Saturday, June 11, 2022

Schlotzsky’s Fresh Fast Food Will Fuel Franchisees Growth


Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive customer adoption in every sector of retail foodservice today according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Schlotzsky’s is retooling it footprint to drive incremental top line sales and bottom-line profits at the unit level for less money enabling franchisees to drive bottom-line profits and open more and more units with a focus on fresh food fast. 

Recently Schlotzsky’s debuted what it calls a “Design 1,000” location in Oklahoma City that features more drive-thru lanes (2) than seats (0). Yes, you read that right.  No seats mean’s fewer employees and less space means lower constructions cost and land rent.

Shelley Harris, Schlotzsky’s chief brand officer, stated, “This is just kind of a natural evolution for the Schlotzsky’s business,”. “As we see consumer behavior changing toward more speed, convenience and variety, order channels became more and more prominent. We knew we needed a bit more cutting edge, smaller footprint, maximum off-premise needs.

Harris continued, “Then 2020 hit and all that got dramatically accelerated.”

Currently, Schlotzsky’s has a drive-thru in about 85% of its locations, and the lanes account for about half the chain’s sales. Yet that percentage has been growing going into the pandemic, much as it has everywhere else driven by consumer demand.

So, the Design 1,000 prototype is a 1,000-square-foot restaurant with new dining area, two drive-thru lanes and a walk-up window for mobile orders. There is a larger, 1,800-square-foot prototype that has some limited seating, two drive-thru lanes and the walk-up window.

This new prototype features a traditional drive-thru lane and a mobile-order lane. The walkup window also gives customers options when they aren’t driving in—or they don’t want to sit in the lane. The company expects it will have to teach customers to use the window over time.

Schlotzsky’s, will continue allowing operators to open the chain’s traditional, 3,300-square-foot prototype, which has about 90 seats. Harris went on to say, “It’ll be interesting to see where that plays out as real estate gets more expensive and more growth comes from the drive-thru from customers more interested in eating off-premise than on-premise,”.

Sky rocketing labor cost combined with the simple fact that a 1,000-square-foot location is more efficient than a 3,300-square-foot restaurant. “Not having to clean the dining room, with a limited amount of labor, they can deploy that labor to the kitchen,” Harris said. “That’s helpful with speed of service, it gives relief to the kitchen staff.”

Don’t over reach. Stick with the basics focus on the customer and helping your franchise partners drive top-line sales and bottom-line profits and you will win.

Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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