Schlotzsky’s reopens in Lufkin, TX with Cinnabon

Get your buns to our Schlotzsky’s in Lufkin on Wednesday, July 27 and enjoy $1.99 small The Original sandwiches all day! And the first 50 people to purchase a 6-pack of Cinnabon Classic Rolls will get free Cinnabon each week for a year. So stop by, check out our new restaurant, which is under new management, and say hi! We’d love to see you!

Fast Food Chains – Consumer Reports Survey

Consumer Reports logo

 

In their first major survey of quick-service restaurants (industry-speak for fast-food chains), Schlotzsky’s scored quite well when it came to taste ratings, beating out Subway, Quizno’s and Jimmy John’s, among others. In addition, consumers rated Schlotzsky’s an 80 on a 100 scale when it came to food, value, staff and speed. For the complete report, head to www.consumereports.org or pick up a copy of their August 2011 issue, which features the Fast Food Chains Survey in its entirety.

 

Get The Original for just $1.99 in Dallas-Fort Worth on Wednesday, July 20

We have 53 newly remodeled restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and we want to show them off! Come visit any of our DFW-area restaurants tomorrow, July 20, and treat yourself to a small The Original sandwich for just $1.99! You’ll love our new Lotz Better look and feel, not to mention the 27 restaurants that have added Cinnabon! Come enjoy a sandwich and enter to win free Schlotzsky’s for a year! More than 50 people will win the prize.

Click here to find the Schlotzsky’s location near you. See you tomorrow! 

4 Ways to Renovate Stores and Not Lose Business

A Schlotzsky’s franchisee discusses how you can reimage your stores to gain new customers, without losing old ones.

IN THE STORE | July 2011 | By Robert Thomas

Redesigning your store can attract new customers, but you must keep the old.Not a lot of franchisees have the experience of Ted Nevels; the Schlotzsky’s multiunit franchisee has more than 30 years of experience. Nevels has been with the brand long enough to have had Don Dissman, Schlotzsky’s founder, teach him how to bake bread.

In January, Nevels and his team kicked off the reimaging of his two units in Lafayette, Louisiana. Instead of a simple makeover, Nevels used the opportunity to overhaul the entire look of his stores and fine-tune operations.

Affordable and effective, the changes, which were completed in April, have brought the units an increase in both customers and sales.

Nevels shares his tips on how quick-serve operators can control the redesign of their own stores to benefit the customers, sales, and staff.

1. Go Big or Go Home

Don’t just look at new seating or painting the walls; a complete change and fresh look should be the end goal. For my units, we went as far as moving the kitchen, adding a drive thru, and sharing the space with our sister company, Cinnabon. This type of plan rejuvenates the customer base in the community and gives them more of a reason to continue going to your stores.

New architectural features are good, but a complete overhaul and look of the store will excite the customer more. Moreover, the big changes can improve the image but can also have the potential to improve other aspects of the business, like operations and marketing.

Maybe you already have a drive thru or don’t have the option to cobrand; there are still changes inside that can be done. We completely changed the interior of the store, giving it a fresh feel and a better utilization of space. Big things can be done on the inside to improve your sales without big construction phases. Sometimes, these are easier and more financially manageable, and yield positive results.

2. Stay Open or Close Up, But Be Prepared

This might be the biggest challenge for franchisees that have made the decision to reimage. For one, it is different for each franchisee and relative to the location of the store.

For me, I knew I wanted to keep my doors open during the construction process. Customers are creatures of habit and I just couldn’t take the risk of losing them. If your store is in their habitual lifestyle, it is a gamble to shut down and give them the potential to go elsewhere.

The best part about staying open was letting the customers see the changes. This goes a long way outside the store. They became part of the reimaging process and have the availability to go outside the store and tell others what is happening. This became one of our most valuable marketing opportunities for the new look.

If you can afford it, however, closing the doors for a short period of time is OK, too. If you do decide to shut the store down, construction needs to be fast; we’re talking having crews in there nonstop until the job is done. It seems excessive, but you have to ensure the customer base is there at completion, and staying closed for too long is a gamble for this goal.

The upside to closing shop is quicker demolition and faster completion. It took about three and a half months for our overhaul, but it was worth it. The customers got to see what we were up to and still had the opportunity to purchase our product.

