Fazoli’s Asks Customers to Yelp About Its Melt

Fazoli’s is so proud of its new Italian Melt sandwiches that it’s encouraging customers to “Yelp” about its Melts. The company wants customers to go to the popular consumer review website this month to provide feedback, good or bad. Then, at the end of July, it will report back on what people had to say. Of course, anyone can check out the reviews themselves to see if the melts are getting five stars from consumers.

Italian Invasion

Brands rush to fill the fast-casual Italian niche.

Brands are applying the fast casual model to modernize Italian cuisine.
This rendering shows the potential interior of Fazoli's yet-to-be-named Italian fast casual.

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Modern Italian cuisine is the next big thing in fast casual. Or at least, that’s what some major quick-service operators are banking on.

Fazoli’s and Sbarro each plan to debut a fast-casual Italian concept in the near future, following in the footsteps of successful regional brands fusing popular Italian dishes like pasta and pizza with the growing trend toward premium ingredients and customization.

Fazoli's CEO Named Exec of the Year

Carl Howard, president and CEO of premium Italian quick-service restaurant chain Fazoli's was recently recognized as Executive of the Year and received a Gold Stevie Award in the Eleventh Annual American Business Awards, presented in Chicago. It is the latest of several regional and national awards bestowed on Fazoli’s and its leadership team.


Fazoli's Introduces Summer Lottery Game

Fazoli’s has partnered with Coke to offer its guests a chance to win great prizes, plus the chance to win $50,000, making this summer a whole lotta fun. The Fazoli’s Italian Lotto Game features instant cash and food prizes when guests upsize to any medium size drink. Peel & Win stickers on the special cups will reveal instant prizes, as well as a code for a chance to win the $50,000 grand prize.


Birth of a Brand

What it takes in this day and age to develop a new brand, from conception to launch.

New fast food brands like Live Basil first start as innovative business ideas.
Employees at the first Live Basil unit work the line shortly after the restaurant opened.

It always starts with a simple idea.

For Brian Bailey at Ichor Restaurant Group, it began with the idea that Ohioans needed better barbecue. Six years after that idea initially took hold, Old Carolina Barbecue opened the doors to its first unit, in Canton, Ohio. The company later opened California-inspired Baja Pizzafish and will soon launch Smoke, a concept that draws inspiration from the smoked burgers served in Old Carolina and the sauces from Baja Pizzafish.

Complete NRA Show Coverage

A rundown of the sights, sounds, and eats at the 2013 NRA Show.

National Restaurant Association Show attendees walk the expansive floor.
National Restaurant Association / restaurantdotorg

Click on the headlines below to catch up on QSR’s coverage from the floor of the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA Show).

Recapping the NRA Show

As the lights went out on the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA Show) in Chicago on Tuesday, there was plenty to consider about the future of the industry.

FROM THE FLOOR: Fazoli's to Launch New Concept

Fazoli’s is rolling out a new fast-casual concept focusing on modern Italian fare, CEO Carl Howard announced at the 2013 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

While Fazoli’s serves up tradition Italian dishes like pastas, pizzas, and submarinos, the new modern Italian concept will resemble Chipotle in its service and menu models. The point of differentiation, Howard says, is that this new concept will focus on three primary menu platforms instead of one.

Fazoli's Hits the Road with Trio of Travel Center Deals

Three new franchisees have agreed to develop Fazoli’s restaurants in travel centers, while two existing operators also have new travel-center units under construction.

Fazoli’s reached agreements with three new franchisees for six travel center units in East Texas; Dubuque, Iowa; and Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Three are expected to open by the end of 2013. The deals put Fazoli’s on a strong growth track.

According to president and CEO Carl T. Howard, Fazoli’s has hit an important turnaround milestone.

Fazoli's Gives One Lucky Mom Food for a Year

May 12 is Mother’s Day, the one time in the year when kids and husbands around the world show their appreciation to the person who holds it all together.

For the third year in a row, Fazoli’s is getting in on the celebration. In each participating market, the Italian restaurant chain is crowning one lucky mom—or in Italian, mamma—“Fazoli’s Mamma of the Year.” 

The prize includes free meals from Fazoli’s for a year.

Fazoli's Celebrates Absolutely Incredible Kids on March 21

Fazoli’s loves families—especially kids—and will be celebrating Absolutely Incredible Kid Day on Thursday, March 21. 

This special day was established by the Camp Fire organization in 1996 as a day adults are asked to write letters of encouragement and inspiration to let children know how much they are appreciated. 

Fazoli’s is supporting the day with a series of activities, including a Free Kids Meal to any child 12 and under who dresses up like his or her favorite superhero, or who brings in a letter of support and encouragement written by an adult.