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Fazoli's Cooking Up Several Menu Changes

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Fast-casual Italian franchise Fazoli's continues its brand refresh efforts into fiscal 2018 after a "record-setting finale" to its fiscal 2017 year, the company reported.

As part of the brand refresh, Fazoli's will roll out a new premium menu in its 122 company-owned locations starting June 19. The remaining 91 stores and all new franchised locations will feature the newly upgraded menus starting January 2018.

In April, Fazoli's also announced it will be removing all artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives and colors from its entire menu, making it the first national brand under 1,000 units to offer a completely clean food menu, according to the company. Currently, Fazoli's supply chain is 80 percent clean of all artificial ingredients. On June 19, the company reports its new premium menu will be completely clean.

The fast-casual franchise will also make changes with the interior design of its locations. Kicking off this summer, Fazoli's will be remodeling select locations to create a better customer experience with a new, contemporary look and feel.

The brand refresh efforts come after Fazoli's reported a "record-setting finale" to fiscal 2017 ending March 31, which included signed agreements to develop 30 new restaurants with 13 franchising groups. This includes six new franchisees to the brand and seven who are expanding with multiple units, representing a 550-percent growth rate for new agreements over the previous fiscal year, the company reported.

The company has now experienced 16 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth at its franchised-owned restaurants. Fazoli's also set records for average unit volume (AUV) in fiscal 2017, including a record AUV month in March 2017.

"Fazoli's fiscal 2017 results speak volumes about what our company has been able to accomplish by listening to customer feedback and working with our franchisees to achieve our mission of quality and hospitality in each of our restaurants," Fazoli's President and CEO Carl Howard said. "We set 78 new franchise sales records, which tells me Fazoli's is delivering on our brand promise and has tremendous momentum going into this next fiscal year."

The fast-casual chain is currently seeking single- and multi-unit operators to join its franchise network and is targeting new markets across the U.S. Earlier this year, Fazoli's launched a multi-franchise development incentive program available through June 30.

Through the program, new franchisees that sign a new multi-unit agreement for three or more locations will receive reduced franchise and royalty fees for the first two years of operations. A reduced franchise fee is also available for new multi-unit agreements for three or more non-traditional units, including college campuses, airports and casinos.

Lexington-based Fazoli's operates 220 Italian fast-casual restaurants in 25 states that serve freshly prepared entrees, Submarinos sandwiches, salads and pizza.

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