Lexington, Ky.-based, fast-casual Italian-American chain Fazoli’s announced a major national expansion Thursday, with the addition of six new franchisees, totaling 12 new locations across Iowa, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. Additionally, a current Fazoli’s franchisee is opening two locations in Georgia. Currently with 220 restaurants in 28 states, Fazoli’s is planning to begin opening this next wave of new restaurants in 2021.
“It is a very exciting time for the Fazoli’s franchise family,” CEO Carl Howard said. “During a time when many brands have slowed down, we put our foot on the gas.”
In addition to a strong summer of sales and traffic both up nearly 16%, Fazoli’s said that their franchise boost during an otherwise challenging time for the industry was “fueled by their conversion strategy.” They encourage struggling quick-service or fast-casual operators to convert their restaurants into Fazoli’s brands under a new, shorter five-year term. During the pandemic, Fazoli’s has also relaxed many of its franchise requirements, allowing potential franchisees can open a 2,000- to 3,500-square-foot restaurant open for less than $350,000.
The company is also looking for franchisees interested in filling out their new store prototypes to capitalize on their focus on off-premise capabilities in response to shifting consumer needs. The prototypes include a 2,800-square-foot building, 2,500-square-foot building, 2,200-square-foot building and a double drive-thru-only concept.
“After launching our first-ever conversion strategy, we saw robust interest from existing and potential franchisees who wanted to capitalize on this exclusive opportunity by bringing shuttered restaurant locations back to life with a strong and vibrant brand,” Howard said. “Our sales and traffic have skyrocketed. We’ve made brand history in the last six months with record-setting sales and traffic backed by a strong value proposition and a compelling off-premise strategy.”
Expanding their franchise reach is not the only strategy Fazoli’;s is focusing on right now, however. In September, the brand announced that its ghost kitchen chicken wing concept would be assimilated into the company’s brick and mortar core menu.
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