FastCasual’s 2020 Top 100 Movers and Shakers list, and he and his team were recipients of the 2020 American Business Awards Gold Stevie Awards in Food & Beverage for Company of the Year, Achievement in Management and Human Resources Team of the Year.