Asking how a chain and an independent restaurant differ may seem like a deceptively simple question, with the most obvious answer being that independents have one unit—or maybe two, according to an official definition from The NPD Group—while chains are larger in both size and scale.
When Patrick Fox opened Cava Greens in 2002, he fashioned it to be the anti–quick serve.
The food court–based eatery inside Denver’s 56-story Republic Plaza dishes up custom, hand-tossed salads alongside a range of fresh and natural offerings. The store resists processed foods in favor of dozens of seasonal foods, including figs, pomegranate seeds, and lean proteins, such as tofu and seared salmon.
While the old adage says there’s nothing new under the sun, the new decade brings fresh takes on traditional menu items while ethnic, vegan, and local ingredients make farther inroads into the quick-serve culinary scene.