Fazoli's Dominates the Fast-Casual Italian Space: Focus on quality and strong unit economics entice franchise partners

Fazoli’s currently operates approximately 217 restaurants in 26 states and is expanding across America.

The first Fazoli’s opened in 1988 in Lexington, Kentucky, and was purchased by Seed Restaurant Group, Inc. in 1990. SRG continued to evolve the concept, adding exciting new classic Italian dishes, baked pastas, Submarinos® sandwiches, pizza, entree salads and desserts—along with unlimited signature garlic breadsticks. Sentinel Capital Partners bought the company in July 2016 from Sun Capital Partners.

Quality matters at Fazoli’s. Everything starts with fresh quality ingredients—and everything is made to order. The breadsticks are made just before they are brought to the table, and food is served on real dishes with real silverware.

Fazoli’s dominates the fast-casual Italian category. Adventurous younger consumers want freshness, quality, and excitement, while ethnic food is on the rise—and Italian is the most popular ethnic food. As the largest fast casual Italian restaurant chain in America, Fazoli’s is ideally positioned for growth. The brand brings strong leadership from the team assembled by president and CEO Carl Howard, strong unit performance and economics, a great mix of franchise/company units—which means they are in daily touch with the challenges and opportunities of the business—continual operational and menu improvements, and flexible and scalable unit configurations for all opportunities.

For 2016, a new freestanding prototype features an updated look to the iconic Fazoli’s tower and other exterior updates along with an easy-access drive-thru for multiple revenue centers. With a variety of floor plans starting at 800 square feet for non-traditional locations, Fazoli’s offers flexibility and scalability to fit almost anywhere, from retail to convenience. Fazoli’s is also very conversion-friendly.

Fazoli’s is offering incentives for franchisees. For traditional build (freestanding and in-line end caps), the company has reduced the fee from $30,000 to $20,000 for the first unit, reduced the fee from $30,000 to $15,000 for the second unit, and reduced the fee from $30,000 to $10,000 for three or more uunits. Fazoli’s has also reduced royalties to 2 percent for the first year of restaurant operation and 3 percent for the second year, and it offers vendor discounts for the first 12 months

For non-traditional build (gas and convenience, airport, and colleges), Fazoli’s reduced royalties to 2 percent for the first year of restaurant operation and offers vendor discounts for the first 12 months.

Fazoli’s franchisees are enjoying record sales with more than two years of same-store sales growth. They offer a flexible footprint with in-line, freestanding, and conversion options, and are highly regarded by customers and the foodservice industry. The company also recently expanded real estate support.

Further, the company assists in all levels of support, including real estate acquisition, design and construction, marketing, purchasing, and distribution. Also, ongoing support exists for opening restaurants and continued training.

Fazoli’s is looking for great operators to partner with us. Potential operators should have investment capability of $750,000, the ability to invest a minimum of 20 percent of the total project cost, liquidity of $250,000 per site, and relevant multi-unit restaurant/retail experience.

In addition, the initial franchise fee is $30,000 with an initial term of 15 years, with two- to five-year renewal options. The royalty fee is 4 percent and the advertising fee is 5 percent. Both single and multiple-unit agreements are offered.

For more information about franchising opportunities with Fazoli’s, visit www.Fazolis.com