Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard Discusses the Benefits of Public vs. Private Restaurant Chains
To go public or remain private, that is the question.
Since its founding in 1988, Fazoli’s has remained a privately owned company — a decision Fazoli’s President and CEO Carl Howard feels passionate about. That’s why he sat down with FastCasual.com to discuss the benefits of keeping America’s largest fast casual Italian restaurant privately owned.
Public Vs. Private: What’s the Difference?
Before we dive into the benefits of private ownership, it’s important to understand the difference between public and private companies. As their names would imply, public companies are traded openly on the New York Stock Exchange (so long as they are American based businesses). This means that the public can buy stock in the company. A private company, however, is owned by one person or a small group of people — traditionally the founders and original investors.
A Case for Remaining Private
So what are the benefits of remaining private? Carl points out that it allows you more time to dedicate to your guests and business, rather than to shareholders.
“Senior management does not have to spend time compiling quarterly earning reports, dealing with quarterly audits or having an activist investor trying to change the direction of the organization,” said Carl. “While we do have very disciplined financial meetings and very structured quarterly board meetings, the amount of time saved by management being privately held is valuable.”
Essentially, remaining private has allowed us “to stay focused on driving better guest results, which is the true mission or the ‘North Star’ for Fazoli’s.”
A common misconception about privately-owned companies is that they are small, mom-and-pop shops. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just take a look at Forbes.com list of largest private companies in 2016. Among them are names you probably recognize, like Toys ‘R’ Us, Bloomberg, Hallmark, and Wawa.
“If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it”
As pointed out by FastCasual.com — going public “isn’t on Howard’s radar,” and for good reason! The decision to remain private is one that has allowed us to expand to nearly 220 restaurants in 26 states, and to achieve 17 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth! A number that will only be growing, seeing as how we’ve already signed 30 agreements to open new restaurants with 13 different franchise groups nationwide.
Fazoli’s is actively looking for dedicated franchisees to join our growing family. Contact Sam Nelson at 1-800-446-4368 to discuss additional franchise opportunities or to fill out our information request form online.
- 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.