Ingredient upgrades boost sandwich sales at Fazoli's

An ingredient upgrade is boosting sandwich sales at Fazoli’s—despite higher prices.
fazolis primo italiano

Pasta was the first makeover target when Fazoli’s repositioned itself as a fast casual two years ago, but then feedback indicated that guests also would be interested in premium sandwiches, says CMO Donna Josephson. That was good news, as Fazoli’s wanted to expand its catering platform, and sandwiches are a must-have. “Fifty percent of the population eats a sandwich every day, but only 4.3% of our sales came from our sandwiches,” says Josephson. So early this year, Fazoli’s replaced its Submarinos with Primo Submarinos. “The upgrades [in ingredient quality] did impact food costs, and we raised prices from $6.49 to $6.99, but sales already have increased to 5%,” says Josephson. Although some regulars missed old favorites, free samples helped drive trial of the new subs. “Guest surveys revealed immediate results—scores for food and service quality and overall satisfaction were higher,” she says.

The Primo Italiano

With authenticity as a goal, Fazoli’s now sources Italian-style spicy capicola, Genoa salami with peppercorns and baked ham, all piled on a garlic butter toasted roll; toasters already were in house. Red onions and balsamic dressing are other new SKUs. The revamped subs required additional steps and training, says Josephson, but the improved quality trumps the extra seconds the toasting and assembly add to throughput, she says.

Smart Swaps

Instead of...Try this...
Simple bread rollGarlic-butter toasted baguette-style roll
Structured or formed deli meatsWhole-muscle deli meats
Commodity Italian salad dressingProprietary balsamic vinegar dressing



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