Flat Out Tasty

EvansvilleLivingArtisan flatbreads revamp Schlotzsky’s menu

By Emily Patton

One of the hottest trends sweeping restaurants is artisan flatbreads. While similar in appearance to a pizza, flatbread is made without yeast with the dough rolled very thin and baked crispy.

Schlotzsky’s, which has more than 400 franchised and company-owned locations around the world, has joined the craze, revamping its menu to add four varieties of artisan flatbread.

“A lot of people are jumping on this flatbread product right now,” says Meena Mundle, who is a Schlotzsky’s franchise owner with her husband Ashish at 301 N. Green River Road. “I truly believe our product is far superior than others out there.”

Customers can choose from the California Chicken and Avocado, Chicken Chipotle Pesto, Margherita, and Italian Sausage and Basil, which are each served on a wooden pizza paddle and made with fresh ingredients. Each artisan flatbread dish is $7.49.

Mundle says it’s the individualized sauces that set their flatbreads apart from the rest, such as on the California Chicken and Avocado, which has an Andouille white cream sauce with roasted chicken breast, chopped bacon, diced avocado, fresh red bell pepper, cilantro, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and a southwest chipotle mayo.

Another tasty delight is Italian Sausage and Basil topped with the balsamic reduction and thinly sliced Italian sausage, sun-dried tomato pesto, fresh basil, roasted red peppers and tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

“As soon as customers try them, they are coming back on the following day,” says Mundle. “They are absolutely addictive. All your taste buds kind of come alive, as you taste all the different ingredients. It is so different than what we previously offered.”

For more information on Schlotzsky’s, call 812-471-4011 or visit schlotzskys.com/menu/.

Source: Evansville Living

Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon opens in Spring, TX

Spring TX Event

 

Schlotzsky’s AND Cinnabon are coming to Spring, TX! Grand opening celebrations kick off on Thursday, May 1. The fun starts with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10am followed by games, prizes and more. The first 50 people to purchase a Cinnabon 6-Pack will get FREE Schlotzsky’s every week for a year! Join the Schlotzsky’s Bun & Fun eClub on opening day and you’ll be entered to win two round trip airline tickets to anywhere in the continental US!

1620 Louetta Road

832-585-1592

Open daily: 10:00am to 10:00pm

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

Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon-Carvel is coming to Philly

Philadelphia PA_Event Header

We are so excited to make our way to Philadelphia! We are celebrating the grand opening of our Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon-Carvel in Philly on Thursday, August 29. Doors open at 10am and the first 100 to purchase a Cinnabon 6-Pack will get FREE Schlotzsky’s for a year. That’s one FREE small The Original sandwich each week for 52 weeks! We’ll have lots of fun games and other prizes to giveaway all day. Don’t miss it!

4600 City Line Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

*One small The Original sandwich per week at this location for 52 consecutive weeks commencing on August 29, 2013 and expiring on August 29, 2014. Only valid for persons 18 years or older. Offer valid only at the Philadelphia Schlotzsky’s.

Big Bet

Schlotzsky’s mega-deal puts SoCal in hands of neophyte ‘zee

By Beth Ewen

Schlotzsky’s is betting everything in its new Southern California market on one man: Moe Vazin, who owns two American Maid manufacturing plants and six Buy Low grocery stores that do a brisk deli business—but who has never operated a restaurant.

The Austin, Texas-based franchisor has inked a deal for 170 restaurants—yes, 170— with Vazin, who actually was pushing for up to 300 stores. “This one is by far the largest,” says Schlotzsky’s President Kelly Roddy about the deal. “We try to keep them under 30, and we actually try to keep them in the range of 10.”

But Roddy decided to end discussions with multiple prospects, each of whom wanted to open 25 or so restaurants, and put them all in Vazin’s hands, for a territory that includes Ventura, Los Angeles and Riverside counties, stretching from just south of Santa Barbara all the way to the Nevada/Arizona borders.

“There are very few people who have the business background to handle the volume of 170 restaurants, that have that capital to build out that quickly. It takes a very unique person to do a deal that large,” Roddy says.

