The new Italian fast-casual concept Venti Tre Modern Italian, developed by quick-serve giant Fazoli's, has been a hit with consumers since opening its first store two weeks ago in Baltimore. Carl Howard, CEO and president of Fazoli's, attributes this quick success to the brand's ability to attract a young, hip crowd.
“It's more of a next-generation fast-casual restaurant,” Howard says. “It's just got a really cool feel. I think the design compliments the food and the service that we're providing really well.”
Contemporary design characteristics like tin ceilings, dark woods, chalkboard-style menu boards, and black and red accents are what set Venti Tre apart from sister concept Fazoli's. Howard adds that the price point and consumer demographic are also very different.
“They are unique because they really attract a different clientele. Fazoli's is in the upper six-dollar check range, and this is in the 10-dollar check range. ... It [also] happens to be on a scale a little bit younger, a little bit hipper group then you would get at Fazoli's,” Howard says. “You could really put them right next to each other if you had the right market. ... They really wouldn't overly compete with each other too much.”
The fast-casual concept offers a variety of customizable Italian offerings. When guests enter the store, greeters ask them to select a piada, pasta, or salad. As they move down the line, customers are able to personalize their entrée by selecting from an array of toppings, dressings, and cheeses. The concept also offers guests a few sides, desserts, and specialty drinks.
Howard says the Baltimore community has responded well to the first Venti Tre location, and that they are looking forward to future store openings in the area. The second Venti Tre, which is under construction in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is slated to open in late July or early August of this year.
“We've had a very positive response from the community,” Howard says. “The consumers have been very favorable on their overall experience.”