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: Unique sourdough makes sandwiches special

By SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer

Published: 5/24/2012  2:28 AM

I remember when Schlotzsky’s opened its first Tulsa store in the late 1970s, it seemed like a hip, funky place, well-suited for young adults and college students from the nearby University of Tulsa.

It was in a small building at 11th Street and Pittsburg Avenue, which today houses a Tacos Don Francisco.

I also thought the Schlotzsky’s original sandwich with the distinctive sourdough bread was unique and wonderful.

I recently visited two Schlotzsky’s locations – one in Broken Arrow to eat and one in Tulsa for an interview and photos – and found that original sandwich still rings my bell.

I ordered a medium ($4.99), plenty big enough for most appetites. It was loaded with smoked ham, Genoa and cotto salamis, melted cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, black olives, red onion, lettuce, tomato, mustard and a light dressing.

While the combination of flavors is pleasing, it really is the thick bread that makes the sandwich special.

I have a co-worker who goes ga-ga over Schlotzsky’s pizzas, so we ordered an 8-inch grilled chicken and pesto ($4.99), made with a thinner version of the sourdough bread.

I found I would prefer a more traditional pizza crust, but the toppings were impressive. They included big chunks of grilled chicken, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, basil pesto, green onions, black olives and tomatoes, and the pesto gave it a zingy flavor.

We also had a turkey avocado Cobb salad ($7.99) and a medium hand-carved turkey sandwich ($7.99), one of three special sandwiches that will run until June 1. The others are braised beef and mushrooms with fire-roasted vegetables, and hickory-smoked ham with havarti cheese, bacon and honey Dijon dressing.

Our roasted turkey sandwich also had havarti cheese, along with big slices of fresh avocado. We must have been on a turkey-avocado kick because they were in the salad that also included crisp mixed greens, chopped bacon, diced avocado, goat cheese, diced boiled egg, diced tomatoes, black beans and garlic focaccia croutons, topped off with a good house-made ranch dressing.

Schlotzsky’s has undergone some big changes over the past year or so, beginning with ownership. The Ramsey family sold their Oklahoma restaurants back to the corporation, Fancy Foods, according to Scott Mullen, manager of the 71st Street store. Shane Ramsey still is district manager over nine Tulsa- and Oklahoma City-area restaurants, and his brother, J.J., works in the Austin area, where Schlotzsky’s was founded in 1971.

All of the stores have been remodeled with a brighter, more modern look and have been co-branded with Cinnabon and Carvel ice cream, two other Fancy Foods properties. Cinnabon makes classic cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls.

“We open the drive-through at 8 a.m. for Cinnabon items and beverages,” Mullen said. “And ice cream sales are picking up with the warmer weather. Having the three brands in one spot has been popular.”

Source: Tulsa World

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

Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon in Moore, OK opens today!

We are open in Moore! We have sandwiches, wraps, salads and Cinnabon! Stop by and enter to win an iPad and a life-size statue of Yoda from Star Wars. Quite the Schlotzsky’s fan, he is!


631 SW 19th Street, Moore, OK


FOCUS Brands grows tri-branded locations

April 5, 2011 | By Ron Ruggless

While co-branded restaurants have become commonplace over the past decade or so, Focus Brands is going a step further and expanding its Schlotzsky’s/Cinnabon/Carvel tri-branded units.

The triple branding model is not entirely new. Dunkin’ Donuts tri-branded with Baskin Robbins and then-sibling chain Togo, and Kahala Corp. has nestled its Cold Stone Creamery and Great Steak brands with Tim Horton’s. In addition, Tricon Global, which later was renamed as Yum! Brands, in 1998 tested a tri-brand Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC unit in Carrollton, Texas.

Focus Brands, however, has beyond the test phase, with 17 tri-branded units operating and more are on the way.

“The first from-the-ground-up tri-brand was in Midland, Texas,” said Kelly Roddy, president of Austin, Texas-based Schlotzsky’s. The tri-brand units cover the same 2,800-square-foot building that a stand-alone Schlotzsky’s would, he added.

“The real estate costs are the same,” Roddy said. “The obvious reasons are you can get three brands into the same square footage with one manager’s salary, one rent, one utilities. The unit-level economics is great when you are only talking about the additional costs of pieces of equipment.”

The advantage for the operator is getting incremental business in non-peak hours. “You have a dining room that fills up at lunch, gets a little busy at dinner,” Roddy explained. “But you have these snack dayparts where traditional restaurants find themselves pretty empty, in that 2 to 4 [p.m.] range. We find a lot more people coming in to have a cup of coffee or a Cinnabon, or grab an ice cream after lunch or dinner. It fills in the gaps really nice for us.”

Dan Quintana, who created LotzFresher Delis of El Paso, Texas, and plans to open his first of seven stores in the El Paso and New Mexico area in summer, said, “It’s a great opportunity to have three concepts under the same roof.

