Fazoli’s experienced its most successful quarter in the beginning of 2021, breaking over 200 weekly sales records. CEO Carl Howard credits the financial success to the team at the fast-casual brand.
The Lexington, Ky.-based brand saw March sales rise 85% over 2020 and 34% over March 2019. The brand is also expanding unit counts with 11 area development agreements signed in Q1 to add 36 additional locations to the pipeline.
On the menu front, Fazoli’s has continued to innovate, and part of that was a virtual brand.
The chain’s first virtual brand, Wingville, was in the works before the pandemic began, Howard explained, but the newer brands (ghost kitchens with fast-casual chain Wow Bao and Macaroniville) are a direct result of the pandemic.
Macaroniville is the newest virtual brand coming out of Fazoli’s. It’s rolled out in three of the highest delivery-volume stores in the Midwest for testing before a national rollout. Menu items include lobster mac and cheese, Buffalo mac and cheese (in various flavors of Buffalo using virtual wing sauces) and more.
The startup cost is under $500.
Howard believes virtual brands will help Fazoli’s footprint grow exponentially after a year of extreme growth for their low-cost footprints.
Listen to the podcast to hear more about how Fazoli’s achieved pandemic success from CEO Carl Howard.