Schlotzsky’s, home of The Original round-toasted sandwich and famous Fresh-from-Scratch buns, signed a multiunit franchise agreement with the Patel family, which includes Harry, Jay, Dharmesh, Chase, and Hemal, to open the six Schlotzsky’s locations in Florida. This includes four locations in Pensacola and two locations in Tallahassee.

The new restaurants will feature the brand’s Lotz Better look, which includes a newly designed restaurant, a co-branding deal with Cinnabon and Carvel, and a new service model where crewmembers hand-deliver food to the tables.

The first of the six locations is expected open in Tallahassee on November 8. As part of the celebration, Schlotzsky’s will reward the first 100 customers who purchase a CinnaPack of six Cinnabon Classic rolls at the new Tallahassee location, with free Schlotzsky’s for a year, which includes one free The Original (small) sandwich a week for a year.

In addition, fans will have the chance win prizes such as an Apple iPad, $100 Schlotzsky’s gift card, and $50 Schlotzsky’s gift card when they sign up for the Bun & Fun eClub during opening week.

The family plans to open the second location in Mary Esther, Florida, in early 2013.

“As a family that enjoys going into business together, we always knew that a family-fun restaurant like Schlotzsky’s was the perfect business opportunity for us,” Chase Patel says, adding that there is a huge demand throughout Florida for its menu. “We look forward to fulfilling local cravings for Schlotzsky’s high-quality, fresh sandwiches, pizzas, salads, soups, and Cinnabon and Carvel desserts.”

As a family, the Patels have extensive management experience, accumulating a portfolio of 15 hotels and building more than 40,000 square feet of medical office buildings in the past 10 years.

“The Patels are the perfect addition to the Schlotzsky’s family,” Schlotzsky’s president Kelly Roddy says, adding that the family encompasses key criteria the company looks for when selecting franchise partners. “We are confident they will do a wonderful job upholding our brand standards and reputation and look forward to watching their continued growth with our brand.”

The Patels are among several multiunit franchise deals signed by Schlotzsky’s in the past nine months, collectively totaling 128 tri-branded locations throughout Arizona, Florida, Minneapolis, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, Texas, and Orange County, California.

With more than 350 locations worldwide, Schlotzsky’s continues its growth momentum by aggressively targeting markets in Texas and untapped markets around the country for multiunit developers.

These markets include: Atlanta; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Miami, Tampa, and Orlando, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; and St. Louis.

Roddy adds that, ideally, Schlotzsky’s plans to have upwards of 700 locations by 2015.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Sandwiches, Schlotzsky's