Fazoli’s recently held its 2021 National Brand Conference in Miami, where the iconic Italian brand celebrated the most successful year in its 33-year history and recognized the leaders that made this achievement possible. 

“This year’s National Brand Conference was especially momentous – we celebrated historical milestones across the system,” says Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard. “We didn’t just survive the pandemic – we thrived and forever changed the trajectory of our brand. We set our sights on the future and solidified our best-in-class brand status while energizing our team for what’s to come. Our team’s unwavering dedication to elevating our brand is what sets Fazoli’s apart from everyone else in the industry. Fazoli’s is unstoppable.” 

At the President’s Awards Ceremony, the renowned brand honored Nancy McKenzie of McKenzie Enterprises as its esteemed Franchisee of the Year for 2021. In addition to this prestigious honor, she was celebrated as the first Fazoli’s franchisee to achieve a 30-year franchisee service anniversary milestone with the brand.  

Sammy Brill, general manager of Fazoli’s in Oklahoma City, was named Franchise General Manager of the Year  – an award given to a franchise general manager who is consistently at the top of Fazoli’s Franchise Balanced Scorecard, which is a ranking for the categories of people (training, development, retention), sales and profits. Brill ranked first on the scorecard and had an impressive year of sales, but the positive culture he created in his restaurant is what differentiated him from his competition.  

Fazoli’s award for Company General Manager of the Year went to Tim Miracle for leading the brand’s Moraine, Ohio restaurant in 2018 and instilling its people, sales, profit approach. Miracle rebuilt operations and changed the location’s culture, resulting in an impressive 76.5% sales increase and guest counts up 62.4% over 2020. He also coached and developed six Fazoli’s team members into assistant managers. 

In addition to recognizing its outstanding team members, Fazoli’s honored its vendor partners. Selected from over 80 suppliers and partners who work with the brand, Tyson Foods won Supplier of the Year. The award was accepted by Brian Barnes. The Supplier of the Year award is given to the organization that is more than just a partner to Fazoli’s – it is a part of the Fazoli’s family. Tyson has been proactive and solution-driven, helping Fazoli’s maintain and elevate products during one of the most challenging and tumultuous times for supply chain, all while saving the brand both time and money. 

Fazoli’s also awarded each of these remarkable individuals and brand partners during its conference: 

  • Chris Hill of Indianapolis, Indiana won Company Area Supervisor of the Year.
  • Ally Fabian of Chino Hills, California and Dan Zellmer of West Allis, Wisconsin won Most Improved Franchise Restaurants.
  • The Distribution Center of the Year honor was awarded to PFG Somerset and accepted by Alan Steele. 


“Our recipe for success isn’t complete without our key ingredient – people,” Howard says. “Fazoli’s experienced the most successful year in brand history, and our team members, franchisees and vendor partners were the driving force behind that success. We’re proud to honor those who work so diligently to maintain Fazoli’s best-in-class status and show everyone in the industry that Fazoli’s future is limitless.” 

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