When Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe first opened its doors over 20 years ago, founders Keith and Amy Richards had a vision of bringing a Mediterranean-inspired, family oriented dining experience to their home of Birmingham, Alabama. Since then, the concept has expanded to include nearly 100 locations across 17 states. By Tamara Rahoumi
When Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe first opened its doors over 20 years ago, founders Keith and Amy Richards had a vision of bringing a Mediterranean-inspired, family oriented dining experience to their home of Birmingham, Alabama. Since then, the concept has expanded to include nearly 100 locations across 17 states.
The majority of Taziki’s expansion has been concentrated around the southeastern part of the U.S., except for several locations nearer the northeast and several more out west. The brand’s latest deal, however, marks a key moment in Taziki’s continued expansion into new markets.
New franchisees Farzin Ferdowsi and Benny Farzad – both veteran business owners – recently signed on with Taziki’s to take over several existing Texas franchises in Plano and Southlake. As reported in an article in Nation’s Restaurant News, the two have also committed to opening an additional five restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the next four years.
“Individually, either of these [franchisees] is an excellent fit as a Taziki’s partner, but together, they truly make a dream team,” said Alex Garmezy, director of franchise development. “Farzin is a restaurant veteran with relationships all over the country and world. He’s diversified across many different restaurant verticals and understands the historical and modern challenges that the industry faces and how to overcome them. Benny is younger, but already has a very impressive resume scaling multiple franchise concepts across his lifelong home of Dallas and Fort Worth. He loves people and is passionate about the Taziki’s menu and brand values.”
Impressed by the infrastructure and systems that Taziki’s has put in place to help restaurant owners succeed, Farzad noted in Nation’s Restaurant News that one of the biggest draws of going into business with the brand was the quality of the food and the loyal customer base that has paved the way for its success.
But as Garmezy noted, this new deal is about more than just a strong business partnership; it’s a critical moment for the Taziki’s brand as it marks a stronger foundation in Texas, which in turn can act as a strong avenue for further westward expansion.
“Taziki’s has thrived in the Southeast for nearly 25 years, but we are excited to continue our growth westward,” said Garmezy. “Arkansas and Oklahoma have been huge successes for the brand, so having super experienced owner-operators in the Dallas-Fort Worth market will lead to national exposure of the brand to expand into the other major Texas markets and even further west.”
Looking to the future, Garmezy is confident that with the right franchise partners, Taziki’s can continue evolving and making its way into top markets that remain untapped – markets that statistically have shown themselves to be ripe for growth and well-aligned with Taziki’s business model.
“When we look at our customer psychographics, our supply chain, brand growth and where our competition is, the midwest stands out as a place we need to grow into,” said Garmezy. “Specifically, St. Louis, Kansas City and the suburbs of Chicago are top target markets for the brand to find great franchise partners in.”
These data-driven growth plans serve as a strong cue for prospective franchisees in target markets to join the thriving Taziki’s brand as it continues heading out west.