Amid strong interest from potential franchisees, robust same-store sales, and more geographic expansion, Fazoli’s is extending its franchise incentive program for new operators. In February, franchisees reported a 9.3 percent same-store sales increase on a 6.3 percent jump in traffic. Year to date, franchise unit sales are up 4.9 percent on a 3.7 percent increase in traffic. Franchisees have reported sales growth 69 of the last 71 months.
Already America’s largest fast-casual Italian chain, Fazoli’s today entered the Montgomery, Alabama, market. The restaurant is owned and operated by Mital, Diven, Lisa Patel, and Dr. Rakesh Patel. They also operate two Schlotzsky’s and two Bruster’s Real Ice Cream franchises in Montgomery. Fazoli’s last year added five franchised units and has plans to open up to 12 this year. A franchise incentive program credited with fueling the growth is being extended. Launched last September, it will be available through July 31.
“We have not seen this much interest among prospective franchisees since the brand’s early years,” says Carl Howard, president and CEO. “We are thrilled with the caliber of operators who are considering adding Fazoli’s to their portfolios.”
Howard adds that there is strong interest from a wide variety of operators, including those in the convenience store market. “We understand that operators need time to carefully analyze investments, so we are extending the incentives to ensure no one gets left out.”
New franchisees are eligible for discounts of up to $20,000 off the initial $30,000 franchise fee. Royalties have been cut to 2 percent from 4 percent for the first year, and to 3 percent for the second year. Vendor fees also will be discounted for the first 12 months.
Howard said the incentive program has ignited franchise sales, leading to several development deals. Using incentives, franchisees Allen Peake and Mike Chumbley recently opened Fazoli’s all-new prototype building in Macon, Georgia. They have plans for five units. The Montgomery restaurant was developed under the incentive program, as is one scheduled for later this year in the St. Louis, Missouri, area.