Fast-casual leader Fazoli’s this week opened another franchised restaurant as operators reported a 3.1 percent same-store sales increase for November.

The new restaurant, located in the western Kentucky city of Madisonville, is owned by Ershig Properties Inc., which opened a Fazoli’s earlier this year in Henderson, Kentucky.

By the end of this year, Fazoli’s will have opened five franchised locations, with one in Dubuque, Iowa, debuting December 15. The brand also opened five franchised restaurants in 2014.

“The franchise community sees that Fazoli’s is a very different concept than it was just a few years ago,” says Carl Howard, president and CEO. “The brand has been completely transformed and now competes very successfully in the fast-casual segment. In fact, we often earn guests’ business from full-service casual players.”

Franchisees are in the midst of a five-year sales streak, with same-stores sales up 65 of the last 68 months. Last month they reported a 3.1 percent jump over last November. For the year, franchised location sales are up 5.3 percent. Traffic has increased 4.3 percent.

“Even with the economy strengthening, middle-class consumers continue to be very value oriented,” Howard adds. “Fazoli’s delivers a dining experience every bit as good as any fast-casual chain, but at a quick-service price. That’s very appealing in today’s marketplace.”

Howard added that the recently launched franchise incentive program is attracting strong interest. Fazoli’s expects to open as many as 12 locations in 2016.

With approximately 220 restaurants, Fazoli’s is America’s largest Italian fast-casual chain, serving freshly prepared entrees, Submarinos sandwiches, salads, and pizza. One of the New York Post’s five breakout fast-casual restaurants, Fazoli’s franchisees are experiencing record sales growth. 

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