Fazoli's opens its first location inside a retailer

Lexington-based restaurant chain Fazoli's opened its first location inside a retail store on Tuesday. The restaurant inside a St. Louis Wal-Mart represents a foray into the so-called non-traditional segment that includes stores inside retailers and airports and on college campuses.

The location is company-owned and features the majority of a series of innovations that have begun to be rolled out during the past few months to stimulate business. Those include updated decor and exteriors; table service; having a dedicated breadstick person in dining rooms; and replacing disposable plates, cups and utensils with actual plates, silverware and glasses.

CEO Carl Howard told the Herald-Leader that Fazoli's executives have been in discussions with Wal-Mart about opening inside other stores. The company also is close to completing a deal to open on a college campus and is in the final stages of finishing a deal to open inside the Cleveland airport.