Iconic Italian brand announces biggest growth push in brand history, expands franchise sales department to achieve all-time highest development record
Lexington, KY (Restaurant News Release) Following a fiscal year that shattered franchise development records, Fazoli’s is taking its expansion strategy to the next level with its most aggressive goal yet.
Fazoli’s ended its fiscal year in March, with a record 20 new franchise agreements to develop 50 locations, exceeding the most agreements Fazoli’s had signed in a single year in its 33-year history. Now, Fazoli’s aims to double that record by signing 40 new franchisees to add 100 locations to its pipeline this fiscal year.
To help achieve its biggest growth push in brand history, Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard announced today that the company has welcomed David Boatright as its new director of franchise sales. In this position, Boatright will work alongside Senior Director of Franchise Sales Steve Bailey to bring highly qualified new franchisees to the brand.
“Fazoli’s is in the 99th percentile of all operating brands in the entire industry, and prospective franchisees are recognizing our success,” said CEO Carl Howard. “Markets are selling out quickly. In March alone, we signed 10 new groups for 23 new locations, and we are on pace to open 15 new locations this calendar year and 20-plus locations for the next several years. We’ve built an incredible franchise team with a proven track record of success. We have never been in a better position for growth of this magnitude.”
Fazoli’s is targeting development in new markets throughout Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania. The renowned, Lexington-based brand is also looking to grow its footprint in Arkansas, Alabama, California, Florida, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Since last June, 16 new and four current franchisees have taken advantage of Fazoli’s unrivaled 2020 Franchise Incentive Program. Offering the industry’s leading conversion incentive, the program encourages challenged quick-service or fast-casual restaurant operators to convert their existing shells into a Fazoli’s. So far for FY22, Fazoli’s is on target to complete 11 conversions, with more in the pipeline. With the aggressive incentive strategy, 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. Fazoli’s also relaxed many of its conversion requirements so operators can get a 2,000- to 3,500-square-foot restaurant open for under $350,000.
Additionally, Fazoli’s developed three new prototypes designed to capitalize on its unprecedented surge in off-premise revenue. A new 1,700 double drive-thru prototype, and a 2,200- and 2,500-square-foot prototype are in the works to provide prospective franchisees with the most cost-effective solutions to serve the brand’s premium Italian fare while delivering the best bottom line.
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 Fast Casual and Steritech’s 2020 Excellence in Food Safety Award and was named one of the top 20 brands on Fast Casual’s 2021 Top 100 Movers and Shakers list, “Top 50 Global Fast Casual Innovators in 2021” by Foodable, a “Top 200 Franchises in 2021” by Franchise Business Review, a Fast Casual “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 Fast Casual’s 2021 Top 100 Movers and Shakers list, and he and his team were recipients of the 2021 American Business Awards Gold Stevie Awards in Food & Beverage for Company of the Year, Achievement in Management and Human Resources Team of the Year.