The Simple Greek |Interesting Greek fastcasual concept in the U.S.
‘The Simple Greek’ is redefining the traditional Greek restaurant with an interactive concept that combines high quality ingredients, open kitchens and Greek atmosphere in a fast casual setting. At Pennsylvania-based ‘The Simple Greek’, customers build pitas or bowls with Mediterranean staples such as grilled steak, tzatziki sauce, feta cheese and garbanzo beans. This concept is one of the fastest-growing franchise restaurant concepts in the U.S.. It capitalizes on the popularity and health benefits of the well-known Mediterranean diet and is a ‘build-your-own’ concept. ‘The Simple Greek’ was mentioned as a high growth, emerging concept to watch at the 2019 National Restaurant Show by Technomic Inc, the leading strategic research and analytics firm in the U.S. for the food industry.
We never spotted a similar concept in Europe but we love Greek food and the fast-casual concept of The Simple Greek is tempting! And who doesn’t love a concept that has this saying: ‘We have OPA’?
Where ‘opa’ is the Dutch word for granddad, at The Simple Greek it stands for O (Outstanding service), P (Passion for the brand) and A (Awesome food). Their slogan is ‘Eat Fresh, Eat Simple, Eat Greek’. Although they aren’t thinking about franchising the concept outside the U.S. we’re quite sure the people from the Netherlands would embrace the concept as well.
The Simple Greek concept
At The Simple Greek guests build their own Greek meal, based on their taste. The first choice is either a bowl or pita that will be made fresh in front of them as they move down the serving line. They then choose a variety of freshly prepared proteins, fresh vegetables and toppings, made from scratch sauces and imported spices. They also offer a variety of homemade sides, sweets and drinks.
The origin of the concept
The Simple Greek was founded by Marcus Lemonis in 2015. Marcus Lemonis is host of CNBC reality show ‘The Profit’, in which he invests in struggling businesses and attempts to turn them around. Marcus always wanted to find an opportunity to share his love of Greek food with the world and the concept was an instant success. Since 2016, the concept is franchised and making a expansion push via franchising. They currently have 33 locations located in 16 states. Plans call for exceeding 50 open restaurants by the end of 2019. The franchise concept Marcus Lemonis works around his famous People / Process / Product principle.
People: “100% of success is attributed to the people you surround yourself with.” – Marcus Lemonis
Process: The process is simple with a build-your-own ordering process.
Product: the product is authentic, the Greek food is made with fresh and imported premium ingredients cooked right in front of their guests with authentic family recipes.
They put a great emphasis on quality and taste, utilizing homemade recipes without preservatives, additives or MSG.
Website: The Simple Greek