Fazoli’s has hired Red Mango vet James Franks as vice president of franchising, signaling the start of a franchise growth push for the Italian quick-service chain, Fazoli’s said Monday.
Franks has held executive roles in franchising for 22 years and most recently served as vice president of franchising at frozen yogurt chain Red Mango.
The Lexington, Ky.-based Fazoli’s is driving a sales turnaround with a new menu and store prototype, said president and chief executive Carl Howard.
“James Franks has a strong track record of helping to expand established brands,” Howard said in a statement. “With his hiring, all the pieces for Fazoli’s growth are now in place.”
In the first week of January, Fazoli’s opened five new units in Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois that carry the new menu and store design, as well as service upgrades like food runners and real plates and silverware. In February, the chain debuted its first nontraditional location, an on-site restaurant at a Walmart in St. Louis.
In an earlier interview with Nation’s Restaurant News, Howard said such nontraditional units would be a focus of growth plans, and that a complete menu overhaul was scheduled to roll out in October.
Franks, who was national director of franchise sales at Dunkin’ Brands prior to his role at Red Mango, said his first priorities at Fazoli’s are to create a franchise strategy that involves current operators as well as franchisees of other brands, to identify core growth markets. Her also wants to debut a new franchise website.
“Fazoli’s is one of the best franchising opportunities that I’ve seen in a very long time,” Franks said. “Consumers love its uniqueness, the model works and there are virtually endless opportunities in both traditional and nontraditional markets.”
The chain of more than 240 restaurants was founded in 1989 and purchased by private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners in 2006.