Smiths Grove gets IGA store

By Monica Spees

Smiths Grove is now home to the first Schlotzsky’s store in south central Kentucky.

Crossroads IGA – which features Cinnabon baked goods, Carvel ice cream and Schlotzsky’s Bakery & Cafe – officially opened Wednesday at 619 S. Main St. in Smiths Grove. The building stands where the Shell gas station was – and fuel is still available on the premises.

Dog food, charcoal, soft drinks, motor oil, chilled tuna sandwiches and jars of pickled eggs stock the shelves in the 11,000-square-foot facility. A specialty coffee and hot beverage bar and customizable fountain and frozen beverage bar stand near the cafe.

Lifelong Smiths Grove resident Ruby Woods attended an open house Tuesday evening where she had her first taste of Cinnabon. Woods attended the grand opening Wednesday and left with a box of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls she purchased. Woods said she’s excited about the options the store gives Smiths Grove.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Woods said. “I think it’s going to do Smiths Grove justice. We’re all excited about it. We need something like this in Smiths Grove.”

The store is the fifth Crossroads IGA Houchens Industries has opened in the Bowling Green-Warren County market and the 10th in Kentucky. Houchens Industries recently opened another store in Louisville.

The new Crossroads IGA employs 57 people, 12 of whom were prior employees of Shell and IGA in Smiths Grove. The employment opportunities and additional grocery and convenience store products will benefit everyone in town, Woods said.

“This is the biggest thing to happen to Smiths Grove in years,” Woods said.

Brandon Jones, spokesman for Houchens Industries, is also a Smiths Grove resident, so the new Crossroads IGA is special to him.

The store is “a wonderful addition, personally as well as professionally,” Jones said. “I think it’s going to be a really good fit for the entire community.’

People at the grand opening could spin a wheel set up in front of the cafe for prizes, including food and discounts. Cupcakes were also available for the crowd of about 40 people to celebrate the event.

Mark Meers, chief marketing officer for Schlotzsky’s, said the Smiths Grove Crossroads IGA is the first of several partner projects the company will have with Houchens Industries. The store’s proximity to the interstate will likely draw many truckers and travelers, Meers said.

“We want to be a dedicated stop along the way for (travelers) to get a great Schlotzsky’s meal while visiting Smiths Grove,” Meers said.

Meers said Schlotzsky’s is trying a new rewards program at the Smiths Grove store. Lotz4Me is a mobile app that allows customers to get $7 off their purchase after their seventh $6-minimum purchase. Schlotzsky’s also caters and delivers.

Smtihs Grove Mayor Bert Higginbotham said he was thrilled with the store, especially since he found Edy’s sugar-free ice cream, which he often has trouble finding.

Crossroads IGA is in a great location for highway traffic, he said, and the people of Smiths Grove are happy to have another food and grocery option close to home.

“I’m tickled with this,” Higginbotham said.

Various public officials attended the opening, including Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson, Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon, state Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken, state Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, and state Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green.

Tim Sturgill, division manager for Houchens Industries, said he’s looking forward to the future of Smiths Grove’s Crossroads IGA.

“I think you’re going to be proud of what we’re going to do for you here in Smiths Grove,” Sturgill said.

Crossroads IGA is open daily from 5 a.m. to midnight.

Source: BGDailyNews.com

Schlotzsky’s opens in Crossroads IGA in Smith’s Grove, Kentucky

Smiths Grove EventHouchens Industries will open an all-new Crossroads IGA in Smiths Grove Wednesday, July 16, which will feature Schlotzsky’s, Cinnabon and Carvel Ice Cream inside the grocery store. The Schlotzsky’s will be a full-service restaurant that will provide sandwiches, pizzas, flatbreads, salads and soups, along with fresh-baked treats from Cinnabon and Carvel soft-serve ice cream.

The new store, located at 619 S. Main Street, is a unique neighborhood grocery store featuring an extensive selection of essential grocery items including top quality meats and fresh fruits and vegetables, plus on-the-go meal solutions.

