One to watch is Roti Mediterranean Grill, which is located in Vernon Hills, Illinois.
This fast-casual concept of serving healthy Mediterranean food has proved successful.
Appeasing the nation's growing taste for Mediterranean and healthy-but-delicious meals, and doing so in a quick-serve format, has proved a winning combination for Roti Mediterranean Grill.
Bill Post says, "We explored what was available around the country in this type of food."Most Middle Eastern restaurants had table service.The popularity of the Mediterranean diet was not quickly popularized.There was a real window of opportunity.
The first Roti opened in Chicago in 2007, and has since grown to 13 units around the city and Washington, D.C.
A build-your-own-meal, assembly-line method of ordering was adopted by the concept.The first thing customers do is build a sandwich, salad, or rice-based plate.A sandwich can be made with a wrap.Chicken and beef are cooked on vertical rotisseries.If you want a vegetarian meal, you can choose from roasted vegetables or Falafel.
Customers can choose from three different options, which include mixed greens, onions sprinkled with a Middle Eastern spice called sumac, tomato and cucumber salad, and a red cabbage slaw.There are a number of sauce options, including a hot, spicy S'hug sauce.
The Sultan Sandwich, made with chicken, hummus, and tomato and cucumber salad in a house-baked pita with S'hug sauce, is one of the favorites on the menu.
Olive oil is one of the staple ingredients that makes Roti recipes healthier than traditional fast food.He says that it is one of the healthiest oils because of its low saturated fat.
The roasted vegetables at Roti are tossed in the heart-healthy oil before cooking and the Spanish eggplant, a topping choice, is sautéed in olive oil.
Delivery and dine-in services are offered by Roti.Post says an average per-person dine-in ticket is $9, though suburban stores land closer to $10 because they tend to do more business at dinnertime.Post says the company has lease agreements for stores in New York City as well as four new locations in the Chicago area.
He says that while three additional markets are being developed and expanded, they are not eager to open just one or two stores.We want to have significant numbers in each market we are in.
He says there are no plans for franchising right now.We have a lot of things we need to refine before we have control over them.
He says that during peak lunch times, they get long queue lines.People look at that and think we must be doing something right.
A guest can get through a 70 person line in 7 minutes at a Roti store.
Post says that they make the wait seem shorter by doing a lot of sampling and talking with new customers.
Seven days a week, some Roti locations are open for lunch and dinner.Some are only open for breakfast, lunch, and a short dinner period, while others are not open at all.It depends on location when the store is open.In a train station in Washington, D.C., a small Roti unit serves sandwiches with eggs and other breakfast fare.He calls this location a "pocket of opportunity for breakfast" because it is near government office buildings filled with people hurrying to work each weekday morning.
Breakfast is a very hard category.It is difficult to break people's breakfast habits.