Schlotzsky’s headed for Stillwater

By Ricky O’Bannon

For Bryan & Mia Whitfield, doing what you love means getting into the business of sandwiches.

Stillwater was once home to the sandwich chain Schlotzsky’s, and Bryan said he and his wife fell in love with the brand. Once it closed, that wouldn’t stop the family from driving for an hour or more to satisfy cravings for what he called a very “unique sandwich.”

“We would get the whole family together and drive to the Oklahoma City or Tulsa area for Schlotzsky’s,” Whitfield said.

The couple have lived in Stillwater since 1989 after moving back to the city where they graduated from Oklahoma State University. Earlier this month, the Whitfields signed a franchise agreement with the company to open six Schlotzsky’s stores in Oklahoma, including one in their hometown.

Whitfield said he plans on opening the Stillwater location by the end of 2012 before later opening stores in Owasso, Enid, Lawton, Bartlesville and Ardmore.

The Stillwater location has a tri-branding deal, meaning it will also offer Cinnabon products and Carvel, an ice cream brand that has traditionally been offered on the East Coast.

“That allows us three draws instead of one,” he said. “You’ve got folks who are very passionate about Cinnabon who might be introduced to Schlotzsky’s for the first time and (vice versa).”

Whitfield said the location of the store is still being finalized. The restaurant will employ approximately 45 people in Stillwater.

After word got out about the chain coming back, Whitfield said, he’s heard from a number of people who told him they were happy to see Schlotzsky’s in Stillwater again.

“We weren’t the only ones who had a passion for the sandwich, ” he said. “We’re obviously very excited at the response so far, and we’re very excited to bring this to Stillwater.”

Source: Stillwater NewsPress

Franchise agreement will bring Schlotzsky’s to Bartlesville

By Abigail Singrey

asingrey@examiner-enterprise.com

Plans are in the works for a new Schlotzsky’s in Bartlesville, but the grand opening will not be this year.

Regional developers Bryan and Mia Whitfield of Stillwater plan to open six Schlotzsky’s in Stillwater, Bartlesville, Owasso, Enid, Lawton and Ardmore. The Whitfields signed a multi-unit franchise agreement with Schlotzsky’s, which also included a co-branding agreement with Cinnabon and Carvel.

A Schlotzsky’s restaurant typically employs around 45 people and occupies about 3,200 square feet, Bryan Whitfield said.

The Whitfields were targeting communities where Schlotzky’s would be a “unique offering,” Bryan Whitfield said.

“We live in Stillwater, and we kept thinking about how big the demand was in a town the size of Stillwater,” Whitfield said. “… Our business plan will have us developing all of these in the shortest time possible. We are going to start in Stillwater and grow from there.”

The first restaurant will open in Stillwater by the end of the year. The Whitfields have a contract pending on a site. The timing of the opening of the rest of the locations has not been determined, Bryan Whitfield said.

“It will be dictated by where real estate opportunities lead us first,” Bryan Whitfield said.

Opening a restaurant will fulfill a life-long dream for Bryan Whitfield. After working in fast food in high school, he had always wanted to open a restaurant. After a career in electrical and software engineering, the timing was right for Bryan Whitfield to pursue that dream.

“Our love for Schlotzsky’s has been a primary driving factor,” he said.

Schlotzsky’s has more than 350 locations worldwide and serves a variety of items, including sandwiches, wraps, gourmet pizzas and salads.

Source: Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

Cool weekend fitness events

By Pamela LeBlanc | Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 05:25 AM

With three major fitness events lurking on this weekend’s horizon (not to mention that awesome Treeathlon at Barton Springs on Saturday, which I blogged about a few days ago), I thought I’d get a jump start.

