Fazoli’s, A Franchise Legacy Built for Generations


Rodney Key’s personal family history in franchising and restaurant experience led him to Fazoli’s after uncovering the potential of the unique opportunity.





On the heels of his one-year anniversary with Fazoli’s, Rodney Keys who is known in franchising circles as the son of the Godfather of minority franchising, is giving insight into his family’s storied past and how that’s shaped his franchise experience today.

“I was born into franchising.

My father was the first African American to own a major franchise for Burger King and KFC,” Keys said. “I have worked my entire life in one form or another for the company my dad built and during that time he’s taught me many valuable lessons about the world of franchising.”

After many years of success, in 1991 the Keys family decided to sell some of their famous quick-service restaurant franchises at the height of their popularity.

“When I was thinking about what we were going to do for our next chapter in restaurant franchising, I was looking for an exciting franchise opportunity and Fazoli’s stood head and shoulders above other concepts I was considering, Keys said.

Founded in 1988 in Lexington, Ky., Fazoli’s owns and operates nearly 220 restaurants in 28 states, making it the largest premium QSR Italian chain in America. Fazoli’s prides itself on serving premium, fast Italian food menu offerings such as freshly prepared pasta entrees, subs, salads, pizza and desserts – along with its unlimited signature garlic breadsticks. “After spending years with other successful concepts at my father’s side, I recognize potential when I see it,” Keys said. “More than any other concept I’ve been a part of, Fazoli’s has a cult-like following and fans can’t seem to get enough and that aspect really drew me to the brand.”

In addition to their world-class menu offerings, Fazoli’s also prides themselves on their unmatched support. From signing to site selection to opening today and through the lifecycle of ownership,the award-winning concept provides 1-to-1 support to ensure franchisees feel they are in business for themselves, but not by themselves.

“One of the things I love most about being a Fazoli’s franchisee is the people I get to work with at the home office,” Keys said. “They truly are hands-on and want to help you grow your business and listen and respond to what we need as franchisees.”

Fazoli’s offers dynamic build outs, digital-forward infrastructure and multiple revenue streams that provide a strong hedge against inflation. Named a Recession- Proof Franchise by Franchise Business Review, Fazoli’s is a stable opportunity that’s stood the test of time and is backed by multi -generation owners.

With less operational complexity than typical QSR franchises, strong drive-thru sales and a defensible and differentiated concept, Fazoli’s provides a great development alternative to other quick serve restaurant options. “I’m proud to continue my family’s franchising legacy and grow as an entrepreneur with Fazoli’s,” Keys said. “We have additional locations in the pipeline and look forward to serving even more fast, fresh Italian fare to families around the community for years to come.”

To learn more about franchising with Fazoli’s, visit ownafazolis.com.