Vazin says he likes Schlotzsky’s new format, which includes Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and Carvel ice cream, along with the flat round buns that define a Schlotzsky’s sandwich. All three are owned by Focus Brands in Atlanta, in turn owned by private equity firm Roark Capital, and Schlotzsky’s is the first Focus company to sell all three products under one roof.

“The new format is gorgeous,” Vazin says, adding he found Roddy and his management team to be “very, very receptive” and “very open-minded. We hit it off really well.”

Vazin says he’ll use funds from his operating companies to get the first five or so stores opened, and will seek bank loans and perhaps financial partners down the road. He’s working now to sign letters of intent for locations, and wants to get five to seven opened this year.

“They were looking for operators who were aggressive and had a long-term plan. I told them I’m not going to dabble in it,” he says, adding he’s downsizing his grocery store operation in order to focus on the restaurants. He’ll continue operating his American Maid plants in the Los Angeles area, which make small housewares such as plastic pitchers and storage tubs.

Vazin also sells imported goods through a related company, VMI International, and has real estate holdings tied to his family’s dealings in the supermarket business.

Many franchisors avoid cutting mega-deals with a single operator, especially someone new to the brand, and some scoff at the idea that all the stores will ever be built out. Roddy, too, acknowledges the risk in turning away seven or so operators who would all start building at the same time.

But Roddy is convinced. “Trust me, we had a lot of conversations about that,” Roddy says. “They’re used to running a large business, a multi-unit business, and they’re well capitalized.” That last point may have been most convincing, given the difficult times most franchisees face in raising money.

How long will it take to get those 170 stores open? “We are saying nine or 10 years. Moe is saying five years. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Moe get them open in five,” Roddy says.

Source: Franchise Times

Serving sandwiches for a quarter century

Schlotzsky’s Deli celebrates 25 years in Battle Creek

Written by
Jennifer Bowman
The Enquirer

Schlotzsky’s celebrates 25 years in Battle Creek

Eric Kitchen said he hears it at least three times a week.

“So many people pull off the highway and come here to eat and say, ‘I cannot believe I found a Schlotzsky’s. This is the best sandwich on the planet. Do people in Battle Creek know how lucky they are?’” said the 48-year-old. “We get that a lot.”

This month marks 25 years since Kitchen moved back to his hometown from Oklahoma City to open Schlotzsky’s Deli, a Texas-based sandwich shop. He now operates three locations in Battle Creek — on B Drive North, West Michigan Avenue and South 20th Street — and one in Portage on South Westnedge Avenue.

Not bad for a guy who brought a national franchise restaurant to Michigan for the first time when he was just 23 years old.

“I determined that from the restaurant business,” he said, “to be 100 percent committed, the only way to do it is to start something yourself.”

That commitment is clear through his customer service. Kitchen said it’s difficult to choose what has been most rewarding for him since he began the business. It could be the young locals he employed throughout the years, he said, or catering a funeral to fulfill a man’s request. Once, he said, they hustled all night to prepare to cater a 1,500-person event before realizing they hadn’t figured out a way to transport all the food.

But what comes easy for Kitchen is revealing how he has managed to keep his doors open for decades.

“Business isn’t that complicated,” Kitchen said. “If a customer leaves with a smile on their face, telling themselves they’re going to be back soon, then we’ve done our job.”

General Manager Jim Keating — who Kitchen said has been on the team since day one and also acts as a minority owner — agreed.

“It comes down to taking care of your customer,” he said. “If you take care of your customer — give them great service, give them a great product at a reasonable price — they’re going to come back. It all comes down to customer service. That’s the most important thing, is taking care of the customer and treating them like family. And we do that everyday.”

Schlotzsky’s opened in 1971 in Austin, Texas. It was home to a “single, one-of-a-kind sandwich,” according to its website, and now is an international franchise with locations in 35 states and four countries. Its menu has been expanded to offer salads, soups and pizzas.

Kitchen said being in business in 25 years has made it impossible to escape any economic downturn. A company that once boasted dozens of locations throughout the state, Kitchen is now the only remaining franchise operator. He closed his Marshall location about a year ago when it was decided that the cost of revamping the store and taking care of small children at home was too much.

While they used to have a heavy focus on growth, Kitchen said they’re now looking to provide the best quality of customer service at their current locations.