Bun Run

If the thought of a sandwich spurs you to sprint at record pace, line up for the Schlotzsky’s Bun Run, the longest-running 5K in Austin, which adds a 10K option this year. The races start and finish near Auditorium Shores, with the 10K at 7 a.m.; the Kid’s K at 7:45 a.m.; and the 5K at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, April 29. Think your pooch is the fastest in town? Dogs are invited to enter the 5K ($10 per dog). Packet pickup is 3-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Schlotzsky’s, 218 S. Lamar Boulevard, or at Auditorium Shores on race morning. Proceeds benefit the Austin Sunshine Camps. For more information go here: http://www.bunrun.com

Source: Austin360.com

Schlotzsky’s ownership a blessing in many ways

By Laura Elder

The Daily News

Published April 22, 2012

Cynde Whitson has a lot on her plate. She owns two Schlotzsky’s restaurants in Galveston County and is working on a third.

But the fast pace and constant challenges are what Whitson sought when she left a medical sales jobs to become her own boss.

“I can’t do the nine-to-five thing,” Whitson said.

Whitson owns a Schlotzsky’s at 221 S. FM 270 in League City. Last year, she opened a Schlotzsky’s and Cinnabon Express, 3325 Palmer Highway, in Texas City. As of press time, she was searching for site on Seawall Boulevard in Galveston to open a Schlotzsky’s, Cinnabon and Carvel Ice Cream store.

Atlanta-based Focus Brand Inc. is the franchiser and operator of Carvel, Cinnabon and Schlotzsky’s.

In 1994, Whitson, who grew up in Springfield, Mo., where the winters were long and cold, learned of a medical sales job in Texas. The warm climate was appealing, so she got in her car and drove to Dallas.

The job just wasn’t it, though.

“I felt like being an outside sales rep would be similar to owning my own business … managing my own territory, setting up my own appointments.

“I loved it, but working out of my home and long hours in the car — before cellphones — was very lonely.”

The idea of working in an office didn’t appeal to her either, she said.

“I had actually worked in an office for four years and it was a miserable experience,” she said. “Slow paced, routine … I felt like I was working my life away, living for Friday and dreading Monday.”

Whitson always dreamed of opening a business. When she was growing up, her father owned a small clothing store. As a child, she sometimes would go to work with him early in the morning and watch him take care of customers.

Whitson wanted that for herself. She earned a degree in business administration and marketing at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., and wrote a term paper on franchises.

She considered buying a postal-related franchise or Diet Center but was drawn to food franchises. One of her first jobs was waitressing, and she loved its fast pace and that it involved constant contact with people.

So, Whitson did her research and decided on a Schlotzsky’s, an Austin-based purveyor of pizzas, salads and soups founded in 1971, which bills itself as the home of the original toasted sandwich.

The initial franchise fee today to become a Schlotzsky’s franchisee is $30,000. Franchisees also should possess cash liquidity of about $600,000.

She opened a League City store in 1999 and immediately was presented with challenges and the pace she sought. Whitson was general manager of the new store. Anyone considering buying a restaurant franchise should remember there’s a lot more to owning a restaurant than selling food.

“It’s a lot harder than you think it’s going to be,” she said. “You have to wear a lot of different hats.”

Whitson was the accountant, operations manager, marketing manager and repairwoman for the League City Schlotzsky’s. She had to hire employees — each Schlotzsky’s employs about 25 people — and handle catering.

If the sandwich oven stopped working, she fixed it. If there was a problem with the building, she fixed that, too.

“I’ve been on top of the roof more times than I can count,” she said. “When it costs $200 every time you call a repairman, you try to fix things yourself.”

When she opened the League City store, it was a particularly rainy year. Rain during lunch hour rush isn’t good for crowds. Then road construction in front of her store made access difficult. Having a known and well-liked brand name is only part of the equation, she said.

But she hired a good group of employees and worked hard to market the eatery and to build a reputation for customer service. Also, League City’s population boom in the past decade was good for business.

Catering to businesses is a big part of sales.

“You have to get out there and fight for it,” she said.

The League City Schlotzsky’s did well enough to capture the attention of Jimmy Hayley, president of the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce. Hayley was persistent in his efforts to persuade Whitson to open a franchise in Texas City.

Whitson looked at the demographics and was skeptical at first. But Hayley gave Whitson and officials with Schlotzsky’s corporate offices a tour of the mainland city known for refineries and petrochemical plants.

