Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2019

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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78 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES AUGUST 2019 concept. Little Greek franchisees benet from the affordable build-out cost since the majority of its sites operate from former restaurant locations. The average Little Greek loca- tion measures 1,600 square feet with about 30 seats. Most are endcaps in shopping centers with grocery stores serving as the anchor tenants. "We try to go into higher-end markets and our demographic skews slightly female," Vojnovic says. He likens the concept to a Mediterranean Panera Bread, as Little Greek cooks each dish to order. Gyros, Greek salad and grilled chicken make up about 80 percent of sales. Other popular items include falafel, salmon, lamb, steak, hummus, veggie pitas and soup. It takes a maximum of six minutes to prepare each dish. The exhibition kitchens include 14-foot hoods, a 4-burner gas stove, a 3-foot ‹attop, a 3-foot chargrill, a gas fryer and a broiler. A rice cooker is the only equipment located out of guests' sight. Because Mediterranean menus require a great deal of prep, staff chop vegetables and prepare other ingredi- ents throughout the day. Also in the Mediterranean fast- casual space is Goldie, a two-year-old Philadelphia-based concept. While inspired by an Israeli falafel shop, this street food eschews meat and dairy, which translates into an entirely vegan concept. Goldie's growth has taken a varied approach to site selection. For example, the rst location is a stand- alone unit that seats 20, not includ- ing standing counters. Another site operates from a local Whole Foods Market. The budding chain's most recent eatery resides in the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin's Table, a diverse food court that opened in March of last year. Mediterranean ‹avors continue to in‹uence other ethnic concepts. The appeal of Mediterranean food in general is that it draws from a lot of traditions. "Culinary borders are extremely diverse in this segment," says Emma Richards, Goldie's general manager. "This food is a way to con- nect and share cultures. Years ago, no one really knew what Middle Eastern food was, now the in‹uences are everywhere." Goldie's simple menu is compa- rable to a Middle Eastern version of a burger joint: falafel sandwiches or salads, fries available with shawarma spice, and tehina shakes made with either almond or soy milk. Goldie takes a high-tech approach to producing the deep-fried balls made from ground chickpeas and fava beans. At the push of a button, a falafel robot spins the ingredients into balls. Automated and manual choppers and food processors expedite vegetable prep for salads and sandwich llings. Staff use a soft-serve machine to pro- duce the shakes, available in original, Turkish coffee, mint chocolate and banana ‹avors. "Open kitchens and equipment that showcase these types of opera- tions are very meaningful to consum- ers," says Tristano. It's also about authentic production, he adds. "For example, shawarma is still trending and this is something that can't really be mass produced protably, so it's made at the operator level." Mediterranean with a Modern Twist A growing number of concepts con- tinue to capitalize on Mediterranean food's healthy prole as a convenient option. Aviva by Kameel in Atlanta is a fast-casual lunch counter that opened in October 2012. "This is Goldie, a two-year-old Mediterranean con- cept, started with a 20- seat restaurant, seen here, then expanded into locations in a Whole Foods Market and a University of Pennsylvania food hall. Goldie's simple menu oers a take on a burg- er and fries concept: falafel and shawarma- spiced fries. Photo courtesy of Michael Persico

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