Keith Richards, Founder of Taziki’s, Recognized by the National Association of People Supporting Employment First



Keith Richards, Founder of Taziki's, Recognized by the National Association of People Supporting Employment First

Taziki’s Noted for Their Hiring of Special Needs Employees

Keith Richards, Founder of Taziki's, Recognized by the National Association of People Supporting Employment FirstKeith Richards, Founder and Chief Development Officer of Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, was recently presented with a prestigious honor at the National Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), National Awards Luncheon held in Philadelphia.

The APSE’s Large Employer Award is given out to employers of 250 or more employees, who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to hiring, and fully integrating individuals with disabilities into their workforce.

The APSE said that Taziki’s was more than deserving of the organization’s Large Employer Award.

“Mr. Richards has not only made a tremendous commitment, but also served as an advocate for the Employment First philosophy, encouraging other employers across the country to do as he has done, and give individuals with disabilities opportunities to pursue real jobs at competitive wages,” said Peter Burnes, Membership & Chapter Relations Manager, APSE National.

The APSE believes that employment in the general workforce is the first and preferred outcome in the provision of publicly funded services for all working age citizens with disabilities, regardless of level of disability.

“We hire special needs students in many of our restaurants and work with organizations such as The Arc of Shelby County, Down Syndrome of Alabama as well as support Special Olympics Chapters around the country,” said Keith Richards, Founder and Chief Development Officer of Taziki’s Mediterranean Café. “Parents of the special needs students that are employed by Taziki’s can find personal time while their children work in the restaurant. It is joy to have them as our employees.”

Richards and Taziki’s were also recognized for their creation of the Herbs Offering Personal Enrichment (HOPE) program which grows fresh herbs used in Taziki’s locations across the country, including basil, parsley, rosemary, cilantro and oregano.

“HOPE is a program for special needs children in Alabama,” said Richards. “We buy from the HOPE garden as our vendor, the children are paid to come out and tend to the land.”

Earlier this year, the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced that Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe’ has become the first national franchise to achieve REAL Certification, the emerging national standard for foodservice nutrition and sustainability. With 46 locations across 13 states, Taziki’s is also now the largest chain restaurant to complete the certification process.

Taziki’s Mediterranean Café is headquartered in Birmingham, AL and currently has 46 locations in 13 states. The recipes are all made fresh and inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. The menu features freshly grilled meats, original sauces and healthy side dishes. Taziki’s is open for lunch and dinner, offers take-out as well as catering for events large and small.  Visit Tazikiscafe.com for more information. Follow events and promotions on Twitter- @Tazikis and on Facebook- Taziki’s Med Café.