Photos courtesy Taste of Mediterranean
This year, Canadian food-service franchisor Taste of Mediterranean is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
On January 6, 2004, Sam Hussein opened his first restaurant on Front Street in downtown Toronto, with only $30,000 in startup resources, including equipment. He began franchising in 2007, after studying the system to see how he could improve it. The first few locations served only Greek food, for example, so as Hussein wanted to stand out from the competition, he started looking into other Mediterranean options, adding Middle Eastern cuisine and shawarma to the menu.
By 2010, franchisees were signing up across the country. And in 2012, Hussein decided the restaurants needed to appear more appealing and modern. He added glass tiles and stones in the front areas, TV screens and larger hot-and-cold tables, placing all food in front of the customers.
In 2013, the franchise system opened its first two locations in the U.S. This year, the goal is to open three new restaurants in Canada and four in the U.S.