A ribbon cutting will be held at 11am on July 16. The first 100 to purchase a Cinnabon 6-Pack receive free Schlotzsky’s for a year.

619 S. Main Street

270-563-5250

 

Schlotzsky’s will take a bigger bite in Denver

By Mark Harden, News Director – Denver Business Journal

Schlotzsky’s, a sandwich chain with 10 Colorado locations, says it plans to add dozens more by the end of the year in metro Denver.

Austin, Texas-based Schlotzsky’s — a unit of Atlanta-based Focus Brands Inc. — says it has plans for 15 franchise deals in the city of Denver and another 30 deals in the Denver metro area by the end of 2014.

“The Denver market has already cultivated a loyal fan following and a strong brand reputation as consumers demand more convenient, fresh food options,” said David Wheeler, the chain’s vice president of franchise development. “We anticipate the same great success we’ve seen across Colorado in this targeted region of the state.”

Wheeler signaled that the company seeks “qualified franchise partners” in Denver.

The company said the new stores will offer franchisees “co-branding opportunities” with other Focus brands, Cinnabon and Carvel, “to offer franchise partners multiple streams of revenue under one roof.”

The move comes as homegrown sandwich chain Quiznos has faced challenges, shuttering thousands of stores in recent years and going through a pre-packaged Chapter 11 process.

Schlotzsky’s also is targeting markets in Texas as well as Oklahoma City, Tulsa, St. Louis and Kansas City for further expansion.

The chain says it currently has 350 locations in 37 states and three other nations.

Source: Denver Business Journal

Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon-Carvel opens at Camp Pendleton

Camp Pendleton_Event

Schlotzsky’s Camp Pendleton will kick off its grand opening April 1st at 9:00 a.m. with a day of fun-filled events, including a prize wheel, Schlotzsky’s eClub giveaways and more. The first 100 active duty members to purchase a CinnaPack of six Cinnabon Classic rolls from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. will receive one free The Original (small) sandwich a week for a year. 

The opening ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by a free lunch of small sandwich combos available to all guests with a valid military I.D. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as well as a free small Carvel Ice Cream cone from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Building 51096, Area 51, Basilone Road at San Onofre Center

See you there!

Cobranding Part 1: Will it work for fast casuals?

Cobranding in the restaurant industry may have started in the ’90s with “KenTacoHut” — Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC — but fast casuals are starting to embrace the idea. Bruegger’s Bagels and Caribou Coffee, for example,  expanded their cobranded concept last year to North Carolina, marking the third cobranded unit for the two brands, and Bruegger’s recently announced a deal to pair up with Jamba Juice in South Florida. Another smoothie concept, Smoothie Factory, is now testing cobranded units with Red Mango, and Fatburger has combined with Buffalo’s Café to offer chicken with its burgers in California.

While developing the right partnership and operations formula can be tricky, cobranding is a great way to add an additional revenue stream for franchisees, said Kelly Roddy, CEO of Schlotzsky’s, which has been cobranding since 2007 with Carvel Ice Cream and Cinnabon. He said the key to a solid cobranding partnership is ensuring that both brands benefit. The Schlotzsky’s/Cinnabon cobrand, for example, gave Cinnabon the opportunity to expand beyond malls and travel centers but also allowed Schlotzsky’s to offer menu variety to guests.

“It’s a great partnership for us and contributes to dayparts beyond lunchtime, including breakfast for those restaurants that open early as well as snack/evening options,” Roddy said. “Cinnabon also offers an additional catering option for our guests.”

The benefits

Those are just a couple benefits that cobranding can provide, said Steve Beagelman, president and CEO of SMB Franchise Advisors. Cost savings and risk aversion are two others.

“When you want to keep costs down, cobranding makes a lot of sense. When you’re going through the real estate process, you can save a lot of money up front since you’re utilizing two business to pay the rent for one location,” he said. “So, a lot of brands look at cobranding because it saves the front-end costs. The best benefit is utilizing and cross-training the labor. So you’re saving on your rent, your build out, your employees. There are a lot of economic reasons why cross-branding makes sense.”

