February 29, 2016

Italian Restaurant Chain Poised to Expand

By Morgan Minch
– The Memphis Business Journal –

Fazoli’s Italian restaurant chain is expanding, with a new restaurant in Cordova, another unit planned in Collierville and negotiations under way for a second development agreement.

The first Fazoli’s opened at 6085 Stage in Bartlett in July 1996. The fifth store opened at 1100 N. Germantown Parkway in Cordova on March 23 and there’s a sixth location due to open May 1 in the Schilling Farms development in Collierville, says Fazoli’s director of operations Ralph Barnes.

Sam Nelson, vice president of franchise development, says the initial development agreement was for six restaurants in the designated market area – which is lingo for the area served by the same television stations. Fazoli’s is currently negotiating another development agreement that will add several more restaurants in the area.

"Certainly Memphis can hold more than six Fazoli’s, Nelson says. "It will never penetrate to the level that burgers are, but there will definitely be additional restaurants open."

Collierville and Cordova are both towns the chain has been keeping an eye on for the last two years, waiting for the time when they would be developed enough to support the restaurants.

"With FedEx, the new hospital and Home Depot, Collierville is just the place to be and most chain restaurants are doing quite well there," says Barnes.

Fazoli’s fits will into Boyle Investment Co.’s Schilling Farms development, says Boyle director of retail leasing Fritz R. Mattern. The Schilling project is a 443-acre mixed-use community in Collierville. The master-planned development offers 80 acres of office space, 70 acres of distribution space and 900 homes as well as shops, parks, the Collierville YMCA, Schilling Farms Middle School, apartments, a church and a day care center.

Mattern sees Fazoli’s as an attractive piece of the Schilling Farms development.

"Its an additional benefit that’s important when companies want to keep employees nearby and residents have a place to pick up food quickly and conveniently," says Mattern.

J. Tucker Beck of Cry-Lyke Commercial Real Estate says Fazoli’s has the market nearly covered with only two omissions: Midtown and Downtown. Finding a site in Midtown may be difficult because the land market is tight, he says, but a Downtown walk-in restaurant would fill the bill in that area.