With an impressive Q2 performance, Fazoli’s is continuing to prove why a recent survey by Stratos Innovation Group reported the company as the number one value brand in the country.
In the second quarter, the iconic Italian brand broke 138 weekly sales records and maintained its remarkable trend of setting new monthly records with sales and traffic up double digits compared to the year prior. In June, Fazoli’s posted its 13th double-digit sales gain with another astounding two-year June comparison of 27.7 percent.
Fazoli’s kicked off Q2 by driving menu innovation and launching wings systemwide in April. In May, the brand added a new snack and shareable item to its menu in all company locations – Fried Mozzarella Cheese Skewers – which was made possible with the addition of fryers for wings. In its initial screening, the Fried Mozzarella Skewers had Fazoli’s highest “purchase intent” score of any item the brand has tested. Average weekly incidence out of the gate for company locations was an astounding 4-5 percent, adding over $700 per week per location in incremental sales. Capitalizing on this success, the brand rolled out Fried Mozzarella Cheese Skewers systemwide in late June.
“Fazoli’s has developed a winning strategy,” says Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard. “Delicious, satisfying new menu options, unmatched value and unparalleled guest service are paramount for our brand. According to the research firm Stratos, Fazoli’s was the number one value brand in our marketplace throughout the last 12 months. At a time when competition is fierce, Fazoli’s is a standout brand. We believe no one else can match our recipe for success.”
With over a year of historical sales under its belt, franchise interest for the renowned, Lexington-based brand remains at an all-time high. In Q2, Fazoli’s signed eight area development agreements to add 22 new locations to its pipeline and opened three new restaurants in Pooler, Georgia; Mary Esther, Florida; and Pikeville, Kentucky. The brand’s Pooler opening marked new Franchisee Jeffrey Milliken’s third opening in 12 months. The Franchise Business Review “New Rockstar Franchisee” has two more locations slated to open in 2021. Additionally, Fazoli’s Pikeville debut achieved the brand’s third highest opening week record, with sales hitting nearly $95,000 and the team serving more than 10,000 fans in the community.
Looking ahead to Q3, Fazoli’s will continue its rapid growth with six more openings slated in Rome, Georgia; Panama City and Tampa, Florida; Warrensburg, Missouri; Zanesville, Ohio; and Austin, Texas. When Fazoli’s introduces its craveable Italian dishes to the Zanesville community, it’ll mark the brand’s first company location to open in five years.
In addition to the brand’s aggressive growth plans, Fazoli’s will focus on leveraging culinary innovation, technology enhancements and new kitchen equipment. The brand will continue to refine its core menu and explore opportunities to add options that address guests’ changing dietary needs, such as plant-based protein and “better-for-you” choices that spotlight menu items under 500 calories. Adopting next generation equipment that will alleviate labor concerns and speed up cook times, like a new pasta cooking system, is also a key focus for the brand.
“It’s no secret that we’ve been outpacing our competitors,” Howard said. “We came out of the gate incredibly strong in Q1, and to keep up the same high-energy with historical sales, traffic and franchise development throughout Q2 is exceptional. No one in the industry can do what Fazoli’s does. No one can provide the food, service, quality or environment at our price point. I’m very proud of what our team has done, and I look forward to showing everyone in the industry that Fazoli’s is the brand to watch. ”