Friday, November 15, 2019

[EXCLUSIVE] Restaurant Offering Cookie Dough Hummus and Chickpea Shake Coming to Dunwoody

A New York-based quick-serve Mediterranean franchise specializing in pita sandwiches is opening its first Atlanta area outpost in Dunwoody.  The new restaurant, The Hummus & Pita Co.,  will open in the 2,800 square foot corner space in Perimeter Place left vacant since last December when longtime tenant Boneheads closed.  The Hummus & Pita Co. serves what it sounds like: stuffed pita sandwiches, laffa wraps, bowls, and platters of meats, grains, and vegetables.  The fast-casual restaurant has taken some liberties with its hummus recipes, liberties that is hopes will set it apart from other similar options.  

Hummus & Pita Co., you see, offers not only traditional savory hummus but also sweet varieties such as chocolate, cookie dough, and cake batter. There’s even a vegan hummus shake, made from chickpeas, tahini, banana, dates, and almond milk, plus other flavors like pistachio, butter pecan and strawberry.

The chain started in New York in 2011 and began franchising in 2017.  Today there are six locations open: New York (3), Connecticut, New Jersey & Michigan.  A seventh location is listed as "coming soon" to Los Angeles, the first of 100 units planned for The Golden State.

In Atlanta, brother-in-law franchisees Patrick Sidhu and Jay Gill earlier this year signed on for a five unit development deal.  The duo, already franchisees of more than 170 Burger King and 14 Popeyes restaurants, plan to open their five Hummus & Pita Co. locations in metro Atlanta over the next 24 months.   The Montgomery, Alabama-based franchisees also inked a deal to bring burrito chain Qdoba Mexican Grill to Georgia and Alabama with plans to open 20 locations between the two states.

At 2,800 square feet, the Atlanta Hummus & Pita will be significantly larger than the roughly 1,000 to 2,000 square foot size that the company describes as typical of its restaurants in marketing materials.

We at ToNeTo Atlanta LOVE Mediterranean food and are cautiously optimistic about Hummus & Pita's upcoming Atlanta debut.  A franchised location of Hummus & Pita Co. opened earlier this past January in Denver, but by early October was closed.  Yelp reviews seem to suggest high prices and poor service likely contributed to the closure.
With so many restaurants opening in metro Atlanta, attracting and retaining courteous and dependable help is becoming increasingly difficult, according to several local restaurant owners who spoke with ToNeTo Atlanta.

Franchises are attractive to entrepreneurs as they come with an established brand and often, a dedicated marketing team.  That said, franchises are not always a sure thing and new to market franchises with little to no brand awareness can be quite risky.

One of our favorite Mediterranean eateries, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, opened in Boca Raton in late 2013 but by late 2014 had closed.

Pancheros Mexican Grill, Pieology, Barbacoa Mexican Grill, Mojo Burrito, Smashburger, Baja Fresh, Blue Coast Burrito, El Pollo Loco, BurgerIM, Boardwalk Burgers & Fries and Bruegger's Bagels, among others, are all franchises that have entered the Atlanta market and subsequently closed some or all of their locations in the area. 

Fransmart, a franchise development company, is assisting Hummus & Pita in their franchising efforts.  The firm also sells franchises for The Halal Guys, Taffer's Tavern, Curry Up Now and Mamoun's Falafel - all of which have locations open or in development in metro Atlanta - among other concepts.

Dan Rowe, founder of Fransmart, is bullish on the concepts he represents but the numbers he envisions for Hummus & Pita are astronomical
Dan Rowe of Fransmart 
"By the end of the year, there will be 200-plus locations in development. Over the next few years, we will have at least 500 locations in development, with flags planted in the 40 largest media markets in North America and key international markets on our way to 2,000-plus locations."

Chick-fil-A, by comparison, which dates from 1946, has about 2,400 locations.

Uncle Maddio's Pizza, an Atlanta-based quick-serve franchise, said in 2015 that it was "on track to have 300 restaurants open in five years with 1,000 units in development."  Today, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this past April, there are 22 locations open and none known to be "in development." 

Have you ever been to The Hummus & Pita Co.?  Does the idea of chocolate hummus and a chickpea shake sound appealing to you?  What is your favorite quick-serve franchise that is not yet present in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below  


Anonymous said...

Publix sells chocolate hummus in its cold case. The main turn off seems to the high prices.

Unknown said...

Culver's known for their great custard.

Anonymous said...

well, at least these guys are experienced in the franchise game. I'll give them a try as I like Mediterranean food too!

You are right about their projections - those number are ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Tough location and the traffic around there is horrible!

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