Risk aversion is another benefit of cobranding, said Catherine Kearns, general manager of CHD Expert North America.

“Cobranding affords restaurants an opportunity to introduce their products to new markets, while mitigating cost and risk,” she said. “A significant capital investment is required to open a restaurant, especially costs associated with making a brick and mortar location service ready, and cobranding allows for brands to test new territories, while requiring less money for initial overhead costs.”

The challenges

While the benefits of cobranding are numerous, there are also challenges, including the possibility of complicating operating procedures and brand dilution, especially when one brand’s word-of-mouth, marketing and history are stronger than the other, said No Limit Agency’s Chief Brand Strategist Nick Powills.

“You are dealing with two brands and, in many scenarios, two different customers. Even if you sell cookies and ice cream, the cookie customer may not have the same taste as the ice cream customer at that exact moment,” he said.

Beagelman agreed but also said some franchisors will risk brand dilution to score faster distribution, so it’s often a trade off they are willing to make.

The possibility of complicating operating procedures stems from the fact that franchises abide by corporate-mandated guidelines, so combining operations from two entities can create challenges, Kearns said. For example, if two brands come together and they both have exclusive contracts with their own paper goods supplier, someone may have to break a contract.

“In addition to contracts and sourcing of products, melding two different restaurant cultures can also be a challenge,” she said. “Many chain restaurants have a pre-established operations manual and different standard to which they hold their team accountable. This includes processes for food preparation, customer service, and employee culture. Introducing two company cultures with different standards is not a seamless process. Camaraderie and synergy will take time to develop.”

These reasons, Kearns said, are why it is more common for cobranding to occur among companies who share a parent company — Yum! Brands, for example. Even then, however, it’s not a sure thing.

“You are mixing two brands with two different missions — even when run by the same franchisor,” Powills said. “Cobranding certainly can make sense when you are not experiencing a strong ROI from every square foot of your restaurant, however, it is a tricky balancing act, no matter how you look at it — so, being an effective operator will be critical.”

Should you cobrand?

Before hopping on the cobranding wagon, operators should ask themselves a few questions. They include:

  • Am I comfortable with employees being cross-trained?
  • Am I comfortable with potentially sharing revenue streams?
  • Do I really need two concepts under the same roof?
  • How will my brand benefit?
  • What negative effects will it have on my brand?
  • How is my brand perceived in comparison with the brand I am cobranding with?
  • How will my core consumer base react to this cobranding?
  • What is the cost benefit analysis on customer acquisition?
  • How will marketing efforts be affected?
  • How are joint decisions going to be made between the two separate corporate entities?
  • How will vendor relationships be affected?
  • And how will my internal employee culture be affected?

“The best time to co-brand is when it will help both perspective franchises and customers,” Powills said. “Many brands have mastered the art of this concept, hoping that franchise operators will be happier with a mixed portfolio and that customers will frequent the business more with more options.”

A mutual benefit is what inspired the partnership between Bruegger’s and Jamba Juice, said Arturo Zindel, the developer of the five cobranded Bruegger’s and Jamba Juice units in South Florida.

“We believe there are synergies with the brands plus additional operational efficiencies and economies of scale when you build stores that offer the two brands together,” he said. “Additionally, in the case of Bruegger’s Bagels and Jamba Juice, the dayparts are different plus both brands stand for high quality products and a top end customer experience in the stores, so we believe they will be a great fit offered under one roof.”

The same can be said for Schlotzsky’s, which has been so happy with its partnerships with Carvel and Cinnabon, that it’s launching a five-restaurant test with TCBY this April in the Austin area. Through the express format, the chains will offer six yogurt flavors and more than 15 types of toppings, Roddy said.

“We are excited about this opportunity and the potential daypart expansion,” he said.

Editor’s note: This is part 1 in a two-part series about cobranding. The next installment will feature Q and A interviews with three restaurant operators who have found success in cobranding.