“I think if you do a darn good job, there’s room in the economy for a business,” he said. “There’s much more competition in town than there was when we first started. But I think more people dine out. I think that’s always skewing upward.”

But what has helped, Keating said, is the duo’s close connection to the community. Both are Lakeview High School graduates and work to help with community and school events on behalf of the business.

“Seeing those kids coming in everyday and supporting them, as well as them supporting us, I think is very important,” he said. “The parents and the families appreciate that as much as we appreciate their business. So you try to help out everybody as much as you can and give back as much as you can, and that’s what helped us grow.”

And there are no plans to stop now.

“We probably have 25 more years in us,” Kitchen said.

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Schlotzsky’s franchisee tops new restaurant with upper crust apartments

The 800-square-foot apartments feature crown molding, patios, microwaves and 50-inch flat screen TVs. Schlotzsky’s franchisee David Jones says the project has a Bricktown feel but is in Midwest City’s “Original Mile.”

By Jennifer Palmer

MIDWEST CITY — Schlotzsky’s franchisee David Jones took the company’s motto of “Lotz Better” to heart, adding posh extras to his new location here, including upscale apartments above the restaurant.

The $1.5 million project less than a mile from Tinker Air Force Base’s main gate is part of the city’s effort to revitalize the area known as the “Original Mile,” by providing attractive, mixed-use housing within walking distance to the Town Center Plaza shopping center, the city’s major retail development. It’s the first Schlotzsky’s restaurant to feature housing above.

The restaurant opened in December and construction on the four upstairs apartments should be complete this month, Jones said. The 800-square-foot apartments have a private entrance and will feature crown molding, granite countertops and appliances including microwaves, stackable washer and dryer and 50-inch flat screen TVs. Jones’ son, David, who manages the Midwest City restaurant, will live in one unit and the other three will be rented for $1,000 a month.

“It’s just like downtown Bricktown — in Midwest City,” Jones said.

Amenities continue throughout the restaurant, with a water fountain in the patio area, a media wall with flat-screen TVs and space for laptops in the dining room, tall booths, a cozy fireplace, baby changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms and plates to serve the sandwiches on. Jones said he didn’t want his guests eating out of baskets.

Most stores go above and beyond the Schlotzsky’s corporate model, but each was made to give the restaurant a homey feel because to Jones, Midwest City is home. His father, Kenneth Jones, worked for Tinker for 30 years and David Jones grew up in Midwest City.

Though a career with Pepsi Co. took him to California and Texas, when he decided to open a business his family could be involved in, it was time to come home, he said.

Jones opened his first Schlotzsky’s in Moore in the summer of 2011, which his daughter, Sarah, manages.

“When I was looking for a place to put our second franchise, Midwest City was at the top of the list because it had sentimental value,” David Jones said.

For Schlotzsky’s, it was an opportunity to re-enter Midwest City with an established franchisee, said Amanda Palm, a spokeswoman for Schlotzsky’s, which is based in Austin, Texas.

She said the company allowed Jones some flexibility in designing his restaurant and building, which he owns.

“We knew in looking for sites this was simply a good place for our brand. We wanted to be a part of the redevelopment efforts the city was putting into this particular area,” she said.

In December 2011, Midwest City published its revitalization plan for the Original Mile, a one-square-mile neighborhood defined by SE 15 on the north, SE 29 on the south, Air Depot Boulevard on the west and Midwest Boulevard on the east. Much of the classic, 1940s wartime housing built there was becoming dilapidated and was in desperate need of a face-lift.

Midwest City Mayor Jack Fry said when Jones approached the city with plans for a new Schlotzsky’s restaurant, he pitched the idea of adding a housing element. Jones, who has no experience being a landlord, was the first business owner to take a chance on the city’s vision.

The apartments are within walking or biking distance to the many stores and restaurants at Town Center Plaza and are perfect for somebody looking to live an urban lifestyle, the mayor added.

“It is a bold step for the city. We’re changing a little from suburban America to urban America. It’s time for Midwest City to adopt some of the architectural things going on around the country,” Fry said. “Sometimes, I think we need to think outside the box … and this was a place we could do that.”

Source: The Oklahoman

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