“It gives me the opportunity to serve my customer better. And a happy customer will keep coming back,” he added.

Quintana plans to position his stores in shopping center end caps, allowing for drive-thrus.

“Because of the Cinnabon inclusion, we probably will open at least the drive-thru early for coffee and Cinnabon,” he said. “Schlotzsky’s doesn’t have an extensive breakfast menu. Some franchisees do serve the limited menu.” Stores generally open at 11 a.m. for lunch, and Quintana foresees the possibility of opening at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.

Roddy said Schlotzsky’s plans to continue its co-branding with Cinnabon as well. “We have slightly more than 100 Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon co-brand units,” he said. “By the end of this year, I’m expecting we’ll have, on the low end, 160 co-brands to 190 or 200.” Schlotzsky’s currently has 370 units.

Prospective tri-brand franchisee do have to negotiate three different franchise agreements, Roddy said. “That’s the only real complexity. Otherwise, it’s still one operational unit.

Focus Brands is an affiliate of Roark Capital Croup, the private-equity firm in Atlanta, and also owns the Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurant brand.

Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

Schlotzsky’s goes for triple-brand score in midtown

The company behind seven Oklahoma Schlotzsky’s restaurants opened a tri-branded Schlotzsky’s on the northeast corner of 41st Street and Yale Avenue on March 7, with plans to bring five more stores to the Tulsa market by 2011.

“We’ve been looking for a location in this area since 1996,” said Shane Ramsey, director of operations at the new Schlotzsky’s.

With his family and partners J.J. Ramsey and Tina Harris, Ramsey also heads up RAM-Z LLC, the company that operates the other seven Schlotzsky’s restaurants, including three in the Tulsa area.

The new location reflects the recent rebranding of the deli sandwiches chain, which is often co-branded with the Cinnabon and Carvel concepts, all of which are products of Atlanta-based operator and franchisor FOCUS Brands. These new stores are dubbed the “Lotz Better” Schlotzsky’s locations.

On the menu are 15 sandwiches, all served on round buns that supply the basis for what Ramsey called “bun humor,” a theme in the rebranding of the fast-casual concept that he said brings fun to the atmosphere.

“We were the first Schlotzsky’s to do a million (dollars a year in revenue),” Ramsey said. “In our first year, we did $1.2 million. Now, the plan is to increase volume at this new store to $2 million.”

Breakfast sandwiches, wraps, gourmet pizzas, salads and soups are on the menu, too. Cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon and soft-serve ice cream from Carvel round out the breakfast and dessert options, allowing the new concept to offer all three meals — the only Schlotzsky’s to do so.

Construction on the restaurant, which measures 3,100 SF and offers a 66-seat patio, began late last year. Ramsey said he has already hired 80 for the opening, three times the staff at his other stores.

Schlotzsky’s continues to target markets in the southern, south-central and western U.S., where the company seeks deals with multiunit developers. With 350 locations now in operation worldwide, Schlotzsky’s president Kelly Roddy said in a release that he plans to open as many as twice that number of stores by 2015.

Ramsey said he’s looking to expand his own holdings in the Schlotzsky’s brand by five stores within the next four years.

“We’ve been looking in west Tulsa, Catoosa, Claremore and downtown Tulsa,” Ramsey said.

Hours at the new Schlotzsky’s location in Tulsa are 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.

Source: Tulsa Business

Schlotzsky’s to open new location, plans five more

Schlotzsky’s will open its first rebranded location in Tulsa on March 7. The restaurant is on the corner of 41st Street and Yale Avenue at 4905 E. 41st St., in the Reasors parking lot. Nearly 30 jobs will be added to the local economy as a result.

In addition, plans are in the works to add five additional stores in the region by 2015.

The new restaurant was built with Schlotzsky’s rebranding efforts in mind, which include a new design, deal with Cinnabon and Carvel and new service model where crew members hand-deliver food to the tables.

“With our addictive recipes, upbeat surroundings and funny sayings, we’re adding tremendous flavor to the Tulsa quick-casual dining scene,” said Shane Ramsey, director of operations for the new Schlotzsky’s in Tulsa. “It’s hard not to smile when you walk into our bright new restaurants, smell the dough baking and see how much fun we have with ‘bun humor.’ Tulsa is in for a real treat.”

Schlotzsky’s offers sandwiches, wraps, pizzas, salads and soups, as well as a number of desserts, including Cinnabon and Carvel products.

“With all of the new elements that enhance the Schlotzsky’s experience, we stay true to our roots by offering only the highest quality fresh ingredients and baking our sourdough bread from scratch every day,” said Kelly Roddy, president. “We are truly excited to give Tulsa a taste of the ‘Lotz Better’ Schlotzsky’s.”

Source: Tulsa Business Journal