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Case Study


Fast casual falafel specialist, Taboonette launches franchise prototype, building momentum for nationwide expansion

Fast casual falafel specialist, Taboonette launches franchise prototype, building momentum for nationwide expansion

Taboonette is a fast casual, Middleterranean™ restaurant that is revolutionizing the falafel shop. Inspired by a trip which co-owner, Danny Hodak, took to Israel, the elevated shop brings the healthy diets of the Middle East and Mediterranean and fuses them with chef-driven food and American style.

With recipes curated by classically trained, renowned Israeli chef, Efi Naon, the eatery takes a modern approach to food created in the age-old, wood-fired taboon ovens for which Taboonette is named. Opening eyes to gourmet Mediterranean food, the shop offers locally sourced and sustainable meals in a rustic chic atmosphere that fosters social consciousness and brings people together.

Now a standout amongst New York’s popular upscale fast casual restaurants, Taboonette will build on its seasoned approach to success as it begins nationwide franchise expansion.

Taboonette currently has one corporately-owned location in New York, with a track record for success which will lead the brand to impressive growth. The popular Union Square hot spot will open its second corporate location in Q1 of 2019 with two additional restaurants slated to open by year-end.

The second location, slated to open in February in New York’s trendy Greenwich Village neighborhood, will act as a franchise prototype as the brand looks to strategically expand nationwide, with 25 locations projected to open by 2021.

“We hope to build on Taboonette’s growing success while creating a meaningful opportunity for franchisees,” said Hodak. “The opening of our second corporate location provides a state-of-the-art training center for brand partners. It’s a beautiful store that makes a strong statement and takes a big step toward fulfilling our promise to support our franchisees’ success.”

As quick service restaurants remain a hot franchise category, Taboonette offers a unique take on the space by creating internationally inspired food that capitalizes on the Mediterranean diet, a top food trend for 2019, while also being rooted in hospitality and awarding a viable franchise opportunity backed by vast corporate support.

Internationally Inspired

Taboonette was born from an idea that formed when Hodak, CEO and Co-Founder, Taboonette Middleterranean Kitchen™, was on an Israeli vacation with his wife, a native of the country. The two were at a famous Palestinian street food counter and attentively watched as 10’ long boards filled with creatively topped flat breads slid into a wood-fired oven facing the customers.

The resulting bread was exceptional and those ovens sparked a fire in Hodak who thought the experience should be attainable back home in New York.

A self-proclaimed eater with an undeniable passion for food, Hodak realized upon meeting renowned Israeli chef and international rising star of the kitchen, Efi Naon, that he had found the perfect partner to bring the concept they dubbed “Middleterranean” to New York.

Eight years after opening their buzz-worthy Taboon restaurant, the two set out to build a franchise model that could bring their Middleterranean™ food to consumers nationally.

Taboonette Middleterranean Kitchen was then launched in 2012 in New York City with a corporately-owned location in a bustling Union Square neighborhood that is gaining popularity as demand for more shops continues to rise.

Authorities on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food and pioneers of the Middleterranean™ concept, which fuses tastes and the healthy diets from the Middle East and Mediterranean, Taboonette’s owners have created gourmet and inventive offerings which are now set to position the restaurant’s open-air, wood-fired taboon at the forefront of quality cuisine in America.

Updated takes

Naon employs his classical training from Israel’s Tadmor Culinary Institute and time working in Israel as sous chef to Israeli celebrity Chef Haim Cohen, and in Bourgogne under Michelin-starred chef, Marc Meneau, to create authentic, but updated takes on what consumers have come to know at their local falafel shops.

This experience is also reflected in the brand’s elevated customer service and guest experience. Customers are afforded the efficiency and comfort expected in a quick-service environment, but with the attention to detail and thoughtfulness that reflects its fine dining pedigree.

The eatery is also committed to utilizing technology to create high-quality experiences for each guest.

Top-tier foodservice equipment including self-ordering kiosks and cutting-edge self-cooking stations can be found in Taboonette, helping owners to ensure each top-quality recipe is expertly executed with the same chef-driven touches which Naon would instill if he made the food himself.

“When we opened Taboonette our goal was to bring the sophistication and complexity of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food to America,” said Hodak. “With Chef Efi’s expertise and a commitment to our customers and community, I think we’ve done that and much more. We can’t wait for Taboonette to continue to expand its national footprint bringing great food and great times along with it.”

Viable franchise opportunity with vast support:

Taboonette is currently seeking engaged restaurant partners who have an appetite to create a curated, socially responsible business which aims to integrate into, and leave a positive impact on, its surrounding community. With three projected openings in 2019 alone, the socially conscious, community-centric brand is actively looking for individuals to help expand the eatery’s footprint nationwide.

Prior experience in the foodservice and hospitality industries is encouraged, but not required. For interested parties, an initial investment to open a Taboonette location is between $350,500-$637,400, inclusive of the franchise fee.

Each restaurant is around 2,000 square feet and features state-of-the-art self-ordering kiosks and self-cooking foodservice stations creating an ease of operation.

At a Glance:

Name of franchise: Taboonette Middleterranean Kitchen™
Established: 2012
Investment range: $350,500-$637,400
Minimum required capital:

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