Early last year, in an investment of about $500,000, Whitson open the Texas City Schlotzsky’s to big crowds. The Texas City eatery was built to reflect Schlotzsky’s re-branding efforts, which include a new design, a co-branding deal with Cinnabon and a new service model in which employees deliver food to the tables.

“There was some pent-up demand,” she said.

Right away, Whitson noticed a difference in the League City and Texas City eateries. Refinery and plant workers, because of their shifts, start lunch about 10 a.m., Whitson said. Lunch in League City begins about 11:30 a.m.

Whitson also expects the clientele on the island, which is seasonal, to be much different from the other stores.

Whitson still enjoys the pace of the business. But these days, the mother of a 6-year-old daughter has the help of her family. Her retired parents, who moved to Texas from Springfield, help out at the Texas City store. Her husband, Mike, also has begun working in the franchise business full time.

Whitson still is involved in every part of the business and is happy with her decision to buy a Schlotzsky’s franchise.

“I take out food, clean tables, make sandwiches,” she said. “It really has been a blessing in so many ways.”

Source: Galveston Daily News

Schlotzsky’s signs huge expansion deal

By Jan Buchholz

Austin-based Schlotzsky’s Deli has signed its largest multi-unit deal in a single period in company history.

The company plans to open 61 locations in Orange County, Calif., Arizona and Minneapolis, Minn.

John Fehmer and Anastasia Rusakov signed on to operate 25 tri-brand locations in Orange County. Those brands include Schlotzsky’s, Cinnabon and Carvel. The duo currently owns and manages retail dental hospitals in Southern California.

Gene Denison will open 30 tri-brand stores across Arizona. He has been an executive with local and national grocery store chains.

Loren and Kathy Fliflet will open six tri-brand locations in Minneapolis. They currently own Massage Envy franchises.

Schlotzsky’s was founded in Austin in 1971 and encountered some rough waters when it filed for bankruptcy in 2004. It was acquired in 2006 by Focus Brands Inc. and business has been on the upswing since then. Focus Brands is owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Group.

Currently the company operates about 350 stores worldwide with plans to grow to between 600 and 700 locations by 2015. In the past two years, Schlotzsky’s has undergone an aggressive rebranding process with new store designs and signage.

Source: Austin Business Journal

Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon-Carvel opens in Austin on April 14

The new Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon-Carvel in Austin, Texas is scheduled to open at 10am on Saturday, April 14.

Get there early, because the first 100 people who buy a Cinnabon 6-pack will get free Schlotzsky’s every week for an entire year! In addition, guests can enjoy our signature sandwich, a small The Original, for just $1.99 all day on Saturday.

We’ll also have special appearances throughout the day from the Austin Toros Basketball team and a live radio remote with KISS-FM, featuring on-air personality, Lunchbox. We’ll also have plenty of games, prizes and fun for the kids, too including face painting and a balloon artist.

On Sunday, April 15, the Stars Ice Girls will be here from noon to two. Be here to win one of four Texas Stars jerseys. And on Monday, join us at 3pm for a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony and more prizes.

The biggest prize of all will be a 2012 Yamaha Waverunner! Head to the restaurant and join our Bun & Fun eClub between now and May 15 and you’ll be entered to win.

Don’t miss the fun! Come see us this weekend at the new Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon-Carvel at 8300 N. FM 620 Ste. 103.

*Free Schlotzsky’s offer valid for persons 18 years and older. One giveaway per family. 52 small sandwiches; ONE sandwich each week for one year commencing on April 14, 2012 and expiring on April 1, 2013. This offer is nontransferable and is not valid with any other offer. Offer may not be redeemed at any other Cinnabon or Schlotzsky’s location. Void where prohibited. 

**Must be 18 years or older to participate in drawing for Yamaha Waverunner. Drawing will take place on May 15, 2012.

Hand-Carved makes everything better!

Check out our new Web commercial for our Hand-Carved Sandwiches. A special THANK YOU to DP/Producer Jim Flores, Director Storme Wood, Writer/Producer Andie Redwine, and the folks at The Sound SuiteCut to Black and Pinkhaus!

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