After an exceedingly difficult year for restaurants across the country, Taziki's Mediterranean Café is surviving, thriving, and poised for growth due to key investments in tech, operations, and marketing.
Taziki's has navigated through the pandemic with great flexibility and perseverance, leveraging their growing off-premises dining business with their mobile app and online ordering to support convenient options for guests impacted by this difficult year. The company has seen meteoric growth of takeout, curbside, Family Feast neighborhood drops, delivery, and box-lunch catering.
The company is introducing a new logo in early 2021, which includes a deeper blue hue to highlight the coastal Mediterranean brand position of the company. Taziki's will unveil their new logo through improved packaging and staff uniforms. The company is also saying goodbye to Styrofoam for both beverages and to-go packaging.
"Many of the changes that we saw in 2020, may have been accelerated by the pandemic, but they were already trends moving in the direction towards more off-premises dining and more digital ordering," says Dan Simpson, CEO of Taziki's Mediterranean Café. "In the second half of 2020, we doubled-down on our investments to support a safe dine-in experience and more convenient omnichannel experiences."
In January of 2021, the company will also launch delivery through their app and online ordering at Tazikis.com. These updates include a picture-based menu highlighting Taziki's colorful, nutritious Mediterranean cuisine and a faster, more guest friendly ordering experience. The company has experienced a significant increase in its rewards program and plan to add additional ways to thank their most loyal guests.
Throughout the pandemic, Taziki's delivered Family Feasts to neighborhoods and box lunch catering orders. Now the company is concentrating on expanding their delivery service to include homes and businesses through the restaurant's app, website and through delivery partners. Taziki's is working with the top delivery firms across the U.S. including UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub to make their menu available through these platforms and the chain has invested in new software to integrate these new orders into Taziki's kitchen systems throughout the U.S.
"Technology should solve problems and in the restaurant business, you are first and foremost in the people business," adds Simpson. "Restaurants should focus on being guest centered. This includes placing importance on how your customers' preferences change over time as well as repurposing your strategy for serving them."
During 2020, the company built stronger relationships with suppliers of their food. This included partnerships with the American Lamb Board and The Dairy Alliance.
This past summer, Taziki's Mediterranean Café and the American Lamb Board worked together to promote accessible options that incorporate lamb into the diet of American families. The Char-Grilled Lamb is known as one of the best protein options available at Taziki's and has quickly become a go-to protein for an elevated at-home dinner or an adventurous lunch option, so growing the relationship with American Lamb was a natural one.
In November, Taziki's launched a new comfort food, 3 Cheese Mac & Cheese just in time for the holidays. Partnering with the Dairy Alliance, the goal was to promote accessible options that incorporate dairy into the diet of American families. Following a successful new Whipped Feta appetizer in the fall of 2019, Taziki's new 3 Cheese Mac & Cheese is a scratch-made menu item created fresh daily with cheddar, parmesan, and feta cheeses for a Mediterranean flair.