Earlier this year, Chris Carlton was brought into the Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group (FVH) at Director of Operations to oversee the newest concept in their portfolio of restaurants, JARS by Fabio Viviani. As a true operations rock-star, Chris was expected to, and in many cases has already proven, level up the standards for the new, up-and-coming franchise brand.
We spent some time getting to know Chris and get his thoughts on the JARS brand.
Chris entered the restaurant industry back in 2007 shortly after college with AREAS in contract management. Becoming a manager that oversaw eight (8) restaurants in a plaza on the Florida Turnpike for several years, he moved up to overseeing the operations for more than two dozen brands across five (5) different airports. Gaining insight into worldwide brands such as Wendy’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Starbucks, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, Chik-fil-A and many more, armed him with invaluable operational experience unmatched by most.
His next positions took him to Raising Cane’s and then on to Yum! at Taco Bell increasing his knowledge even more so. Then, utilizing his operational skills, he took these organizations to the next level in their operational functions and training. All of this experience eventually brought him to the JARS by Fabio Viviani concept.
Inspired by his own favorite desserts, Fabio Viviani, the Celebrity Chef of Top Chef reality show fame, took ideas from around the world and designed a concept that allowed these desserts to be beautifully presented in a whole new and unique way: jars. Each of the 100’s of different recipes is built in layers to ensure that every spoonful scooped gets the amazing flavors of the entire creation. Fabio’s experience running a multi-million-dollar restaurant enterprise at FHV, inspired him to create a simple and effective process to serve these creations freshly and quickly.
The newly franchised brand sold more than 30 franchises even before the flagship store in the Chicago West Loop was opened in February. To make an incredible concept even more so, Chris was brought on to the team earlier in 2023 as Director of Operations.
Building off what was already in place operationally at JARS, Chris has created even more efficiencies that will ultimately positively enhance the bottom line and, of course, the franchisees. Switching to an integrated ordering, loyalty, POS system, Chris is working to bring on a new platform that will alleviate multiple costly systems that don’t always work well together.
Chris, who’s personal favorite JAR is key lime pie, reflected on his history in quick service and how different the JARS concept is from the norm. “JARS is built on operational simplicity and quality desserts. The operation can be successfully run with extremely limited labor and minimal oversite. Opening, closing, set up and breakdown times are drastically reduced compared to other [quick-service] concepts. JARS’ speed of service can be measured in seconds, not minutes. As a result, the brand has experienced near zero turnover in staff in six months.”
He is also working on multiple cost saving and revenue generating partnerships that JARS is excited to announce in the coming weeks. Simultaneously, he is also focusing on building systems that will contribute to the long-term growth of the brand. “We will leverage the knowledge and best practices from a multitude of brands to ensure we grow at an expedited rate.” Chris also added that, “we will work with our partners and franchisees to maximize their potential for efficiency and profitability.”
Lastly, he has built comprehensive training systems for the franchisees and their staff for the slew of upcoming openings. The first franchised store is expected to open in Orange County later this year. In addition to his initial onboarding, he also expects to hold weekly, monthly and quarterly operational updates with the franchisees.
JARS by Fabio Viviani scored an unparalleled leader by bringing Chris into their concept. He knows that he’s at the ground floor of a brand that will be known around the world for its unique and easily operated concept.