Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - 52
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
>> Some of the cafe's most popular dishes include a Mediterranean salad and an assortment of gyros. One of the unique
offerings is Taziki's taco, which is made with grilled tilapia, crunchy slaw, spicy herb sauce and diced tomatoes.
tuce, garbanzo beans, roasted red
peppers, red onions, diced tomatoes,
roasted pecans, feta cheese and Taziki's homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Other house favorites are lamb gyros
and Taziki's signature dish featuring
penne pasta and grilled chicken, tossed
in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette
and topped with tomatoes, feta and
fresh basil. "Alabama had never seen
food like that before," Richards says.
"It was new to the area. Our guests had
never experienced it before."
The Mediterranean Way
Not only does Taziki's cling to the flavors, but the restaurant also embraces the Mediterranean way of life. The
foods on its menu and the atmosphere
in its cafes reflect a certain philosophy.
Encouraging a laid-back atmosphere,
Taziki's seeks to offer its customers ref-
uge from their busy lifestyle and the
noise of the world. Stepping through
the doors, customers can watch their
meals being prepared through an open
kitchen and enjoy relaxing music in an
environment designed for conversation
and community gatherings.
Taziki's goes even a step further. It offers advice. This includes encouraging
people to adopt a healthy diet with lots
of fresh vegetables, limit their red meat
intake to only a few times a month, eat
fish and poultry at least twice a week
and drink wine in moderation with
friends and family.
Although some franchise owners are
eager to collect their fees, Richards
has been known to turn away potential
franchisees. "When I pick our franchise partners, I make sure they are
food & drink international * fall 2017 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com
ingrained in their community, a pillar
of their community," Richards says.
"But a lot of it also depends on how we
get along - because we are going to be
In addition, the franchisee must have
at least three years of restaurant experience, including management skills.
The company charges a franchisee fee
of $35,000 per location and an ongoing
royalty fee of 4 percent. It also collects
.75 percent of sales per month for local
store marketing. The initial investment
ranges between $318,000 to $821,000
depending on location.
A typical restaurant encompasses roughly 3,200 square feet. Taziki's
unveiled a new design this summer
that follows a "Mediterranean coastal" theme, centered around a sense
of happiness that the Greeks call "eudaimonia." The design calls for shades
of white and ocean blue throughout the
restaurant. It features shiplap walls,
wicker lanterns and community tables
designed to promote conversation. Natural light pours in from more than a dozen windows and wooden beams in the
ceiling are intended to mimic the experience of dining outdoors. The restaurants also have community boards with
information on local non-profit events.
A franchisee will spend eight weeks
at one of Taziki's training stores in Birmingham or Charlotte, Ala., or in Nashville. They will learn about company culture, operations and food preparation.
Franchisees receive assistance with
site selection and architectural design
and planning for opening day. Taziki's
also provides a management training
program, POS systems and technology, a variety of detailed operations
tools, accounting assistance and marketing support.
Franchisees also have access to Taziki's corporate team and receive regular
technology advancement. After opening
day, franchisees receive 12 days of in-