Odus Mundy, a multi-unit Fazoli’s franchise owner is hearing things in his Tennessee restaurants that he likes. Guests frequently comment about Fazoli’s improved food that is now presented on real plates, its new table service and fresh décor. But Mundy really likes what he sees: full tables that are driving sales increases as much as 20 percent.
Like other Fazoli’s franchisees who have embraced the company’s new menu, expanded service program (ESP) and remodeling program, Mundy is experiencing his strongest sales in years. “I was the first franchisee to roll out ESP, and I’m very thankful I did,” he said. Mundy, who has revamped three units, has found that his food and labor costs have remained about the same. “Profitability is much better than last year,” he added.
Carl Howard, president and CEO, said Fazoli’s turnaround has hit a critical milestone – 15 months of continuous comp-store sales growth for both franchised and company restaurants. When Howard joined Fazoli’s, the chain was experiencing double-digit sales and traffic declines. For the 15 months ending September 30, comp store sales growth averaged more than three percent, with some units reporting increases as high as 20 percent. With strong September traffic, Fazoli’s has completed five straight quarters of continuous growth.
“Fazoli’s has been completely repositioned,” said Howard. “Today, we deliver a $10 casual dining experience for $6. Rather than price, Fazoli’s now competes on food quality, service and environment.”
All 127 company-owned units will have added ESP and been remodeled by the end of September. 17 franchised restaurants have been updated, with nine more scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
“It was important that the company test and refine the new service model in its locations before asking the franchise community to embrace it,” Howard said. “It’s very rewarding to see our franchisees experience the same positive results in their restaurants.”
Both Mundy and Howard are very optimistic about Fazoli’s future. “The brand is in a better position now than it has been in many years,” Mundy said.