San Francisco–based SAJJ Mediterranean took a road less traveled with its food-truck operation: It opened its truck and first store simultaneously.

“We are street food, so we thought it would be fitting to have a food truck that serves our fresh Middle Eastern eats on the road,” says Zaid Ayoub, CEO of SAJJ. “And it’s another avenue to reach customers. Food trucks make it possible to change locations daily, so you can continue to reach new audiences.”

The brand has since grown to two trucks and seven brick-and-mortar locations around the Bay Area.

SAJJ’s stores give guests an opportunity to build their own meals, choosing from among five proteins, four bases, and several mix-ins. But the truck only serves curated dishes like a Falafel in Pita or Shawarma Bowl, Ayoub says. He says the trucks have forced SAJJ to think more creatively with the menu. The company focuses innovation around easily portable dishes that are well-executed in confined spaces.

“Consumers want to see unique food,” he says. “We deliver that through an adventurous experience of cuisine created with exotic spices and flavors and more interesting presentation methods.”

Emerging Concepts, Menu Innovations, Story, SAJJ Mediterranean