“All the research said young millennial families wanted places where they can take their kids, but mom and dad would like to have the opportunity to get a beer or glass of wine. So, we added beer and wine, which has tremendously helped our dinner and weekend business. It’s making us a place that is very relevant and warm,” Roddy says.
The menu, Roddy notes, is an easy upgrade, as the brand already bakes its bread in store, from scratch daily. “We have skills in our restaurants that other chains don’t have,” he says. “We realized we can pull off this fast fine better than anyone else could.”
To maintain efficiency while serving higher quality food, Schlotzsky’s will do more prep in the restaurants ahead of time: slow-cooking meats like brisket, prepping veggies fresh daily, and making sauces. So, customers can still pull through the drive thru and get food fast.
Beer is poured fast and efficiently via the Bottoms Up system. “You get a perfect pour every single time,” Roddy says. And the company is only doing local craft beers. “We’ll do local to whatever town the Schlotzsky’s is in,” he says. For example, Monday Night Brewing is Schlotzsky’s partner for its Austin Eatery in Atlanta.
“It’s going after what we think the customer wants,” Roddy says. “We’re not trying to be a bar. We’re trying to be a place where you can go with your friends.” He sees customers ordering food-truck–inspired tacos, flatbreads, and sliders to share, grabbing a couple beers after work, or just generally enjoying a cold one while having a meal with the family.
“We want our food to be better than everyone else’s,” Roddy says. “Why wouldn’t we want the best beer as well?”