Fazoli's names Craig Sherwood VP of franchise development

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He replaces James Franks, who left the company earlier this year

Fazoli’s has hired Craig Sherwood as vice president of franchise development for its chain of quick-service Italian restaurants. He replaces James Franks, who left the company earlier this year.

Sherwood most recently led franchise development for Corner Bakery Café and previously oversaw nontraditional franchise growth for Yum! Brands Inc.

“Craig brings to Fazoli’s a wealth of experience and a proven track record with a wide variety of well-known QSR and fast-casual brands,” Carl Howard, president and chief executive, said in a statement. “We are excited to add Craig to an already extremely talented management team.”

The Lexington, Ky.-based brand of more than 220 restaurants has recorded 22 consecutive months of same-store sales increases, including gains in April of 10.4 percent at company-owned stores and 5.1 percent at franchise locations. Howard and other executives have credited the chain’s ongoing efforts to revamp the menu, refresh the store design and add fast-casual service features like food runners and real plateware with driving sales.

“Fazoli’s has reemerged as an exciting brand in an untapped segment,” Sherwood said in a statement. “As a result of the recent improvements and updates, Fazoli’s really fits with what consumers are looking for today: high-quality food, fast service and a contemporary environment, all at a great price.”

He also noted that he would target operators of both traditional and nontraditional restaurant locations to sustain Fazoli’s growth. The brand recently opened its first franchised restaurant in a Par Mar travel center in Fairmont, W.V., with plans to open in two more Par Mar locations this year.

Fazoli’s was founded in 1988 and acquired by Boca Raton, Fla.-based private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners in 2006.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN