1971 Don & Dolores Dissman opened the first Schlotzsky’s restaurant, located on South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, with only one menu item, The Original®, a sandwich with three meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onion, black olives, mustard and garlic dressing on a signature, 8-inch sourdough bun for $2.95. “Just one Sandwich…It’s that Good!”
1974 Menu expands to three sandwiches – The Original®, Ham & Cheese and Cheese.
1977 First Schlotzsky’s restaurant franchised in Bryan/College Station, Texas.
1979 Introduces new “medium” 6-inch sandwich.
1980 158 restaurants operating in 14 states.
1981 John C. Wooley and investors acquire Schlotzsky’s from the Dissmans; systemwide sales of $19 million.
1982 Wheat bun introduced; redesign of logo and signs.
1983 First-ever Bun Run® 5k Race held in Austin, Texas.
1984 Introduced two new sandwiches – Roast Beef and Turkey Breast; adopted used of steam-injected baking ovens.
1986 Two-pass cheesemelter heating system introduced.
1987 Philly sandwich is introduced.
1988 First international restaurant opens in Canada.
1991 Deli concept introduced. Menu expanded to 15 sandwiches, 10 sourdough crust pizzas and five salads. Jalapeño and Dark Rye buns introduced.
1992 Schlotzsky’s Deli-Style Potato Chips introduced. The brand now operates 234 restaurants.
1995 Begin trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol BUNZ; franchises open in Turkey.
1996 Schlotzsky’s celebrates its 25th anniversary. The one-pass cheesemelter is designated as the conveyor heating system of the future for Schlotzsky’s Deli.
1997 New prototype, free-standing restaurant design introduced. Grilled chicken breast sandwich and pizzas added to the menu.
2005 Acquired by Bobby Cox Companies.
2006 Schlotzsky’s celebrates its 35th anniversary and is later purchased by Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands.
2007 Company enjoys stability and new expansion efforts under FOCUS Brands; hosts 25th Annual Bun Run, Austin’s longest-running 5k; launches first three-in-one promotion, the Angus Beef Round Up; opens co-brand locations with sister companies Cinnabon® and Carvel Ice Cream®; runs first online Winning Combination promotion and rewards one lucky winner with $25,000 a year for life; rank #75 in Fast Casual magazine’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers List.
2008 Holds first-ever T-shirt design contest for annual Schlotzsky’s Bun Run and awards $1,000 to winning artist; ranked #142 in Restaurants & Institutions magazine’s Top 400 Chains list; ranked #94 in Fast Casual magazines Top 100 Movers & Shakers list; ranked #322 in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2008 Franchise 500.
2009 Opens first “Lotz Better” prototype restaurant in Waco, TX. Ranked #181 in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2009 Franchise 500; ranked #98 in DiversityBusiness.com’s Top 100 Privately-Held Businesses in Texas; ranked #138 in Restaurant & Institutions magazine’s Top 400 Chains list; ranked #142 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Global Franchise list; received first-ever Platinum Hermes Creative Award for Big League Clubz TV campaign.
2010 Launches brand reinvention, which is literally and figuratively “All ‘Round Lotz Better,” and includes a new prototype restaurant featuring vibrant colors, playful slogans, contemporary furniture and artwork; introduces new service model where crew members hand-deliver food to tables. Named one of 50 Top Franchises for Minorities by the National Minority Franchising Initiative (NMFI) and named to Top 50 Franchises for Minorities list by USA Today. Ranked #183 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Global Franchise Rankings and ranked #247 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500.
2011 Celebrates 40th anniversary with national $1.99 small The Original® special, discontinues Panini sandwiches, introduces new line of fresh, made-to order salads, table service and updated menuboards. Ranked #52 in Fast Casual magazine’s top 100 Movers & Shakers list; ranked #162 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Global Franchise Rankings; received Gold Hermes Creative Award for Route 66 TV campaign.
2012 Schlotzsky’s celebrates seven consecutive years of positive same store sales growth. Announced JDRF as corporate national cause and hosted systemwide promotion, collecting more than $150,000 for the organization. Ranked #128 in Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurants; ranked #64 in QSR 50 Contenders; received Platinum Hermes Creative Award for Hand-Carved Sandwiches TV campaign and Gold Hermes Creative Award for Evergreen TV campaign.
2013 Named World Class Franchise by the Franchise Research Institute; ranked #137 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500; ranked #5 in The Daily Meal’s list of 25 Best Chain Sandwich Shops.