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12 Fast-Casual Mediterranean Concepts Poised To Grow

The falafel-and-hummus space is getting a lot more crowded

The fast-casual segment is dominated by Mexican, burger and pizza concepts. But coming into its own is the Mediterranean niche, with rapidly growing chains like Cava, Zoe’s Kitchen, Luna Grill and Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh taking the lead. 

But as consumers increasingly embrace the healthful and wide-ranging cuisines of the Mediterranean region, a new crop of fast-casual concepts is pushing to steal market share from the larger players.

Many have recently started franchising, while others are growing more corporate locations with an eye for franchising down the road.

Take a look at 12 concepts in the fast-casual Mediterranean space that are small but poised for growth.


Eight-unit Gyroville, founded in 2010, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is expanding with franchising. Mostly in Florida, with one unit in Kansas and one in Ecuador, Gyroville is a Greek-inspired, build-your-own plate concept with proteins off the grill or carved from a vertical spit and served in a pita, over rice, as a wrap or salad.

Proteins include gyro, regular or spicy chicken, and falafel. Customers choose toppings and sauces, including various styles of tzatziki, hummus and “Medichurri” salsa, or a Mediterranean spin on chimichurri.

Gyroville was founded by Lambros Kokkinelis, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who grew up working in New York diners operated by his Greek family. The company plans to add one unit this year, along with those opening under 10 existing franchise agreements.

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