The nation’s largest Italian QSR brand inducts five honorees to Class of 2021 Hall of Fame
For the past four years, Fazoli’s has paid tribute to its innovative history, commitment to excellence and iconic leadership through its Hall of Fame program.
Established in 2018, Fazoli’s founded the Hall of Fame in celebration of its 30th anniversary. The Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes excellence achieved by former team members, franchisees and board members. In addition, the Hall of Fame celebrates current franchisees and suppliers with at least 10 years of affiliation with Fazoli’s. This year, the nation’s largest Italian QSR chain inducted these five exemplary leaders to its Class of 2021 Fazoli’s Hall of Fame:
- Ulysses L. Bridgeman Jr. – He began his Fazoli’s journey in 1999 when he purchased locations in Wisconsin and Kentucky. Since then, he has expanded his Fazoli’s portfolio with locations in Louisville and Tennessee and acquired a large group of Fazoli’s locations in 2018, making him the largest Fazoli’s franchisee.
- Mark Christopher Crayne – Crayne has been in the Fazoli’s Franchise Family since 1997. As a partner in PastaQuik, LP, he opened the very first Fazoli’s in Lubbock. He also designed the first Fazoli’s restaurant with an expanded guest area, larger kitchen, interior dry storage and a new drive-thru design. He has served as president, vice president and board member of the Fazoli’s Franchise Association since 1999.
- Richard W. Furst – Furst dedicated his professional life to higher education and economic development, serving as the Dean of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky for over 20 years. In the early ‘90s, Furst served as a director at Seed Restaurant Group, where he provided financial oversight and was the chair of the audit committee for Fazoli’s when the brand experienced hyper-growth from five restaurants to more than 400.
- Steven Goldstein – Goldstein is the vice president of sales at Zerega Pasta, a subsidiary of Philadelphia Macaroni Company. Zerega is the oldest pasta company in North America and has been Fazoli’s dry pasta supplier for almost its entire operating history.
- Paul Thompson – Thompson has been a Fazoli’s franchisee since 1999 and currently operates 75 units across the Midwest. In addition, he has been a board member of the Fazoli’s Franchise Association since its inception.
“We’re proud to honor and welcome our new class of talented, exceptional individuals to the Fazoli’s Hall of Fame,” said Fazoli’s President Doug Bostick. “Fazoli’s wouldn’t be the industry leader that we are today without the support and dedication we get from our entire system and network. We thank each of these leaders for helping shape Fazoli’s into a best-in-class brand.”
For more information about Fazoli’s, visit www.fazolis.com.
Founded in 1988 in Lexington, Ky., Fazoli’s owns and operates nearly 220 restaurants in 27 states, making it the largest premium QSR Italian chain in America. Fazoli’s prides itself on serving premium quality Italian food, fast, fresh and friendly. Menu offerings include freshly prepared pasta entrees, Submarinos sandwiches, salads, pizza and desserts – along with its unlimited signature breadsticks. Fazoli’s is a winner of FastCasual and Steritech’s 2020 Excellence in Food Safety Award and ranked number seven on FastCasual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list in 2022. Additionally, it was named to Technomic’s “Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report” in 2022, selected as one of the “Top 50 Global Fast Casual Innovators in 2021” by Foodable, a “Top 200 Franchises in 2021” by Franchise Business Review, and an Entrepreneur 2018 “Franchise 500.” Fazoli’s was a recipient of the 2021 American Business Awards Gold Stevie Awards in Food & Beverage for Company of the Year.
FAT Brands (NASDAQ: FAT) is a leading global franchising company that strategically acquires, markets, and develops fast casual, quick-service, casual dining, and polished casual dining concepts around the world. The Company currently owns 17 restaurant brands: Round Table Pizza, Fatburger, Marble Slab Creamery, Johnny Rockets, Fazoli’s, Twin Peaks, Great American Cookies, Hot Dog on a Stick, Buffalo’s Cafe & Express, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Pretzelmaker, Elevation Burger, Native Grill & Wings, Yalla Mediterranean and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses, and franchises and owns over 2,300 units worldwide. For more information on FAT Brands, please visit www.fatbrands.com.
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