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Taziki's Mediterranean Café (formerly Taziki's Greek Fare) is a "quick casual" restaurant chain featuring Greek-inspired salads and sandwiches. Keith Richards, a 10-year veteran of Bottega Cafe, opened the original location in 1998 at the Shops of Colonnade on Colonnade Parkway. He was inspired by restaurants he experienced during a vacation to Greece with his wife, Amy the previous year.

Taziki's was a runner-up in the Birmingham News's 2005 and 2006 Reader's Choice Awards for the category "Best Take-Out". After several years, the restaurant gradually grew into a chain, with help from partners Michael Bodner and Nick Pihakis. Taziki's opened its fourth Birmingham-area location in 2008, followed by two more before the end of 2010.

Former Arkansas state senator Jim Keet opened his first Taziki's franchise in September 2008 in Little Rock. He took over as president and CEO of the company in September 2012.

By 2014 the chain had 32 company-owned locations. That year, the chain began courting franchisees to commit to opening at least three restaurants in various markets. In early 2015 Taziki's became the first national chain to earn "REAL" certification from the United States Healthful Food Council. On December 8 of that year, the restaurant's 50th location opened in Tusla, Oklahoma.

By August 2017 the company had 77 locations in 16 states and was beginning to implement a blue and white interior makeover inspired by Greek coastal villages. Later that year Taziki's was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and required to compensate employees for $135,844 in unpaid overtime.

In March 2018 Chief Innovation Officer Dan Simpson took over as CEO of the chain, which then had 83 locations, of which 56 were franchise locations. As the business emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic it realized benefits from its flexible service options. By 2023 nearly half of all meals served from its more than 100 locations were either carried out, delivered, or catered.

Birmingham-area locations


  • Fullman, Lynn Grisard (August 22, 2008) "Food detective." The Birmingham News
  • Wolfson, Hannah (August 28, 2008) "Taziki's opening in downtown Birmingham." The Birmingham News
  • Cooper, Lauren B. (November 22, 2010) "Taziki's expanding to Tuscaloosa." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Knable, Kate (October 29, 2012) "Taziki's Taps Jim Keet to Lead Franchise Expansion." Arkansas Business News
  • Poe, Ryan (August 12, 2013) "Taziki's expanding, making odyssey to franchise." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Azok, Dawn Kent (February 18, 2014) "What's next for Taziki's? New restaurants, menu changes and the man behind the Birmingham-based chain." The Birmingham News
  • Hagood, Kathy (January 2015) "How to Cook Up a $28 Million Franchise" Business Alabama
  • Tomberlin, Michael (December 11, 2015) "Birmingham’s Taziki’s marks milestone with 50th location, eyes more in Alabama." Alabama Newscenter
  • Carlton, Bob (August 2, 2017) "Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe unveils its new look." The Birmingham News
  • Beahm, Anna (February 12, 2018) "Taziki's paid more than $135,000 in back wages after FLSA violations." The Birmingham News
  • Rebman, Stephanie (March 30, 2018) "Popular Birmingham-based restaurant chain names new CEO." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Thornton, William (December 13, 2022) "Taziki’s 20th location in Alabama is now open." AL.com
  • Thornton, William (April 3, 2023) "Taziki’s celebrates 25 years, ready for new growth." AL.com

External links