There’s a serious battle going on in the world of the Mediterranean fast-casual dominance. With no less than five major contenders in Cava, Hummus & Pita Co., Maoz, Noon Mediterranean, and Roti, looking to break-through as the venture-backed Chipotle of fresh-made hummus and pitas.
Speaking of hummus and pitas, The Hummus & Pita Co. raised the stakes, went all in, and is trying to grab the throne by the throat as the New York-based company is looking to open “at least 100 franchised locations” this year.
Um, wow. That’s equal parts impressive and concerning at the same time. There’s no doubt that pummeling the market with the opening of triple-digit franchises in less than a year will definitely give them market share and brand visibility, but the HUGE question is can the company maintain a consistent level of quality in food, service and atmosphere with that type of expansion? We doubt it.
Though the company’s fare falls under the “Mediterranean” umbrella, that doesn’t mean they’re competing directly with other chains under that same banner as there’s several different countries that are considered Mediterranean, and with that, the food varies, too. “We wanted to have the best of what our family is, because our family’s background is Greek-, Turkish-, Israeli-American; we’re a mixture of what America is,” Pesso told QSR Magazine. “If you come into our place, you’ll see a gyro, which is Greek, next to a shawarma, which is Middle Eastern-Israeli-Palestinian. We have Turkish Salad, Moroccan Beans, Spanish Eggplant, Moroccan carrots, Turkish Meatballs … a mixture of everything. When someone comes to us, they’re not coming for Greek food or Israeli food, they’re coming for healthy, delicious, craveable food.”
Another red flag for this massive expansion? Hummus & Pita Co. currently only has three locations while Cava, Hummus & Pita Co.’s main competitor in the space, already has over 60 locations. We guess time will tell if the company can pull it off without sacrificing the identity and success they’ve found in their current storefronts.