Fazoli’s President and CEO Carl Howard Speaks at London Summit
Recently, our fearless leader Carl Howard (a.k.a the “Comeback Kid”) flew to England to speak at the Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit in London. The topic? Reviving your business.
Looking back nearly a decade ago, Fazoli’s was nothing like it is today. Back then, “We were actually waiting for guests to come… It was just a bad strategy… I mean if you’re a restaurant, and you can’t do food, you’ve got a serious problem,” said Carl. But Carl is not someone who just identifies the problems, he works tirelessly to fix them.
The Comeback Kid Arrives
In 2008, Carl joined the Fazoli’s family as President and CEO. His first step? Tackling leadership. “Leadership was our biggest issue,” he recalled. From there, he set up an eight-person leadership team that would spearhead eight functions: operations, marketing, strategy, human resources, supply chain, finance, facilities, and social media.
But bringing Fazoli’s out of its rut and transforming it into a well-oiled machine wasn’t enough for Carl. Once things were running smoothly, he set his sights on completely reinventing the Fazoli’s brand. Some of his most notable changes included:
- Maximizing quality, without increasing price. From tableside grated parmesan cheese to our ceramic red plates and real silverware, our goal is always to make guests feel at home. And Carl couldn’t agree more, “I arrogantly and confidently say, ‘No one can do what we do at the $7.50 price point.’”
- A restaurant refresh. From white textured brick walls to a complimentary Wi-Fi bar, Carl has been working hard to upgrade the look and feel of our restaurants so that they provide the best dining experience for each guest.
Has Carl’s new strategy worked? We believe the proof is in the pudding — or should we say the pasta. Fazoli’s suddenly went from watching same-store sales drop for 54 of our past 73 months to experiencing growth year after year. To date, we’ve experienced an unprecedented 17 quarters of same-store sales growth! We’re also boasting an AUV twice as high as the industry average, with $3 million in annual sales — and that’s just at our newest locations.
With nearly 220 restaurants in 26 states, we’re always seeking potential franchise owners to join the Fazoli’s family! If you’re looking to bring our fast casual Italian food concept to your local market, call Sam Nelson at 1-800-446-4368 or fill out our information request form online to learn more about our available franchising opportunities today.
- 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.