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Fazoli’s new prototype helps drive sales

Fazoli’s rebuilding project of the past several years has come to fruition, and the brand expects to end the year with its 18th consecutive month of positive same-store sales growth, chief executive Carl Howard said.

Howard told Nation’s Restaurant News during a tour of the brand’s new prototype in its headquarters city of Lexington, Ky., that November’s 6.6-percent increase in same-store sales was the 220-unit quick-service Italian chain’s best November in more than a decade, and that sales in December were trending even higher.

The company credits its new “Expand Your Taste” menu and its new prototype design — in place at all 125 company-owned restaurants and in several franchise markets — with driving results. Updated Fazoli’s locations have more contemporary décor to match fast-casual service upgrades, like food runners, real plateware and silverware, and greater customization available for the chain’s baked pastas.

View a slideshow of Fazoli's new prototype

The changes have resulted in same-store sales increases running 6 percent to 10 percent above gains elsewhere in Fazoli’s system, Howard said.

The brand will continue to strive for upgrades with the launch of a new customer service initiative that rolls out systemwide on April 9, 2012. The program includes more training for cashiers so they can guide customers through the entire expanded menu and explain dishes without having to turn to the menu board, and all managers will be moved to the dining rooms to deliver bread sticks and visit more tables.

Hear more from Howard about how Fazoli’s enhanced service, menu and décor make the brand “right for the times;” story continues below

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Lexington, Ky.-based Fazoli’s is owned by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners, which acquired the chain in 2006.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN

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