Schlotzsky’s Brand Reinvention Drives Franchise Growth, Store Sales

Fast-Casual Chain’s ‘Lotz Better’ Brand Yields Immediate Results

Austin, TX – Fast approaching its 40th birthday, Schlotzsky’s, the home of The Original® round toasted sandwich, has decided to shake things up in a big way. The 350+ unit fast-casual restaurant has introduced an entirely new brand image that is attracting new kinds of guests and refueling franchise growth around the country.

The brand reinvention, which is literally and figuratively “All ‘Round ‘Lotz Better,” includes a new  prototype restaurant featuring vibrant colors, playful slogans, contemporary furniture and artwork, and a partnership with sister company Cinnabon that offers franchisees two brands under one roof. Schlotzsky’s also introduced a new service model where crew members hand-deliver food to the tables. Everything, from tables and chairs to circular-themed local photography featuring tongue-in-cheek phrases is contemporary and … round.

“The circle theme in our new stores centers around our signature item – our toasted sandwich on a round bun,” said Schlotzsky’s President Kelly Roddy. “In fact, about the only thing that hasn’t changed about the brand is our food. We’re still making our sourdough bread fresh daily and dressing our famous round sandwiches with the highest quality ingredients. That’s never going to change.”

The first new prototype model recently opened in Waco, TX, with eight additional new prototypes opening since and 15 more under construction. Plans are to have 60 of the new restaurants open by the end of the year and all existing restaurants to be converted by 2011.

By all accounts, the strategic rebranding effort has been a success. It has led to a number of multi-unit franchise deals for 20 new franchise locations. And while Schlotzsky’s core customer base has remained loyal during the reinvention, the new image has also started attracting more female guests and a younger crowd.

“Many of our longtime franchise owners see their bottom lines improving, and they see great things in Schlotzsky’s future,” Roddy said. “They are purchasing more locations and increasing their territories now while they see the opportunity is hot.” Roddy added that, ideally, Schlotzsky’s plans to have between 600 and 700 locations up and running by 2015.

The Cinnabon partnership is also contributing to Schlotzsky’s growth. The co-branding deal, which allows for freshly made Cinnabon Classic Rolls and other treats to be sold on the Schlotzsky’s menu, has been a huge hit, with more than 50 co-branded locations up and running well, and at least 50 more expected by the end of 2010. In fact, every new franchise deal that has been signed in the past six months has been for the combined Schlotzsky’s/Cinnabon model.

To continue the growth momentum, Schlotzsky’s is aggressively targeting markets in Texas and in untapped markets around the country such as Kansas City, St. Louis, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta and Florida for multi-unit developers.

“Our entire team has worked extremely hard to bring the new look and feel to fruition and already the efforts are paying off, huge,” Roddy added.

Register Now for the 28th Annual Schlotzsky’s® Bun Run® Benefitting Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps

Austin, Texas (March 12, 2010) – Are you ready to run your buns off? Registration is open for one of the most popular races in the Austin area, not to mention the longest-running at 28 years and counting!

Scheduled for Sunday, May 2 at 7:30 a.m. at South First Street near Auditorium Shores, the 2010 Bun Run hosts an average of 5,000 competitive runners, casual joggers, and walkers, not to mention numerous four-legged friends and onlookers of all ages. The race is organized by the Young Men’s Business League (YMBL), and all proceeds benefit Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps, YMBL’s program for at-risk and disadvantaged youth.  Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps’ adventure and scholarship programs send kids to camp and teach leadership, team-building and trust, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the high school dropout rate and increasing college participation.  The Bun Run raises an average of $50,000 annually for the camps.

Additional events during this year’s Bun Run include the pre-race expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 and the Lil’ Bun Run 1K on the same date at 1 p.m., both at Auditorium Shores.

For complete details and to register for the 2010 Bun Run, visit www.bunrun.com.

Hip Chick Trio Rules the Roost at Schlotzsky’s

Austin, TX (March 1, 2010) The chicks are back at Schlotzsky’s and we’ve booked the Hip Chick Trio for a return gig now through May 30. This crowd-pleasing promotion features three of our most popular chicken sandwiches.

First up is the Chicken Bacon Smokecheesy Sandwich, complete with shaved chicken, smoked cheddar cheese, crispy bacon strips and fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions, topped off with tasty chipotle mayonnaise and served on Schlotzsky’s signature Fresh-from-Scratch® sourdough buns.

Next in the line-up is the Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich, which also features that shaved chicken combined with lean shaved ham, crispy bacon strips, savory Swiss cheese and tangy yellow mustard, all nestled between two famous toasted sourdough buns and served with a side of zesty Dijon-honey mustard dipping sauce.

Last but not least, there’s the classic Fiesta Chicken Sandwich, with roasted chicken breast, smoked cheddar cheese, black olives, roasted red bell peppers and fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions, topped with tasty chipotle mayonnaise and served on kickin’ jalapeño cheese buns.

“We’re excited to bring these three popular sandwiches back for our guests,” said President Kelly Roddy.  “Our previous Hip Chick promotion was the most successful one we’ve ever had at Schlotzsky’s and with these great-tasting, flavorful chicken sandwiches, we look forward to another successful promotion.”

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