When the paths of an Estonian immigrant, a small Greek restaurant, and a successful restaurateur looking for the next big idea in fast-casual dining crossed, the result was an upstart brand, Little Greek Restaurant, that now has plans to expand across the U.S.
There are three entrées on the menu at Piada Italian Street Food: pasta bowl, chopped salad, and piada. What customers can create with those three options, though, is practically endless.
The restaurant’s namesake item, the piada, starts with an Italian thin-crust dough made with flour and olive oil. That crust is baked on a stone grill, then filled with ingredients and hand rolled. It’s similar to a wrap or a burrito, but an Italian version. The Piada concept is also similar in service and style to Chipotle, but, again, an Italian version.
Most U.S. mainland residents have never been to a Teddy’s Bigger Burgers; those who have probably visited while on vacation. But that may soon change, as the Hawaii-based burger joint now has two mainland units and is poised for additional growth.
After the first Teddy’s opened in Honolulu in 1998, the brand grew slowly, adding two more stores in Hawaii by the end of 2003. Teddy’s started franchising in 2005 and now has five franchised stores—two in Hawaii and one each in Washington State, Iowa, and Japan.
When Tiffini Soforenko first told her husband, Nik, that she wanted to open a cupcake bakery, his response was, “You don’t bake.”
But Soforenko, who worked as director of operations at Universal Studios Hollywood for more than 15 years, says she knew how to bake, she just didn’t have the time. That changed when she created Yummy Cupcakes in 2004.
Soforenko has been devoted to baking ever since and now has more than 400 proprietary cupcake recipes, including 94 vegan and 23 sugar-free cupcake varieties.
Chronic Tacos CEO Michael Mohammed says it’s the recipes that make his California-based quick-serve concept stand out in the fast-casual Mexican food arena.
“The founders bought the recipes from a family friend, who was third-generation Mexican-American,” Mohammed says. “The flavor is more authentic. The recipes are a little more complicated, and you really notice the flavors.”
In a world of novel-length menus and menuboards that fill entire walls, Flippin’ Pizza stands out for the simplicity of its offerings. Customers choose their sauce preference: white or red. There’s only one crust option, and whole pies come in an 18-inch size only. Pizza can be ordered by the slice, and the adventurous eater can get a calzone or a salad. But that’s the extent of it. And that’s the way founder Patrick Farley likes it.
Friends since sixth grade, Anthony Ackil and Jon Olinto talked about starting a business together for years. They could only agree on one idea, however, and that was “making fast food real.”
Ackil and Olinto trace their appreciation of “real food” to being fed after school by Ackil’s Uncle Faris, who dispensed both home-cooked meals and advice, often reminding the boys to “be good.”
Eventually, the two created a restaurant concept called b.good with the tagline “real.food.fast.”
Sub Zero Ice Cream serves up theater, science, and frozen desserts, bowl by individual bowl. Each Sub Zero customer selects one of six bases, which include higher-fat premium, custard, or classic, as well as healthier options: low-fat, yogurt, or lactose-free rice and soymilk. Next, the customer selects flavors and mix-ins, then watches as they’re combined with the liquid base in a metal bowl and blasted with -321-degree liquid nitrogen. The concoction freezes instantly.
When Mary Ann Beauchamp ran a little restaurant called Wild Rose Café and Deli in the early 1990s, customers would often give their meal a one-word review. That word eventually worked its way into the name of the concept created by Mary Ann and her husband Mark: Café Yumm!
In 2003, Berge Simonian noticed something interesting happening in the restaurant he had operated for almost a decade in downtown Houston. The line for salads was frequently longer than the line for hot foods.