Valdosta Daily Times

Features

February 19, 2014

Fazoli’s fans receive red carpet treatment

VALDOSTA — Fazoli’s has long been a tradition for many families. Whether it’s the unlimited breadsticks or fresh pasta, fans of the chain can be found all over.

In recent years, Fazoli’s has been affected by the economy, going from nearly 450 restaurants to just over 200. However, their fandom didn’t disappear with the stores.

“Everyday we have two or three people that will come in off the interstate saying that their store closed and how much they have missed Fazoli’s,” said Bob Sirkis, President of Gratzie, Inc., the company that owns Fazoli’s.  

Four fans from Orlando, Fla., are among those that dearly missed their Fazoli’s. Sabrina Lane-Patrick, Kris Shannon, Dave Patrick and Corey Oxman were heartbroken after the Fazoli’s in Orlando closed.

Then three weeks ago, Sabrina took to Facebook to share her grief. She was surprised at the extreme response she received. Sixty comments later, Corey and Sabrina hatched a plan to travel to Valdosta to reunite with their beloved breadsticks.

Once the group had decided to make the trip, Sabrina contacted Fazoli’s corporate office about their plans. She was surprised when Fazoli’s not only responded but sent the group a $150 gas card and a $100 Fazoli’s gift card, to make the 400-mile trip.

They were also sent custom made Fazoli’s shirts that read: “1 Day. 400 Miles. 4 Friends. Unlimited Breadsticks. #FazolisRoadTrip.”

All along the trip, the group shared their journey on Twitter and Facebook. Those interested in the journey could follow the hashtags #breadication and #FazolisRoadTrip to stay updated.

As the group pulled up to Fazoli’s, they were greeted by a welcoming team and even a red carpet.

“We would all go when we were kids and it became a tradition. My family always went on Friday nights and then when I was in college, I would go all the time. It was just something I grew up with. I really missed it, especially the unlimited breadsticks,” said Sabrina.

The group was seated at a special roped-off table to enjoy a table full of some of their old favorites, complete with unlimited breadsticks.

After enjoying their meal, the group began their 200-mile journey home, but not before packing their trunk full of Fazoli’s to take back home to all of their  fellow pasta lovers in Orlando.

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