Source: Fast Casual

Schlotzsky’s brings Lotz Better model to area

By BRENDA SHOFFNER / Daily News 

MARY ESTHER — It’s not often that a brand-name restaurant gives an area a second chance. When Schlotzsky’s opened its Lotz Better location in the middle of last year, that’s what it did. It had tried a Mary Esther site years earlier. This time a different formula might be the key to success.

The food
Schlotzsky’s is known for The Original: lean smoked ham, Genoa and cotto salamis, melted cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses layered with black olives, red onion, lettuce, tomato, mustard and signature dressing on a toasted sourdough bun.
Other sandwiches include smoked turkey breast, turkey bacon club, Angus roast beef and cheese, and fiesta chicken.
There are also fresh veggie (cheddar cheese, cucumber slices, red onion, tomato, lettuce and black olives), ham and cheese, pastrami reuben and chipotle chicken.

Sandwiches are available in small, medium and large sizes. Any can be turned into a meal by adding chips and a drink. Abandoning the trademark round bun for a wrap is an option, too. Schlotzsky’s also offers pizza, salads and soups. Pizzas come in 8-inch and 14-inch sizes. They include pepperoni and double cheese, fresh veggie, grilled chicken and pesto, smoked turkey and jalapeno and a combination. Salad choices are cranberry, apple, pecan and chicken; hearts of Romaine chicken caesar; turkey avocado cobb; turkey chef; and garden.

My guest chose a large turkey bacon club and a bowl of Timberline chili for his meal. The sandwich was as big as the plate it was served on, and was deemed delicious. The chili, served steaming hot in a nice-sized bowl, was also good. It came with crackers.
I chose to go with Schlotzsky’s “Pick Two” option. You get to select any two of half a medium sandwich, bowl of soup, half an 8-inch pizza or half a salad. It was difficult, but I finally decided on half of a smoked turkey-guacamole sandwich and half of a pepperoni/double cheese pizza.

The sandwich was part of a “Winterific” menu. It tasted fine but was a little disappointing compared to my guest’s sandwich. The pizza was delicious with light crust and flavorful sauce and toppings. Schlotzsky’s offers Coca-Cola products at a serve-yourself dispenser. A separate iced tea machine dispenses Southern, unsweet and raspberry versions of Fuze tea.

A press release explained that part of the Lotz Better restaurant model is co-branding deals. In this case, that’s with Cinnabon and Carvel Ice Cream. My guest and I each chose a different Cinnabon for dessert. I had the carmel pecan version, and my guest had the classic. Both were good although they could have stood being heated a little more. Other choices include the Minibon, Center of the Roll and a variety of packs. There are also desserts on the Schlotzsky’s menu including cookies, cheesecake, brownie and two kinds of cake. On a chilly winter day, no one was eating ice cream. Schlotzsky’s also does catering with items ranging from trays to box lunches.

The atmosphere
The clean, bright dining area is larger than I expected. It included free-standing tables and chairs as well as banquette seating along one wall. There were also a few tables outside. A large-screen television hangs on one wall. I think it was set on a news channel, but what distracted my attention was that the screen also contained standing ads for Schlotzsky’s. A short hallway connects Schlotzsky’s to the convenience store next door. The hallway is also where the restrooms are located.

The service
Orders are placed at the counter, where you receive a number. A server delivers food to your table when it’s ready. The young man taking orders on the afternoon of our visit was pleasant and patient explaining the Pick Two menu, delivering our food and clearing away used dishes. He also seemed to know several of the other diners who came in while we were there. Some stayed to eat in while a few ordered their food to go.

A final taste
In its second Mary Esther incarnation, Schlotzsky’s seems to be attracting new business as well as repeat customers.

Source: NWF Daily News

Business Matters: Schlotzsky’s in Brooklyn Center

Schlotzsky’s open second Minnesota location in Brooklyn Center, complete with Cinnabon & Carvel Ice Cream

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