For Fazoli’s, Technology is a Family Affair



Johanna Miner, Fazoli's IT Manager
Johanna Miner, Fazoli’s IT Manager

For Fazoli's, Technology is a Family AffairIn today’s consumer climate, it’s no longer enough for restaurants to have basic technology in place. It’s more than just a cool feature – It has to enhance the guest experience by helping the user create a frictionless transaction with design, ease of use and more. And the only way brands can create the perfect experience for guests is by collaborating across the organization and with franchisees to make technology work for everyone.

For the restaurant industry, technology must be developed to meet the needs of many different users. It needs to be seamless on the front end for the consumer, as well as on the back end for operators and franchisees. That’s why Fazoli’s makes refining technology a key focus. The iconic Italian brand’s IT department works with the entire system to find the right technology that sets franchisees and the brand up for success.

At Fazoli’s, Miner promotes a culture of collaboration with franchisees and other corporate departments to reach the overall goal of elevating the brand. She shared a few reasons why perfecting technology should include all family members in the franchise:

What first attracted you to the technology field?

I always thought I would go into accounting or business administration; but then, when I was working in administration with another restaurant brand 22 years ago, an area supervisor realized we needed someone to help learn and train new systems for our Northeastern locations. That someone became me – I assisted with new store openings and conversions, POS enhancements and training before ultimately serving as a national computer and IT training liaison for the company.

I was first drawn to IT because it’s a mix of many different aspects of the company. It’s not just computers – it’s restaurant training and operations, too. When I got started, I broke some things along the way, but then I became a problem solver and figured out how to fix it. Troubleshooting became one of my strengths, and I have since spent most of my career helping brands find solutions that make all departments and franchisees happy.

How does Fazoli’s technology team stand out compared to competitors?

Teamwork makes the dream work in technology, and at Fazoli’s, we all work together. The company fosters mutual respect across the system, so we know we’re working in a dependable, collaborative environment. Which is perfect for me because I don’t do well in working in a silo. I have made it a point to build relationships with other departments and franchisees and encouraged our IT team to do the same. Technology takes a village, so we must remain inclusive of the entire system and be great at working with others. In the end, we can’t launch a new solution unless all parties work together. We also want other departments to know they can come to IT for whatever challenges they may face. We remain approachable by having an open-door policy where we encourage people to feel comfortable coming in and chatting with us.

What is your favorite part about providing IT support for Fazoli’s?

I love the camaraderie between the teams. I have a great relationship with our support office team and franchise operators. I’ve loved working with franchisees to help them adapt to the ever-changing technology environment. I was originally hired to swap out a previous POS system, something they had used for over 25 years. I know big hanges like that aren’t easy for anyone, so I put myself in their shoes so that I could provide the best support possible. We went full circle from those initial stages of hesitation to enthusiasm with the whole integration. Getting franchisees involved in the process while watching them embrace change and figure out ways to contribute to it was my absolute favorite part. I also love having the opportunity to be a mentor. My boss, Fazoli’s CIO Wayne Pederson, has been a mentor to me for years. He’s helped me grow into the leader that I am today, and as I continue to build strong relationships with my colleagues and with franchisees, my goal is to leave that same mark on someone else.

As the largest premium QSR Italian chain in America, Fazoli’s is a fast-growing franchise that owns and operates nearly 220 restaurants in 28 states. For more information about Fazoli’s franchise opportunities, visit ownafazolis.com or contact Senior Director of Franchise Sales Steve Bailey at steve.bailey@fazolis.com.