Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 89
TAZIKI'S MEDITERRANEAN CAFÉ
choices from the Mediterranean deli.
The menu is especially popular as more
diners tire of burger restaurants and
pizzerias, Richards says.
Yet the menu's diversity is only partially responsible for the restaurant's
success. Preparation also is a key. "There
are no fryers, freezers or microwaves,"
Richards says. "We make food to order. We prep by projection. Everything
is prepared to order. We prepare more
than 100 menu items a day."
The restaurant's first location in Birmingham brought a new dynamic to
the local dining scene by offering freshly grilled meats, original sauces and
healthy side dishes, as well as vegetarian
and gluten-free options, Richards says.
"We offer really fresh food," he says.
The menu was developed from the
Richards' memory of the food the couple
ate in Greece and from a few family recipes, which was served up to 76 customers
on opening day. The food at Taziki's Cafe
is not the only thing keeping the memory of Greece fresh for the couple, as the
restaurants' walls are adorned with photographs taken during their trip. "The
restaurants have a lot of bright, natural
paint colors and the photos take you
away from the every day," Richards says.
"Customers can sit back, look at our photos and have a nice lunch."
Richards says nothing trumps word-ofmouth marketing to promote his restaurants. The company relies on Facebook
and Twitter to get the word out, but
more often than not customers are the
ones writing the posts. "Our food is our
marketing tool," Richards says.
Richards says his primary responsibilities have shifted since the restaurant
has grown. Initially, he spent considerable time working in the restaurants.
"Now my team is built and franchisees
want to do the work themselves," he
says. Instead, Richards spends considerable time traveling and building relationships, he says.
When considering a franchisee, Taziki's Mediterranean Café finds its customers make the best operators. "A group
from Clearwater, Fla., fell in love with the
brand when they visited in Tennessee and
opened a location in their hometown,"
Commercial Laminations is very honored to be a
part of the Taziki's Family.