Carl Howard Speaks with Stores Magazine About the Evolution of Fazoli’s
“You always have to evolve the brand or you’ll be left behind.”
– Carl Howard
Fazoli’s President and CEO
It was this one idea that inspired a top-to-bottom refresh of Fazoli’s restaurants. Recently, our President and CEO Carl Howard had the opportunity to speak with Stores magazine about just how Fazoli’s has managed to thrive in the hyper-competitive, fast casual industry.
Out With The Old…
In our opinion, having too many people visit your restaurants is a pretty good problem to have. But over the years, seating more than 3,000 people a week started to take a toll on our restaurants. The solution? A complete remodel!
We know that in addition to our mouth-watering breadsticks and assortment of authentic Italian cuisine, guests love coming to Fazoli’s because of our attentive staff and welcoming atmosphere. As Carl says, “Whether you’re a large or small chain, you have to invest capital to keep things fresh and relevant or you’ll lose business. People don’t want to sit in an old, outdated restaurant where the paint is chipped and the booths are worn.”
Sure, we could have “…just [updated] the old look with new carpet and booths. But we decided it was time to take things a step further with a fresher, more modern, look. Last year’s remodels look great, but the interiors were the same as they were before,” said Carl.
But before we could start picking out paint samples and fabrics, we had to ask ourselves one very important question — “What do our guests want?” And there’s no one better able to tell us that than our guests themselves.
In our initial three “alpha test” locations, “We found out what people liked and didn’t like… and applied what we learned in the next group of remodels,” explained Carl.
…And in With The New
So what exactly does the “next group of remodels” look like? With textured white brick and revamped booths and tables, our locations can now better accommodate families of different needs and sizes.
But “Fazoli’s 3.0” (as we like to call it) isn’t just a physical remodel. We’ve also included state-of-the-art technology for our guests to take advantage of.
To give our guests the most personal experience possible, we’ve completely reinvented the way they can order at Fazoli’s. Currently, guests can place group and catering orders through our online ordering portal, but we’re looking to make our tasty Italian dishes even more accessible. In addition, we’ve added individual meals to our online ordering options.
In the end, it’s all about staying competitive. “[Guests] come to Fazoli’s for a better than average fast-food experience with food quality right on par with casual dining competitors like Olive Garden, but $5 per head cheaper.”
Think you’re ready to bring fast, fresh Italian food to your local market? If so, contact Sam Nelson at 1-800-446-4368 to discuss franchise opportunities or fill out our information request form online.
To read the full interview with Stores magazine, click here!
- Our franchisees are enjoying record sales with over two years of same store sales growth!
- Flexible footprint with inline, freestanding, and conversion options.
- Highly regarded by customers and the foodservice industry.
- Recently expanded Real Estate support.