There is a saying at Fazoli’s that “life is better with breadsticks.” They continue to bring back guests year after year. Fan favorites, like their signature breadsticks, along with continued innovation and a strong business opportunity are great reasons to join the Fazoli’s family.
Fazoli’s CEO, Carl Howard, answered our questions about the brand and also shared five reasons why Fazoli’s is the perfect franchise for 2020.
How does Fazoli’s continue to be an iconic brand?
After 30 years of service, we continue to provide Italian favorites and understand there’s a sense of nostalgia that guests hold in their hearts for Fazoli’s, especially our famous breadsticks. But that doesn’t mean we can stay stagnant, which is why we continue to evolve.
It sounds simple, but we really are passionate about empowering our team to create unique menu offerings and stellar customer service that has become a standard within the restaurant space. Everything from our menu offerings to our building prototype and remodels to the technology used within the building reflects our team’s commitment to providing a best-in-class experience to anyone who dines with Fazoli’s.
What are some of the ways Fazoli’s continues to innovate?
As a dominant force in the industry, we continue to adapt and refine the guest experience. The consumer was already changing before the pandemic and now the stay-at-home economy has become a necessary reality. So, our team focused our strategy on upgrading our off-premise initiatives.
When everyone started sheltering in place, we saw an opportunity to provide a dinner solution – Super Family Meals – that gives families an easy way to put delicious, classic Italian food on the table for a great price. The popularity and response of our Super Family Meals has been unprecedented and has encouraged our team to continue to develop offerings that cater to a new type of guest and new dining occasions.
In addition, Fazoli’s has embraced new technologies to compete in the on-demand marketplace. We have enhanced our app, improved and grown the Fazoli’s Rewards program, developed seamless mobile ordering and integrated third-party delivery; something that has become even more vital over the last three months. We have also implemented self-ordering kiosks, contactless payment and added order tablets in the drive-thru to increase speed of service. Our CIO, Wayne Pederson, has even been working behind the scenes with ConverseNow in order to better automate future order processing.
What makes Fazoli’s stand out in comparison to other brands?
In addition, Fazoli’s pioneered service-after-the-sale in the QSR industry before the true establishment of the fast-casual segment. We believe in providing guests with an unparalleled experience – real plateware, silverware, unlimited fresh-baked breadsticks and tableside grated parmesan – differentiating Fazoli’s from the competition in the QSR segment.
How can Fazoli’s compete with health-conscious brands?
Italian dishes are a quintessential comfort food. Pasta covered in rich, hearty and sometimes creamy sauces are all crowd favorites. But we also understand that there has been a societal shift towards a healthier lifestyle. Once again, we adapted.
Fazoli’s became the first Italian brand to debut plant-based IMPOSSIBLE Meat Sauce. We partnered with IMPOSSIBLE Foods to develop a product that responds to guests’ ever-changing lifestyle needs while delivering the craveable flavors that Fazoli’s is known for. As part of an upcoming menu refresh, we’re currently testing the possibility of adding a LifeStyle Menu that features Gluten-Friendly Baked Pasta, Keto Flatbread, Killer Zoodles and IMPOSSIBLE Spaghetti. It’s a step in a new direction for Fazoli’s, and we’re excited to see where this path takes us.
Why is this the right time to buy a Fazoli’s franchise?
There has never been a better time to join the Fazoli’s family. We’re gearing up to develop 300-500 locations in the next 5-10 years. Our brand has grown in sales for nine consecutive years and, even during these unprecedented times, our model continues to expand.
Now, we’re making it even easier to become a franchisee with an award-winning, record-breaking brand. This summer, we launched the most aggressive incentive program in the brand’s history – zero down payment, zero franchise fees and zero royalty fees in the first year. This new conversion program will help revitalize the restaurant industry by providing an opportunity for other quick-service or fast casual operators to convert their existing shells into Fazoli’s. Operators can now get a 2,000- to 3,500-square-foot restaurant open for between $175,000 and $300,000.
As part of the Fazoli’s Family, we are committed to being great partners for our franchisees. We have created programs to make orientation and training seamless, from full IT support to extensive operations training and on-going marketing assistance. Our seasoned leadership team, comprised of individuals who have also operated their own franchises, works closely with our franchisees throughout the development process and after they are open to ensure they are successful and most importantly, profitable.
At Fazoli’s we focus on the people – the team, the franchisees and our valued guests. The pandemic hit our industry extremely hard. We care deeply about the industry and want to see it rebuild, recover and continue to thrive. As we work to revitalize the industry, we will also focus on what Fazoli’s can do to keep our foot on the gas and come out of the other side stronger than ever.