Benvenuto! Fazoli’s

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By Brent Schanding

Make room for breadsticks.
Italian eatery Fazoli’s will debut next Wednesday at the former Burger King site on US 25W near Dossett Lane in LaFollette. Signage for the new restaurant has recently been erected and crews were observed Monday morning polishing the interior in anticipation of the July 10 opening.
The restaurant will be operated by local restauranteur Odus Mundy, who operates three other Fazoli’s franchises in Chattanooga and elsewhere.  
The LaFollette site features about 4,200 square feet and will seat 116, with additional tables available at an outdoor patio. It’s expected to employ about 45 part- and full-time employees.  It will also feature free WiFi.
Known best for its free, unlimited breadsticks, Fazoli’s offers several affordable Italian-style options, including spaghetti, lasagna, ziti and more.
Ken Szostek, director of operations for the LaFollette store says it will be the first in the country to offer frozen yogurt. Eight yogurt machines will dispense more than 18 flavors of the frozen treat, he said. More than 40 varieties of toppings will be offered.
Szostek said the interior of the store is expected to be top of the line.
“This is [franchise operator] Odus’s hometown,” Szostek said. “He wanted to have a really nice Fazoli’s here.”
The drive-thru area even features a waterfall, he said, which could become home to some fish.
Lexington, Ky.-based Fazoli’s launched its first restaurant in 1988 and has grown to 217 sites nationwide.
The restaurant chain has experienced 10 consecutive quarters with positive same-store sales, Sam Nelson, vice-president franchise recruitment and development told The Press earlier this spring.
Part of the reason for the chain’s success may be its unique business model, he said.
“Fazoli’s has always been a pioneer of fast-causal dining. We offer quick, cooked-to-order food at cheap prices,” Nelson said.
In the past two years, each Fazoli’s restaurant has upgraded its amenities and revamped menu offerings. It ditched styrofoam cups and plastic spoons to upgrade the overall dining experience.
“It’s been hugely received by our guests,” Nelson said. “We serve meals on real plates with real silverware and we bring the entrees to your table now.”
Mundy’s other Fazoli’s franchises were a test partner of these concepts, Nelson said.
It’s partly why Mundy was formerly named a franchisee operator of the year by the restaurant chain.
A preview of the new restaurant will be open to select guests—including family members of employees—before the grand opening.
An invitation is required.

A full menu of food items can be found online at fazolis.com/menu.