|Founded||1988 as Gratzi's in Lexington, Kentucky|
|Headquarters||Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.|
|Carl T Howard, President and CEO|
|Products||Fast casual Italian-American food, including spaghetti and meatballs, Fettuccine alfredo, lasagna, ravioli, breadsticks, pizza, Submarinos sandwiches, and salads.|
|Owner||Sentinel Capital Partners|
Number of employees
|Slogan||fast. fresh. italian.|
Fazoli's is an Italian-American fast casual restaurant chain based out of Lexington, Kentucky. It was founded in 1988 and is now owned by Sentinel Capital Partners.Today, there are more than 200 Fazoli's located nationwide with plans to expand overseas. The restaurant chain specializes in Italian cuisine and dishes. Carl Howard is the company's president and CEO.
In 1988 the concept of the casual Italian-American dinner, Fazoil's, was set. Two years later, the Fazoli's system was established. Fazoli's started with five location in the Lexington, Kentucky area. Fazoli's was originally managed by Jerrico Inc. but later was put up for sale and sold to Duskin Co. Ltd so the Jerrico Inc. could focus on Long John Silver's. Duskin Co. Ltd later formed Seed Restaurant Group with the help of Entrepreneur Kuni Toyoda. Once Kuni Toyoda and Duskin Co. Ltd formed Seed Restaurant Group, this group began its ownership of the Fazoli's system.
During the mid-1990s the chain expanded rapidly. By 1992, it had grown to include 35 restaurants within Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida. This almost doubled in 1993 when Fazoli's added 25 more locations. During this time, the operations of Fazoli's increased from $500,000 per restaurant per year in total volume to $1 million per restaurant per year in total volume within five years. This rapid financial success made the expansion of Fazoli's easy and with the start-up cost ranging from $150,000 to $500,000 most locations were able to turn a profit within the first year of opening.
The company's sole location in Southern Nevada closed in 2016 after 15 years of operation.
Fazoli's restaurants operates in 26 states and has more than 200 restaurants. Fazoli's plans to expand overseas to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. Fazoli's made a deal with the World Franchise Associates that assures them the ability to build locations in those locations. Fazoli's also opened its first college campus location at the Texas Tech University in 2014. The expansion onto the TTU campus is part of the plan to grow the company via non-traditional locations.
During the early years before the help of Kuni Toyoda, Fazoli's main product was pizza. Toyoda realized that it was not feasible for Fazoli's to compete with the large pizza chains and the menu needed to focus on pasta. With this switch, the pasta recipes quickly needed to be upgraded. Toyoda spearheaded changes to make the pasta more firm and create larger portions.
In the early 2000s, low-carbohydrate diets became popular, decreasing sales and forcing Fazoli's to rethink its menu again. In 2004, the company added eight menu items with 8 grams of fat or less and also added items featuring more vegetables and protein. The company later hired Elizabeth Somer to help with the development of low-calorie and healthy dishes. In 2005, Fazoli's announced that there would no longer be trans fat in its bread sticks.
Today, Fazoli's menu consists of classic Italian dishes, baked pastas, their signature Submarinos sandwiches, pizza, salads, desserts and unlimited garlic bread sticks. Some of these dishes include:
- Twice Baked Lasagna
- Chicken Parmigiano
- Italian Deli Trio
- Market Strawberry and Feta
- Turkey Mozzarella Fresco
- Meatball da Vinci
- The Primo Italiano
- Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza
- New York Style Cheesecake
- Italian Donuts
Fazoli's also provides specials and family meals that serve up to 4 people. Specials include a Create Your Own Sampler, Lunch Specials, and Senior Specials.
Fazoli's provides catering for any event in participating locations. The catering menu offers Group Meal Deals, Fresh Made Pastas, Oven Baked Pastas, Fresh Chopped Salads, Box Lunches, and much more. There is also a full service option that includes table service, plates, and plastic ware. Catering may be ordered online or in store and are available for pick-up or delivery in certain locations.
- Gold Stevie is awarded to Fazoli's for Best Human Resources Department
- Community Excellence Award, Recognized by national hunger relief organization Feed the Children
- Fazoli's named Fast Casual's "Brand of the Year"
- CEO, Carl Howard, named '"Executive of the Year" by American Business Awards
- Fazoli's ranked #2 overall among large national fast-food chains in Zagat Fast Food Survey
- The University of Kentucky Institute for Workplace Innovation awards Fazoli's the "Dr. Lee T. Todd, Jr. Bridging the Gap Between Workplace Research and Practice Award"
- CEO, Carl Howard, named #1 on Fast Casual's Movers and Shakers list
- Fazoli's listed as #3 on Fast Casual's Top 100 "Movers and Shakers" list
- Awarded Silver Stevie in the 12th Annual American Business Awards Company of the Year competition
- Top 100 Fast Casual Movers and Shakers
- Fazoli's named a Fast Casual "Mover and Shaker"
- Fazoli's receives the COEX Innovation Award in Marketing/Service 
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