NYC’s homegrown falafel-and-pita triumph Taïm is finally growing its footprint. Chef Einat Admony and husband Stéfan Nafziger recently secured investors to help the fast-casual restaurant grow at least three new locations in New York before the end of the year, according to industry publication Restaurant Hospitality.
The first new one will be in a Midtown Urbanspace food hall that’s opening in the spring. Eater has reached out to Admony for more information on where the other two locations might end up.
Admony — the force behind finer dining hits like Balaboosta and Bar Bolonat — has been talking about expanding her fast-casual restaurant for a couple years now. Taïm, which first opened in 2005, currently has just two locations plus a food truck, but in 2016, the chef said she wanted to plant outposts in LA, Chicago, Australia, and Japan.
Now, she’s making good on her word with investment from a group led by Phil Petrilli, a former Chipotle regional manager. Besides cash, he brought on a director of operations named Bethany Strong, another Chipotle alum who’s apparently already made the restaurant more profitable by lowering food costs and payroll, Restaurant Hospitality reports.
Though Taïm has been around for more than a decade and is incredibly popular for its falafel pitas, it hasn’t duplicated at the same scale that other fast-casual restaurants have. Meanwhile, the market for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fast food driven by fine dining chefs has crowded considerably. In New York, similarly popular restaurants like Dizengoff, Miznon, Mamoun’s, and Cava have all opened. Stay tuned for more.