3. It Must Be Financially Feasible

Continuing with the construction process, some franchisees might be able to afford to close the doors and have speedy construction. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to pay my employees while being closed. Franchisees should have [employees] in mind during this process.

I have some employees who have been with me for close to 20 years. Just like customers, I couldn’t afford to lose them, and they were thankful for that. There was a definite increase in morale and work ethic because they knew that with this reimage, with the potential of more customers and more money, they would be rewarded as well.

Personally speaking, I’ve always been very conservative in regards to finances and have a great relationship with the local banks in my area. If you aren’t at this point yet in your franchising career, don’t dig deeper into debt. Moreover, you should try to eliminate as much debt as possible before taking on a project of this magnitude.

4. Rely on Your Franchisor

If you do it right, and do it relative to your location and customer base, the numbers will increase. Since the reimaging, our sales are close to a 70 percent increase over last year. It goes without saying, but the No. 1 reason why any franchisee would consider reimaging is to increase sales.

If it’s a good decision for you and your stores, make sure to get complete support from corporate. A lot of the times, it’s their decision anyway in regards to a new look. A lot of franchisees today want to be in complete control, but they really need to trust the corporate office in the decision-making process. If you’re looking to make more money, they will offer nothing but support. Both parties have the same interests and can mutually benefit one another.

Source: QSR

Entrepreneur of the Month: Kelly Roddy


Establishments: More than 350 sandwich shops in 35 states and four foreign countries

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

What He’s Done: Veteran of another Austin legend—H-E-B Grocery Company—Kelly Roddy has helped orchestrate Schlotzsky’s return from the brink since being named the chain’s president in 2007. Started as a college-town deli in 1971, Schlotzsky’s had changed hands several times in the 1980s, rocketing to more than 750 units before filing for bankruptcy in 2004. Now, in its 40th-anniversary year, the chain is on track for its sixth straight year of positive comp sales.

Why We Like Him: “A new brand position allows us to filter and evaluate everything we do: ’Lotz better,” says Roddy, 46. “It means that everything we do has to be significantly better than anything else in the category.” Deceptively simple, but effective.

How It’s Worked: Over the course of the past two years, management has strengthened the culture; improved the business model and unit economics; ramped up marketing; and introduced a remodel that has spurred 28 percent sales increases. The chain is also co-branding with sister-company Cinnabon, a move that has improved check averages and brought in new business.

Source: Monkey Dish

Schlotzsky’s Restaurant Pays Employees for Volunteering

Employees of the destroyed Tuscaloosa restaurant served food to Red Cross clients

By: Latasha J. Lewis

When the April 27 storm went through Tuscaloosa, Ala., it destroyed many businesses. Because of this, many people lost their jobs and had to relocate to provide for their families. Some businesses sent their employees to work in other cities, but not Schlotzsky’s, a sandwich deli that was located on 15th Street, right in the path of the EF4 tornado.

George Schaefer, vice president of Restaurant Operations, came up with the idea of paying Schlotzsky’s employees to volunteer with the disaster relief effort. This way the Schlotzsky’s company could help its employees and the city of Tuscaloosa at the same time.

Angela Bowles, the general manager at Schlotzsky’s, took on the responsibility of organizing work schedules for the employees and finding places for the employees to volunteer.

“Anywhere we are needed, we will go,” said Bowles. “If anyone needs us, just let us know!”

On June 9, Bowles led her employees to the Belk Activity Center, a Red Cross shelter for tornado victims, where they assisted the Red Cross by serving lunch to tornado victims and other volunteers. The Schlotzsky’s employees jumped right in expecting nothing more than an adrenalin rush and a speck of normality.

“This was the first time since the storm that we felt like we were at work [Schlotzsky's],” said Bowles. “It was just like being in the restaurant.”

Before helping the Red Cross at the Belk Center, Schlotzsky’s employees volunteered with Temporary Emergency Services by sorting donated goods. The Schlotzsky’s employees appreciate the opportunities they have been given and take pride in saying that they work for such a compassionate company.

Since the storm, a typical day of a Schlotzsky’s employee starts around 9 a.m. and ends around 5 p.m. The work force is made up of 15 Schlotzsky’s employees ranging in age from 19 to 46. The employees are paid the same salary they were given while working at Schlotzsky’s for the hours they volunteer.

Thanks to Schlotzsky’s for helping the Red Cross and the people of Tuscaloosa!

Source: American Red Cross of West Alabama

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