Carl T. Howard was recruited by Sun Capital Partners to be the President and CEO of Fazoli’s Restaurants, Inc. in June 2008. Carl has diligently worked to rebrand and revitalize the Fazoli’s “Fast Fresh Italian” concept. After successfully repositioning Fazoli’s, the brand was sold to Sentinel Capital Partners in 2015. Since joining Fazoli’s, every sales and EBITDA record has been posted. The franchise system has been same sales positive for 90 of the last 97 months and the brand is once again growing new units. In 2018 Fazoli’s will open 10-12 new units and is expected to sign 10-15 new franchisee development agreements.
During his tenure at Fazoli’s, Carl and the brand have been recognized with several industry achievements and awards. Carl was named the No. 1 restaurant executive on the 2014 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers list, compiled by the editors of the leading website FastCasual.com and other restaurant industry luminaries. Howard was also acknowledged for his contribution to the evolution and health of the fast casual dining segment. In 2013 Carl was named the Gold Stevie Award Winner and the 2013 Food and Beverage Executive of the Year by the American Business Association. In that same year, Fazoli’s was named the 2013 Brand of the Year, earning the number one spot on their annual Fast Casual “Top 50 Movers and Shakers” list. Fazoli’s was also awarded the 2013 Dr. Lee Todd Jr. Award for Workplace Research and Practice by the University of Kentucky. In October of 2013, Carl was presented with the Feed the Children Community Excellence Award and he continues to remain actively involved with the Feed the Children organization.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- How Carl got involved in the restaurant business at the age of 16 as a busboy and worked his way up to restaurant chain CEO
- How working his way through the various positions of a restaurant taught Carl respect for his staff and their work
- Carl’s advice for people interested in following his path through the restaurant industry
- How keeping a positive mental attitude, working hard, and setting goals will lead to career success
- How Fazoli’s restaurants have made changes to their menu to improve the quality, nutrition, and value of their meals
- How exceptional customer service and a family focus have elevated Fazoli’s dining experience beyond typical fast food
- What Carl has planned for the future growth and expansion of his business
- How Fazoli’s internal corporate culture is helping its employees grow and enrich their careers
- Why the technology-focused behavior of consumers is one of the biggest challenges Carl faces and how he is tackling the problem
- Carl’s advice and wisdom for entrepreneurs starting their careers and planning for the future
Ways to contact Carl Howard and Fazoli’s:
- Website: www.ownafazolis.com