America’s largest premium QSR Italian chain celebrates loyal franchisees, vendor partners and associates that drove record-breaking sales year
Lexington, KY (RestaurantNews.com) Fazoli’s – the renowned, Lexington-based brand known for serving up premium Italian dishes at a great value – recently honored its exceptional leaders on a virtual stage at its National Brand Awards.
“I am incredibly proud of all that our brand has accomplished in 2020,” said Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard. “During a challenging time for the industry, it’s even more important to recognize and celebrate those who have contributed to the brand’s success and helped propel Fazoli’s to be the trailblazer it is today.”
During the virtual ceremony, the iconic Italian brand honored Mark Crayne of PastaQuik as Franchisee of the Year. In the last nine out of 10 years, PastaQuik has been up in comparable store sales, and this year is no exception, with sales growth of 1.9%. PastaQuik’s six Fazoli’s restaurants boast the highest AUV in the brand’s system.
“Mark’s leadership and ability to build strong teams, along with his high operational standards, is proof that consistency in operations leads to an increase in sales,” Howard said. “He has a commitment to reinvest in his restaurants and to date, all six of his locations have been completely remodeled, which we know is key to enhancing the guest experience. As a three-time winner of Franchisee of the Year, Mark continues to serve as a valuable member of our Franchise Advisory Board, as well as an impressive operator in the Fazoli’s Franchise Family.”
Fazoli’s also recognized each of these outstanding contributors to the brand during the ceremony:
- Shan Watkins of AIE Franchise in Memphis, Tennessee won Franchise General Manager of the Year.
- Danielle Bertram of Frankfort, Kentucky won Company General Manager of the Year.
- Sam Dawson of Lexington, Kentucky won Area Supervisor of the Year.
- Electra Walker of UP II Group Franchise in Shawnee, Kansas won Most Improved Franchise Restaurant.
- Margaret Crifasi and Vivid Ink Graphics won Supplier of the Year.
- PFG Rice won Distribution Center of the Year.
- McLane’s Classic Foods won New Supplier of the Year.
“This year has tested our brand, and we have shown how resilient and tough Fazoli’s is,” Howard said. “We have a remarkable family of loyal franchisees, vendor partners and associates that have driven us to record-breaking sales and traffic in 2020, and our team is thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate them.”
For locations, hours, menus and more information, visit fazolis.com.
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.