Fazoli’s Sales Rise in December

Mark Brandau

Fazoli’s said same–store sales rose 10.8 percent in December 2011 compared with the same period a year earlier.

The hike marks the Italian quick–service chain’s 17th consecutive month of such increases.

Fazoli’s revenue grew 6 percent in the fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 28, 2011, compared with the same period a year ago, the 220–unit chain said.

The Lexington, Ky.–based chain credited those increases to its Enhanced Service Program, in place at all company–owned locations and in several franchise markets, as well as an overhauled menu and a new restaurant design.

“This was Fazoli’s best quarter since 1999,” said chief executive Carl Howard. “It shows guests and franchisees are embracing the big improvements we have made to our food, service and environment.”

The Enhanced Service Program added fast–casual elements like food runners and the replacement foam plates and plastic utensils with real plateware and silverware. The service upgrades complement the more contemporary design at many of Fazoli’s locations that have been remodeled recently, the company said.

During the second week of December, Fazoli’s systemwide same–store sales rose 18.1 percent, which set a record for weekly sales growth in the brand’s 22–year history, Howard added.

He said franchisees had a particularly good month, increasing same–store sales 11.8 percent in December -includes a 22.4–percent gain for the last week of the month.

Fazoli’s, which is owned by Sun Capital Partners, will open at least eight new restaurants in 2012, Howard said.

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