Schlotzsky's talks tri-branding, menu revamps

Schlotzsky's talks tri-branding, menu revamps

With a reimaging effort completed in half of its restaurants, Schlotzsky’s continues to expand its menu, with pizza and salads among the traditional sandwich offerings, and grow its tri-branded locations with sibling brands Carvel and Cinnabon.

As a result of these efforts, the 356-unit Schlotzsky’s has seen its customer demographics skewing younger and more female, and same-store sales increases continuing for a sixth year, said Kelly Roddy, president of the Austin, Texas-based Schlotzsky's division of Focus Brands, which also owns Carvel and Cinnabon.

A company spokeswoman said the results have boosted revenue at the remodeled locations for the 40-year-old brand and resulted in new franchise agreements, including 25 for the tri-brand stores in central Texas and New Jersey.

EARLIER: Focus Brands grows tri-branded locations

Roddy spoke with Nation’s Restaurant News about Schlotzsky’s initiatives.

Of your 356 units, how many are the new prototype and how many are reimaged?
We will have 35 of the new prototype and new look open by the end of the year. The entire system will be 100 percent reimaged — having painted all the new colors, all the new graphics, all the new signage, all the new menu boards.

How many are co-branded and tri-branded units?
By the end of December, 165 of the restaurants will have Cinnabon and around 30 will have Cinnabon and Carvel in the tri-brands. Everything that opens starting next year will be a tri-brand. We’re targeting somewhere between 40 and 60 openings next year.

What are the major changes of the reimaging?
We’ve changed the prototype to the more vibrant, hip new colors. We’ve changed the wall coverings from Old World deli style to a new, hip, more relevant art and design with quirky and unique sayings on the wall like “No Shirtzsky’s, No Shoezsky’s, No Schlotzsky’s.” It makes the restaurant more fun. We’ve gone to softer seating with some booths in the restaurants.

Have you made any changes to menu offerings?
All our salads, instead of being packaged, are made to order and served on plateware. All of our soups are served on plateware. We’re also doing “Pick 2” offers in all our restaurants, so you can order a half a sandwich and soup or half a sandwich and salad or soup and salad.