In a surprise move last week, Daphne’s Mediterranean Grill closed all 11 of its restaurants in Texas. The closures consisted of locations that once operated as Noon Mediterraean, which was acquired at the end of last year by Elite Restaurant Group, Daphne’s parent company.
Elite transformed the Texas restaurants into a hybrid restaurant combining the two restaurants and keeping the best parts from each one.
Although the company had high hopes for the revamped locations, Elite said the results so far have been disappointing.
"While we are very proud of our ability to offer customers in Texas a fun, fresh, and delicious Mediterranean dining experience, we decided that the sales performance of these locations, which were operated by Noon Enterprise LTD, were not up to our expectations,” Elite’s director of Marketing David Eldredge told QSR in an email. “As a result, we decided to close these locations, but are actively pursuing options to grow our business in Texas with Daphne's national development plans in the near future.”
Last month, Eldredge discussed the refreshed vision of the 30-year-old chain with QSR. Elite rebranded Daphne’s by dropping the “California Greek” from its name. After acquiring Noon, Elite decided to eliminate redundancies between the two brands.
Instead of cannibalizing all of the Noon locations and immediately turning them into Daphne’s, Elite studied menu items and processes to see if anything could carry over to the new, contemporary version of Daphne’s—or Daphne’s 2.0 as Elite calls it.
Before the closures, Elite transformed Noon locations in Dallas, Austin, Houston, and Boston. Elite expected to complete the conversions by the end of the year. After completion, Daphne’s footprint would have consisted roughly of 32 locations. It’s unclear what will happen to the Noon locations that are in the middle of transitions and those located in Boston.
Daphne’s current footprint is comprised of 21 locations in California. In June, Eldredge told QSR he expected the brand to grow 10-20 percent each year after establishing themselves in existing markets. The company has yet to comment on how the closures will affect the brand’s growth strategy moving forward.