a Mediterranean-style restaurant based in Washington, D.C., has
opened its first-ever Innovation Kitchen. The company will use its
Innovation Kitchen to test out ingredients, technology and menu items
to improve customer experience.
to Brett Shulman, Cava CEO, successes will be offered to the
restaurant’s 85 locations. Schulman said the company is all about
giving customers a great experience. He said Cava is all about using
customer feedback and information to improve itself and implement
what is being asked.
will be three Innovation Kitchen listed on the Cava menu – honey
harissa chicken, crispy chickpeas, vegan garlic sauce. Digital menu
board will show customers their orders being made by Dimitri
Moshovitis, the restaurant’s executive chef and co-founder.
was launched by childhood friends Moshovitis, Ike Grigoropoulos and
Ted Xenohristos in Rockville, Maryland in 2006. The group saw the
chance to offer the kind of Greek cuisine they had when they were
growing up. They’re also offering a line of homemade spreads and
the hopes of getting their versions of various Greek recipes out to
the public, the trio knew they needed someone who understood the
market to help them. This is where Shulman stepped in. At the time,
he was the Snikiddy Snack COO, where he helped his wife’s company
get her salty treats in 5,000 stores around the nation. Schulman
came to Cava in 2010, working part-time to help the trio do the same
became CEO later in the year and helped Cava become much more than a
single sit-down restaurant. In 2018, there were 350 locations and
worth $500+ million. While Xenophristos and Grigoropoulus have roles
in the company, making concept and culinary decisions, they are not
in any official executive roles.
said none of them expected Cava to reach its current level.
since going full-time, Schulman worked to acquire Mediterranean
restaurant Zoes Kitchen, which had 260 locations in 20 states. It
was bought with cash with a valued approximate of $300 million.
has its branded spreads and dips on the shelves of the 479 U.S. Whole
Foods Market stores. Before Schulman took over, there were only eight
stores carrying the products.
believes the company’s success is the result of knowing its
customers and working to improve their experience. Cava hired data
scientists and using the lessons learned from its Innovation Kitchen.
Schulman said the goal is to use the information from Innovation Kitchen and put it to use in every aspect of the business. He said the company is excited to see how customers react.