Sunday, April 21, 2024

[ALERT] Z!EATS to Debut New Look at First Ever Atlanta Eatery

Another soup, salad and sandwich concept is entering the Atlanta market.  Z!EATS, which was founded in 1998 in Southfield, Michigan, is opening a new location at Westside Village (2250 Marietta Boulevard), a development along Marietta Boulevard in the so-called "Upper Westside."  The location has been in the works for about a year and is finally set to open in just a few days.  

Joining existing eateries in the complex including Ted's Montana Grill, The Woodall, Cravewell Kitchen (formerly Clean Juice), Desta, and Gezzo's Coastal Cantina, among others, Z!EATS will be among the more casual, and smallest in the complex measuring only 1,612 square feet.  

Z!EATS was founded as Zoup! Eatery in 1988 in Southfield, Michigan as a soup and sandwich shop and was for years primarily found in the mid-central region of the country. The company was acquired by St. Petersburg, Florida-based WOWorks in May 2022, and officially changed its name from Zoup! to Z!EATS this past February.  The name change brought an expanded menu and a bigger franchise push toward expanding into new markets. 

The new Upper Westside location is not only the first for the brand in Georgia but also the first location to debut the new look, name, design, and updated menu all at one time in one place.  

Industry veteran Brian Farris who spent six years with Atlanta-based GoTo Foods (then called Focus Brands) and their Schlotzsky's brand, was named WOWorks Chief Development Officer in early 2022.  Farris joined Kelly Roddy, who spent more than twelve years at Schlotzsky's as their President before joining what would become WOWorks in August 2019.  

(Other WOWorks brands include Athens-born Barberitos, Frutta Bowls, Saladworks, and The Little Greek, among others.) 

The menu and updates at Z!EATS are clearly drawn from the experiences Farris and Roddy had at Focus.  

Expanded menu offerings at Z!EATS include new soups, salads, and sandwiches, as well as a variety of grain bowls and specialty mac and cheese options like "Ladled Lobster" featuring classic mac, lobster bisque, and pie crust topping.  

The Atlanta Z!EATS is being opened by the husband and wife team of Guran Yet and Ozben Iyigun-Yet.  The Yets immigrated from Turkey to Atlanta in 2008.  Guran started as an intern at Coca-Cola in Vienna and 28+ years and multiple countries and promotions later, retired from the Atlanta-based beverage giant in early 2021.  Ozben has been a Human Resources executive for much of her personal life but has joined her husband in their next professional journey.  

Z!EATS is the first concept of what the duo plans to be several fast-casual restaurant franchise brands they will operate under their Fig & Peach holding company.  

Despite Guran's nearly three decades with Coke, fountain offerings at Z!EATS are provided by Tractor Beverage Company, a trendy soda maker whose food service distribution is handled by Keurig Dr. Pepper.  Coke products - including Coca-Cola Mexican Coke and Dasani - are available in cans and bottles.  

There are currently 44 locations across 12 states plus three more in Ontario.  21 of the chain's domestic units are in their home state of Michigan and neighboring Ohio.  The Atlanta eatery represents the chain's 45th location and thirteenth state.  

The Upper Westside restaurant is slated to officially open Tuesday, April 23rd at 11 am.  The restaurant is celebrating the opening with a host of offers and promotions during "Grand Opening" week, including donating 20% of all proceeds on April 23rd to Giving Kitchen, and Buy One, Get One 50% off on Friday, April 26.  

Are you pleased to see more casual options come to the Upper Westside?  Does the menu of Z!EATS interest you?  Who in Atlanta do you think makes the best specialty mac and cheese? 

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

I moved from Michigan to Atlanta and really missed zoup! I’m excited for this and hope the new concept kept some of the original menu items!

Anonymous said...

The one in Westland used to have Zeggs! And Zoatmeal! For breakfast. It was pretty good.

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