Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 90
TAZIKI'S MEDITERRANEAN CAFÉ
Richards says. "We want managing operators with skin in the game."
Moving forward, Richards expects to
go public and open 200 stores nationwide within the next few years. "We
want to franchise throughout the United States and keep the brand growing,"
Richards says. "I don't see us stopping
anytime soon. We have a good, healthy
brand. In the future, we're going to build
a bigger brand."
Taziki's Mediterranean Café became
the first franchise to become Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL)-certified. The United
States Healthful Food Council developed REAL to be the trusted, nationally
recognized mark of excellence for food
and foodservice operators committed
to holistic nutrition and environmental
stewardship. "I've been REAL since the
day I opened and we have been doing it
for 17 years now," Richards says.
The goal of REAL certification is to affect change in the food and foodservice
industries by providing market-based
incentives to increase the profitability of
more healthful and sustainable food and
beverage. To become certified, Taziki's
Café had to go through an analysis of its
restaurants, cooking processes, product
sourcing and nutritional options.
Richards also created the Herbs Offering Personal Enrichment (HOPE)
program, an initiative in which special-
needs children grow fresh herbs used
in Taziki's restaurants including basil,
parsley, rosemary, cilantro and oregano.
"We buy from the HOPE garden as our
vendor," Richards says. "After school,
children are paid to come out and tend
to the garden."
The company also hires special-needs
students in many of its restaurants.
"These employees add a lot to our team
and have taught me a great deal about
work ethic and attitude over the years,"
Bresco, Birmingham Restaurant Supply, Inc.,
is a Birmingham Alabama-based company that has grown
into a trusted supplier of restaurant equipment since they
first opened in 1974. "I think the reason companies use us is
because we are dependable," President George Tobia says.
When working with chains like Taziki's, dependability is paramount to establishing and maintaining the relationship;
since installing the equipment for Taziki's Café in 1998, Bresco continues to be the supplier of choice for their new locations throughout the country. Looking to the future, Bresco
hopes to continue growing by acquiring more business from