Au Za’Atar, a New York-based table service restaurant concept specializing in Middle Eastern/Lebanese cuisine, is now available as a franchise, it was announced today by Au Za’atar founder and CEO, Tarik Fallous. “We are thrilled to bring the best in global cuisine to areas in and outside New York.” Says Fallous. “ Au Za’atar offers franchisees an in demand, healthy, aromatic and plant-based flavor profile within a successful business model and a brand presence.”
The first Au Za’atar restaurant opened in the East Village of NYC in 2014. A second location, on the upper East side of Manhattan, was added in 2021. Using time-honored family recipes, Fallous has been able to expand on the growing demand for Middle Eastern cuisine. “Three-quarters of Americans are interested in trying Middle Eastern cuisine and over 40 percent who try it, like it enough to make it a one of their dining staples,” says Fallous. “Consumers are drawn to the region’s aromatic spices and herbs, plant-forward menus and fresh and flavorful foods. “In fact,’ he adds, “Lebanese foods rank in the top ten world’s healthiest cuisines.”
A Social Media Sensation
The highlight of the Au Za’atar dining experience is its focus on fresh, high quality ingredients and homemade dishes. Au Za’atar is the originator of this unique tableside presentation that elevates eating into event. Fallous calls Au Za’atar an “eatperience.” Diners of all ages and ethnicities are transported by the interactive experience and exotic taste exploration. The same creativity and innovation found in their signature dish is found throughout the Au Za’atar menu of small and large plates, salads, dips and flatbreads. All Au Za’atar restaurants also offer take-out, curbside and third-party delivery options.
A Successful and Supportive System for Franchisees
Au Za’atar has hired 30-year veteran of franchise development and sales, Gary Occhiogrosso , Founder and CEO of Franchise Growth Solutions, to expand the turnkey Au Za’atar business model from two New York locations to 10 locations nationwide by 2024. Au Za’atar franchises are currently available in NY, CT, PA, NJ and along the eastern seaboard.
According to Occhiogrosso, “Global cuisine is one of the fastest growing categories in food service, scoring high on the National Restaurant Associations 2022 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast. Au Za’atar is one of the most exciting Middle Eastern/French/Lebanese brands.”
“Forbes called Au Za’atar the most successful Lebanese restaurant in the New York area”, adds Occhiogrosso. “And the New York Times and The New Yorker gave kudos to the Arabian-French bistro. Most recently, the Washington Post described the dining experience at Au Za’atar as “joyous”.” “Au Za’atar is not only a social media darling, but also a favorite of the culinary press.”
Occhiogrosso assures potential franchisees, “The Au Za’atar franchise model is based on support and education. The Au Za’atar team helps franchisees with expert advice on everything from real estate, equipment and point-of-sale strategies to hiring, training, and customer service. He adds. “The Au Za’atar franchise is like a family and is invested in every franchisees success.”
Au Za’atar is a Lebanese / Middle Eastern restaurant, which has quickly become a dining destination in the East Village and Midtown East, for New Yorkers and tourists alike, serving family recipes from Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries. The menu, crafted by Owner/Head Chef Tarik Fallous, highlights the best of Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and homemade dishes. Au Za’Atar’s signature Original Tableside Shawarma is a crowd-pleaser and often seen on social media. The name Au Za’atar pays homage to Za’atar, a spice that offers an aromatic and a tangy blend of dried thyme, sumac, toasted sesame seeds and a pinch of salt.