Get Your Kicks with Route 66 Sandwiches

Route 66, also known as the Main Street of America, is the inspiration behind Schlotzsky’s latest menu additions. Running from Chicago to California, the historic stretch of highway winds its way through numerous states, incorporating a variety of different cultures, tastes, and flavors. From now until August 25, the home of The Original round-toasted sandwich will feature these flavors in three signature sandwiches.

After the initial leg in 2010, which was the most successful summer promotion in company history, Schlotzsky’s extended its journey down Route 66 to the fall season. Gearing up for another trip, which combines the flavors of the last two promotions, Schlotzsky’s has brought back the Windy City Pastrami & Swiss, California Chick, and Albuquerque Turkey.

“Back in 2010, our guests fell in love with the bold, regional flavors of the Route 66 promotion,” says Kelly Roddy, president of Schlotzsky’s. “We could not be more excited to bring back these crowd-favorite sandwiches and celebrate this historic stretch of highway again this summer.”

The three signature sandwiches include:

· Windy City Pastrami & Swiss: sliced pastrami and melted Swiss cheese with Dijon mustard and our signature dressing on toasted Dark Rye bread.

· California Chick: thinly sliced, roasted chicken breast, pepper jack cheese, bacon, guacamole, red onion, tomatoes, lettuce and fat free spicy ranch dressing on toasted Jalapeño Cheese bread.

· Albuquerque Turkey: smoked turkey breast and crispy bacon with cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses layered with fire-roasted vegetables, chipotle mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, tomato and our signature dressing on toasted Jalapeño Cheese bread.

Schlotzsky’s Route 66 Winner Hits the Road in Style

Fast-Casual Chain Awards 2011 Chevy Camaro

March 08, 2011 // Franchising.com // AUSTIN, TX – Schlotzsky’s® is giving one customer more than just their delectable, high quality Fresh-from-Scratch® bread and delicious sandwiches. In August, Schlotzsky’s launched a fall promotion, offering three new limited-time-only sandwiches and a chance to win a classic American car, perfect for a drive down Route 66 – a 2011 Chevy Camaro.

Lindsey Lang of Auburn, WA is the proud winner of Schlotzsky’s Route 66 contest and the 2011 Chevy Camaro. “I was in shock when I found out I won the car. This isn’t the type of thing that happens every day!” Lang exclaimed. “I’m so grateful to Schlotzsky’s for the car and I am excited to hop in my brand new Camaro and cruise down to the Schlotzsky’s in Bend, Oregon.”

During the “Pick Your Chicks on Route 66” fall promotion, Schlotzsky’s took the road west and designed three new sandwiches, the Santa Fe Chick, Sedona Chick and California Chick, each featuring ingredients inspired by their individual regions.

“Our guests demonstrated a passion for the history behind Route 66 and an appreciation for the regional flavors featured in each limited-time-only sandwich,” said Kelly Roddy, president of Schlotzsky’s. “We are excited to present Lindsey Lang with a car that reflects the style and persona of Route 66, the Chevy Camaro.”

Schlotzsky’s Route 66 promotion proved to be more than just a fun and rewarding contest for their customers. Schlotzsky’s increased their Bun & Fun eClub membership by 16 percent during the summer/fall promotion, making it a very successful limited-time-offer for the company. Bun & Fun eClub members receive special offers and alerts from Schlotzsky’s, including information on Schlotzsky’s limited-time-only offers, and special offers that include coupons, a free  on your birthday and other great offers. To join, go to http://www.schlotzskys.com/cms/fun.

Source: Franchising.com

 

Under the Toque: Jim Villemaire

Chef turns supplier experience into innovation

September 2010 – Jim Villemaire says he got a lucky break. The former Bennigan’s cook was making copies at the parent company’s corporate headquarters when S&A’s head of research and development invited him to come work for him. At the time, Villemaire was a training at Bennigan’s and had no R&D experience. While working at Bennigan’s, he also met his future wife – which he ranks as one of his career highlights.

He then took a job at a giant supplier Cargill, where he continued to learn about R&D in the restaurant business.

Now, as director of R&D for the 39-year-old, 350-unit Schlotzsky’s, Villemaire incorporate lessons learned while working at restaurants and Cargill – a job that allowed him to gain insight into many large restaurant companies.

In addition so sharing some of his best practices, Villemaire reveals news on yet-to-be-released menu items.

What was your first foodservice job? I was a cook at Cheddar’s in Arlington, Texas.

How did you transition from cooking into research and development? I worked my way through the cooking ranks at Bennigan’s and got into kitchen management and was tapped to be a trainer. One day I was standing by the copier and them man who took over for director of R&D at S&A restaurants [Bennigan’s parent company] at the time, David Groll, said he had a team of chefs, but didn’t have anyone who had any experience working [in the kitchen] at Bennigan’s. He asked, “Do you have any interest in doing research and development?” I jumped at the chance.  He gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.

After S&A, you took a job with supplier Cargill. Did your experience there give you insights into how other chains operate their R&D departments? I got to see the best practices of some amazing chains. I took the best pieces of how they do things. One of the most important things I’ve integrated is that I want anyone who does anything for me to feel appreciated. People who sit on my side of the desk can get aggressive and feel so important. But we’re all just people.

Was it difficult to make the switch from supplier back to a chain? For a while I feared that I’d never be able to get back [into a restaurant company.] Once I left, [some people] didn’t consider me a real restaurant chef. You learn about how people like to categorize. Some of the sales folks who used to be your best buddies didn’t have any time for you when you didn’t anything to give them. And that in itself was eye opening.

