Schlotzsky’s, a leading fast-casual restaurant franchise known for its bold flavors and famous sandwich, The Original, announced today it has signed more than 75 deals in 2021 to develop new restaurants in New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, and other target markets across the U.S., putting the brand on a clear path to sign 100 new restaurant deals in 2021.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Schlotzsky’s recently evolved its prototype design to better serve guests and meet their demands for convenience and off-premises access, which in turn has led to favorable growth and development. Schlotzsky’s’ impressive pipeline is a testament to the brand’s strength and appeal to new and existing franchisees.
“Over the past few years, we’ve recognized the need to evolve our restaurant design and provide flexible options to franchisees to develop in competitive real estate markets and urban areas,” says Tory Bartlett, Chief Brand Officer of Schlotzsky’s. “Since we launched our new prototypes and placed an added emphasis on accessibility and convenience, we’ve seen an increase in signed deals and overall franchisee interest. With more than 75 signed deals newly-added to the pipeline and additional ones on the way, we’re excited about the future at Schlotzsky’s and look forward to bringing our concept to new markets across the country.”
With 87 percent of business already consumed off-premises, Schlotzsky’s worked to evolve its restaurant design to meet guest expectations. As a result, the sandwich leader launched Design 1000 and Design 1800 prototypes in Q4 2020 to expand off-premises capabilities with smaller real estate. Design 1000 offers two drive-thrus, one on each side of the restaurant, and space for a curbside pick-up window and Design 1800 has a single drive-thru and seating for 35 guests.
While drive-thrus have always been a brand hallmark and are currently present in 85 percent of Schlotzsky’s restaurants, the new prototypes provide superior operational efficiencies to enhance speed of service and accuracy for delivery, to-go, and catering occasions. Moving forward, 99 percent of Schlotzsky’s locations will feature a drive-thru. The brand has also worked to streamline its menu, a change that has been well-received by consumers and that is helping to drive revenue growth.
Veteran Schlotzsky’s franchisee JJ Ramsey opened the first Design 1800 location in Derby, Kansas on August 12 as well as a second modified version this summer in Mountain Home, Arkansas.
“It’s exciting to be a key player in Schlotzsky’s growth and evolution and we’re all looking forward to debuting the new prototype with enhanced operational efficiency,” says JJ Ramsey, franchise owner of 20 Schlotzsky’s locations. “Meeting our guests’ wants and needs remains the number one priority and is critical to survive in today’s competitive market. We’ve learned that off-premises access is important to our guests and the new prototypes will drive sales for that important revenue channel.”
With 329 restaurant locations in 24 states and more on the way, Schlotzsky’s is in the midst of aggressive expansion through conversions and new construction. Franchise opportunities remain in markets across the U.S., including Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and other key markets in the Midwest and Southeast.