Sales at Fazoli’s franchised units continue to far outpace the restaurant industry, with operators enjoying a sixth straight year of same-store sales increases. Fazoli’s, America’s largest fast-casual Italian chain, ended its fiscal year March 30. During the previous 12 months, 91 franchise locations broke 117 weekly sales records, with sales for the period up 4.8 percent on a 3.5 percent traffic increase. Two-year franchise comp-sales increased a total of 12.1 percent on traffic that was up 8.8 percent.
This also was the sixth straight year that company restaurants posted same-store sales growth. According to research firm TDn2K, restaurant industry sales last year grew only 1.6 percent, with sales so far this year remaining tepid. By comparison, Fazoli’s franchisees reported same-store sales grew 3.9 percent in March.
“Fazoli’s continued growth shows just how perfectly the brand is positioned for the current economic climate,” says Carl Howard, president and CEO. “Consumers are responding extremely well to our combination of casual-dining quality food and table service at an average check of under $7.” Fazoli’s strong performance, combined with an industry-leading new franchisee incentive program, is driving expansion. In 2015, the chain opened five new franchised units, with up to 12 planned for this year. So far in 2016 it has added franchised units in Montgomery, Alabama, and Macon, Georgia. 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. The incentives are available through July 31.