Describe Schlotzsky’s for anyone who’s never been to one. What are they most known for? They are all sit down. Probably 65-percent have drive-thru. It’s a fast-casual type set up. Really the entire heartbeat of our brand is the bread. It is that homemade quality. We had a lot of people come through and say we could grow faster if we use a pre-made bread. But we haven’t found anything that meets our benchmark.

Are you planning to add more healthful dishes? We’re exploring all of our options there. But it’s not the over-arching focus. I was told to work on healthy items, and I was working with a lot of panels of females, and one of the items they all loved best was the chicken sandwich with a fat-free spicy ranch dressing, jalapeno cheese sourdough bun, alfalfa sprouts, shaved chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, a little bit of onion and guacamole. But at the end of each session, they said you should add bacon and cheese to it. It is now served with the bacon and cheese as the California Chick promotion. I understand. At home, I eat  healthfully. When I go to a restaurant, I am going to get something that really floats my boat. I’m trying to drive sales, and something that is indulgent and decadent is what moves people. We have become increasingly aware of people’s allergies and diets. To reduce sodium content is a major goal for us. We’re always looking for ways to try to address things like gluten. But so much of the [health talk] is buzzwords that are usually wielded by people who have very little connection to the foodservice world. They’re usually politicians.

So if healthful food isn’t Schlotzsky’s major focus right now, what is the company’s priority? We’re trying to grow with strategic partners in some of the areas where we’re already present, to flush out these markets and take them from open markets to closed markets.

What are the big food trends that you’re watching right now? We’re seeing fresh and local. Organic. We’re seeing people expect more ethnic authenticity – Thai, Mediterranean, Greek, Korean and Southwestern.

How does your guest define value? The guest doesn’t always define value in how much something costs. They define value in terms of what they get. They are willing to spend money if they feel they’re getting good value. An example I can give you is for years we have been testing steak sandwiches and salads. I’d try to engineer both of them based on what our current prices are, but I wasn’t hitting the mark. Finally, we decided that we were going to sell the best steak. We went out and found a slice Angus rib-eye steak. And we put it out there for $6.99 and $7.99 a piece, and [those items] came back with better value ratings than when we were testing it at $4.99.

When might we see that promotion? The steak sandwiches are going to be a holiday focus this year.

How do you cook the steak? The product comes in already seasoned, sliced and cooked, and we heat it in a conveyor oven.

What do you add to it? We have several varieties. We’re still working on which ones will be the finalists. But one [that might be available] is the Steak and Bacon Smokecheezy with smoked cheddar. It has roasted red bell peppers, crisp bacon and a touch of lightly spicy chipotle mayo. One of the others is served on a jalapeno cheese bun. It has pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, guacamole and chipotle pesto. We’ll be doing there. The other one we’re still toying with.

Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

Schlotzsky’s expands Route 66 sandwich line

September 1, 2010 – Schlotzsky’s Deli rolled out three new chicken sandwiches this week, continuing the 300-plus unit chain’s Route 66 menu campaign featuring menu items named for cities along the iconic American highway.

The new Santa Fe Chick sandwich features thinly sliced, roasted chicken breast, cheddar cheese, fat-free spicy ranch dressing, green chiles, lettuce, green onion and tomato on toasted jalapeño cheese bread. It comes in small and medium sizes priced about $4.99 and $5.99, respectively. Prices of the signature round sandwiches vary by location.

The same thinly sliced roasted chicken breast is teamed with fennel-artichoke pesto, provolone cheese and baby spinach on toasted sourdough bread for the Sedona Chick sandwich. It has a suggested price of $5.99 for the small and $6.99 for the medium.

Lastly, the California Chick highlights guacamole, alfalfa sprouts, pepper jack cheese, bacon, red onion, tomatoes, lettuce, fat-free spicy ranch dressing, thin-sliced roasted chicken breast and toasted jalapeño cheese bread. It sells for $5.99 to $6.99 for small and medium portions, respectively. Read more.

Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

Schlotzsky’s Cruises the Mother Road with Three Hot New Chicks

Popular Restaurant Franchise Extends Summer Promo with Three New Chicken Sandwiches; Chance to Win 2011 Chevrolet Camaro

As the weather cools down and fall breezes in, Schlotzsky’s wildly successful Route 66 promotion is winding its way toward California, offering three new limited-time-only signature sandwiches and a chance to win a classic American car perfect for the drive – a 2011 Chevy Camaro.

After the initial leg, which was the most successful summer promotion in company history, Schlotzsky’s, home of The Original® round toasted sandwich, will extend its trip down Route 66. The promotion introduces new signature sandwiches, each with flavors influenced by cities along the route.

“Our guests demonstrated a passion for the history behind Route 66 and an appreciation for the regional flavors featured in each sandwich, so without question, we decided to extend the promotion and continue our trip down Route 66,” said Kelly Roddy, president of Schlotzsky’s. “To help celebrate this historic stretch of highway, we chose to give away a car that reflects the style and persona of Route 66, the Chevy Camaro.”

Schlotzsky’s starts the ignition on the fall Route 66 promotion, “Pick Your Chicks on Route 66,” on August 30. On this stretch, Schlotzsky’s takes the road west along the classic American highway with the three new delectable sandwiches, the Santa Fe Chick, Sedona Chick and California Chick, each featuring ingredients inspired by their region.

To enter for a chance to win the 2011 Chevy Camaro, go to www.PickYourChicks66.com and sign up for Schlotzsky’s Bun & Fun eClub. In addition to the grand prize winner, Schlotzsky’s will award 300 participants with a $5 Schlotzsky’s gift card. The grand prize drawing will be held on or around November 29.