New York chain Hummus & Pita Co wants to dominate the American-Mediterranean fast-casual market. In an interview with QSR Magazine, the company’s co-founder Dave Pesso announced that it has plans to open at least 100 franchised locations in 2018.
Currently, Hummus & Pita Co has just three locations, all in Manhattan. But there are three more restaurants in the works, though all outside of New York in Denver, Brookfield, Connecticut, and Holmdel, New Jersey. In addition to pita sandwiches, the fast-casual spot offers laffa — a Middle Eastern flatbread — wrap options, bowls, and platters.
“We really believe that hummus and pita now is to America what spaghetti and meatballs or apple pie are,” Pesso told QSR. “Everyone in their refrigerator has hummus and pita today. We wanted the only ethnic part of our brand to be the authenticity of the flavors of our recipes. But we wanted our look and feel to be American, accessible and warm.”
Hummus & Pita will join a booming number of fast-casual Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants. DC-based Cava Grill made its New York debut in 2016 with three more locations on the way this summer, and the Tel Aviv-based Miznon made its U.S. debut in Chelsea Market last month, with people reportedly waiting more than an hour for their pita. Also in Chelsea Market, Philly-based hummus-and-pita star Dizengoff expanded to New York, and this month, chef Einat Admony and her husband/partner Stéfan Nafziger announced plans for at least three more locations of their falafel fast-casual restaurant Taïm before the end of 2018.
Unlike the other restaurants in the market, Hummus & Pita Co is taking the franchise approach to expansion, recently signing a five-city franchise deal in Michigan. Pesso says more franchise deals are to come in Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and California. Eater has reached out to find out more.