Great Greek Mediterranean Grill finds success in service
The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill offers classic Mediterranean dishes, including gyros / Photo courtesy of United Franchise Group.
The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill has quietly become one of the fastest growing small restaurant chains in the country in recent years, in part by offering a higher level of service at a time when many customers are focusing on the dishes to take away.
The chain offers classic Mediterranean cuisine like gyros, lamb souvlaki and falafel. While customers order at the counter, they wait at a table where the meal will be presented to them, starting with the appetizers. When the customers are finished, they simply get up and leave while the employees clear the table.
“We feel this is the closest thing to a full-service environment in a fast-paced, laid-back setting. People can get the same level of service, but they don’t have to pay for service tips,” company president Bob Anderson said in an interview.
He added that the 19-unit Florida-based chain has thrived on the quality and experience of Great Greek’s food.
“We’re really embracing our brand vision, which is to live life deliciously, which means customers come in and really enjoy not just our food, but the overall experience of our restaurant. That’s the driving force behind the brand,” Anderson said.
According to data from Restaurant Business’ sister publication Technomic, the chain saw a 61.2% increase in sales in 2021 and an 11.85% increase in units. Anderson said Great Greek is looking to expand its reach to about 17 states by the end of the year.
“We have a long history and track record of success, of being able to thrive whether we’re in a really good economic environment or a tough economic environment,” he said. “This year, we plan to open 20 to 25 restaurants. Next year, another 35 to 45 restaurants and will hit the one hundred million system-wide sales mark, likely by the middle of next year,” he said.
The quality of the food and the size of the stores drew operators to The Great Greek, according to Anderson.
“We don’t need a lot of space, no huge development costs compared to other restaurants, our leases and rents are lower than other restaurants,” he said. “The last thing that attracts operators to us is that we don’t need a lot of people. Although we have a menu that appeals to many people, we don’t have a huge amount of items. It’s easy to execute, we don’t need a lot of employees in our restaurant. It’s a really pleasant environment and atmosphere to work, manage, lead.
Inflationary pressures have led to challenges for restaurants around the world, and Anderson said in response, Great Greek has focused on creating value for customers.
“Right now we’re focused on creating value for the client, because as inflationary pressure eats away at discretionary income or the amount of money they have, that’s going to be very important. Our feeling is that people won’t have as much money to eat out, so they’ll be very selective in their choices,” Anderson said.
Despite the period of inflation, Anderson said Great Greek had managed to open and staff new stores.
“Having the ability to attract people and get them into business, open restaurants and staff them in that environment has been very difficult and I would say we’ve done it better than most,” said he declared.
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