Cava is Following Into Panera's Footsteps In Regards To Loyalty Programs

Cava is Following Into Panera's Footsteps In Regards To Loyalty Programs

Cava Mezze Grill is planning to use data to form a more intimate dialogue with its customers and build a personalized brand loyalty program, according to “Fast Company.”

The Washington D.C.-based fast casual brand is known for using data to enhance their restaurant design and improving kitchen operations and reducing food-ordering lines, for example. So, it’s no surprise the Mediterranean-style food brand now wants to take it up a notch to better learn about their guests in order to cater to their specific wants and needs.

Cava Grill will be doing this by tracking patrons orders and offering promotional coupons for menu items each guest favorites.

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Fast Casual Nation: Best Of 2016

Fast Casual Nation acts as your guide as to what makes a successful fast casual concept. Always on the go, today’s consumer is looking for high-quality meals — with just as much speed. This year, we got the chance to see some fast casuals that have found their groove within the segment. Here are Foodable's "Best of" episodes for Fast Casual Nation in 2016.

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Spring Chicken

Spring Chicken translates the cuisine of its full-service counterpart, Yard Bird, to a more approachable menu for the fast-casual segment. John Kunkel, CEO of parent company 50 Eggs, explains how they are constantly impressing their customers from serving fresh, quality comfort food to making all their dishes from scratch. Their unique pairing of fresh, minty watermelon and crispy fried chicken has really resonated with their customers.

Marination Ma Kai

A lack of food trucks in Seattle led founders, Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton, to create their own modeled after Roy Choi‘s food truck, Kogi. After only a year-and-a-half on the streets, Ma Kai grew such a following that they decided to open their first brick-and-mortar with the same “Everyday Aloha” motto. Now with five different Marination locations and their original food truck, customers all over Seattle are biting into Hawaiian-Korean fusion dishes, like kimchi fried rice and a spam musubi.

Cava Grill

Cava Grill takes traditional Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and serves it up with a variety of customizable toppings to the modern consumer. The chef-driven fast casual focuses in on community to foster sustainable growth. Creating strong relationships, not only with their consumers but with their producers, Cava Grill has a loyal following. But nothing is more important to the fast-casual champion than their tasty cuisines, such as their spicy lamb meatballs and warm, fresh pitas.

Keep an eye out for all of this year's "Best of" episodes to learn more about which industry professionals changed the game in 2016!

Cava Grill Shows Off Its Chops with Tasty Lamb Meatballs

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Video Produced by Denise Toledo

The idea for Cava Grill stemmed from the full-service restaurant Cava Mezze, which was founded by three childhood friends aiming to provide high-quality Greek and Mediterranean cuisine to the modern consumer. Cava Grill, the fast-casual spinoff of Cava Mezze, has since exploded. Growing to over 25 units, Cava Grill is primed to be a breakout brand in fast casual. Chef Dimitri Moshovitis shared with us some of the tricks to Cava’s success.

“I think that we kinda hit on every demographic. We can be in the city, we can be in the suburb. We can be in a mall or airport. We have that ‘make you feel good’ kinda food. We like to go out there and find people that we can partner up with; local farmers, local producers. And I think people see that. That does break that $8 barrier when you are part of the community,” he said.

Lamb is a central ingredient to Greek and Mediterranean flavors, and as such, Chef Dimitri wants to be sure he does it right. Keeping in line with his community focus, Dimitri knew sourcing lamb for the restaurant locally was a must. That’s why he reached out to American shepherd Craig Rogers of Border Springs Farm to supply the lamb for Cava Grill’s spicy lamb meatballs.

As Rogers says, a big part of the flavor for the meatballs comes from how the lamb is grown. Rogers creates a sweet fat on his lamb by starting at the bottom of the food chain.

“We have to spend a little more effort on nurturing our grasses and pastures to create high sugar grasses, that’s then going to create really sweet meat flavors and fat flavors,” Rogers explained.

This care translates into perfectly charred meatballs on your choice of a pita, grains, or greens. Watch how much care goes into delivering tasty, local lamb to your plate on this episode of Fast Casual Nation.

Chef Q&A: Dimitri Moshovitis, Cava Mezze Restaurant Group

Dimitri Moshovitis  | Courtesy of Cava Mezze Restaurant Group

Dimitri Moshovitis | Courtesy of Cava Mezze Restaurant Group

It’s been a hell of a year for Dimitri Moshovitis and his brand, Cava. Making up one-third of the Cava Mezze Restaurant Group co-founder trio, alongside Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri is the man behind the food at Cava Mezze and its fast-casual spinoff, Cava Grill. The name of the game, if it wasn’t already obvious, is Mediterranean — putting an American twist on Greek dishes in an affordable, healthy way using fresh ingredients. Dimitri and the guys are also behind Brusco, a sandwich counter attached to the Cava Mezze location in Baltimore, and Sugo Cicchetti, a small-plates, Italian concept, where he is also chef.

As part of Foodable's Quick Six series, we sat down with the reputable chef and asked six questions to find out what meal changed his life, what ingredient he could not live without, and more. Read the full article here.

Quick Six With… Dimitri Moshovitis, Chef & Co-Founder at Cava Mezze Restaurant Group

Quick Six With… Dimitri Moshovitis, Chef & Co-Founder at Cava Mezze Restaurant Group

It’s been a hell of a year for Dimitri Moshovitis and his brand, Cava. Making up one-third of the Cava Mezze Restaurant Group co-founder trio, alongside Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri is the man behind the food at Cava Mezze and its fast-casual spinoff, Cava Grill. The name of the game, if it wasn’t already obvious, is Mediterranean — putting an American twist to Greek dishes in an affordable, healthy way using fresh ingredients. Dimitri and the guys are also behind Brusco, a sandwich counter attached to the Cava Mezze location in Baltimore, and Sugo Cicchetti, a small-plates, Italian concept, where he is also chef.

Earlier this year, Cava Grill raised $16M in funding. And most recently, another $45M investment was received in a Series B. The funds will go toward the already-begun expansion of the brand to the west coast, starting in LA.

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