Sandwiches, soups, and burritos are staples of the casual dining scene.
But soon falafel, hummus, and eggplant fries will be as ubiquitous as soup in a bread bowl if four Maryland entrepreneurs have it their way. The owners of Tahina's Mediterranean Grill in Owings Mills recently received their franchising license in Maryland and Virginia and are hungry for franchisees who can open 10 stores in the next year, Partner Jeff McCabe says.
Towson, Columbia, and downtown Baltimore are some of the locations that interest them. McCabe says he thinks the store could do well in both strip centers and malls in high-volume, busy areas.
Each store would cost between $140,000 and $280,000 to build. It would average around 1,3000 square feet.
Tahina's setup is similar to that of Subway or Chipotle. Customers select whether they want a salad bowl or pita pocket sandwich. Then they select a protein (chicken, beef or falafel), followed by an array of toppings that include olives, carrots, eggplant, chickpeas, and a cucumber-and-tomato salad.
"We wanted something unique," McCabe says of the restaurant concept. McCabe, who owns a restaurant design firm, says he believes Mediterranean food is a void in the casual dining market.
His partners are Jory Schunick, Morris Scherlis, and David Levitt, a former Outback Steakhouse executive.
Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Jeff McCabe, Tahina's