America’s largest premium QSR Italian chain sees unprecedented 16% increase in sales and 17% increase in traffic year-over-year as a result of an unmatched value position, a strong digital presence and an established, guest-focused off-premise plan
Fazoli’s – the renowned, Lexington-based brand known for serving up premium Italian dishes at a great value – concluded its most successful July in brand history with record-breaking sales and traffic.
The iconic Italian brand followed up a tremendous May and June sales and traffic increase with an eye-popping 16% increase in sales and 17% increase in traffic over the prior year. This July, the brand set four historic all-time weekly sales records and ended the monumental month with its busiest Friday on record on July 31, hitting its highest sales and traffic numbers in a single day. As a part of the triumphant July sales, Fazoli’s noted a 65% increase in drive-thru sales, as well as an incredible 410% increase in online ordering and 200% increase in delivery orders. Additionally, during the final week in July, Fazoli’s had 29 restaurants hit sales records across its system, resulting in an astounding 73 weekly sales records for the month.
“We are extremely fortunate to be so successful during this time, and I owe all of the credit to our teams,” said Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard. “Every level of this company has had to adapt to a new normal. We went on the offense in late April, offering unmatched value and enhancing our guest experience with additions like curbside pickup, drive-thru ordering tablets to speed up service and complimentary breadstick delivery to guests waiting in the drive-thru line. And, we haven’t taken our foot off of the gas. Our tremendous growth in drive-thru sales, online ordering and delivery orders are all testaments to how quickly Fazoli’s adapted to the current climate and is dominating the QSR segment.”
As guests’ routines began to change due to the pandemic, Fazoli’s experienced a shift in sales from lunch to dinner with a 50% increase in dinner and evening traffic. As a result of the shift in traffic, Fazoli’s found ways to take its craveable Italian dishes and provide even more value and variety with new menu offerings, such as the Super Family Meal and its 5 Under $5 promotion. Bundles like the Super Family Meal feed up to eight for less than $20, a value that can’t be matched. Additionally, the brand has been experimenting with other family meal bundles, like a Meatball Lovers Family Meal and Chicken Parm Lovers Family Meal. Each new menu offering capitalizes on dinner guests seeking a variety of fresh, Italian classics at an unmatched value with quick, best-in-class service.
Another aspect of the business that Fazoli’s has capitalized on is building a strong digital presence. The brand has been focused on building a steady rewards following, using this platform as a chance to deliver its incredible value straight to loyal fans’ inboxes. Fazoli’s has maximized its App’s capabilities to track what guests are purchasing and what offers and bundles are resonating with them. Through technology, Fazoli’s has been able to cater its offerings to the specials and value its guests are craving. With features like mobile ordering through the App, the brand has made it easier than ever for guests to feed their craving for value and Fazoli’s breadsticks.
The final ingredient in the Fazoli’s recipe for success is a solid guest-focused off-premise strategy. Fazoli’s is currently experiencing record low drive-thru service times. The brand utilized drive-thru timers to decrease window times and adjusted oven temps and airflow resulting in a faster drive-thru experience that doesn’t compromise on quality. Driven by guests’ desire for speed and convenience, Fazoli’s launched curbside service, delivering meals directly to guests’ vehicles. Guests can conveniently order Fazoli’s delectable dishes through dine-in, drive-thru, carryout and curbside pickup. With the brand’s dedication to off-premise and its strong digital presence, Fazoli’s guests can get their favorite dishes where they want it, how they want it, when they want it.
“At Fazoli’s, we are always searching for innovative ways to meet our guests’ needs,” Howard said. “Our guests are looking for craveable, premium Italian dishes at an incredible value with little to no wait time. Fazoli’s has exceled at providing just that and more for our guests. Our success mirrors our brand’s astounding job at adjusting to all of the new initiatives we have implemented so that we can continue to thrive and break records even amid a global pandemic.”
Founded in 1988 in Lexington, Ky., Fazoli’s owns and operates nearly 220 restaurants in 28 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 was named one of the “Top 200 Franchises in 2020” by Franchise Business Review, a FastCasual “Brand of the Year,” and an Entrepreneur 2018 “Franchise 500.” CEO Carl Howard was named among the most influential restaurant CEOs in the country in 2020 by Nation’s Restaurant News, was recognized as one of the top 25 industry leaders on FastCasual’s 2020 Top 100 Movers and Shakers list, and he and his team were recipients of the 2020 American Business Awards Gold Stevie Awards in Food & Beverage for Company of the Year, Achievement in Management and Human Resources Team of the Year.