Published on 15 Jul 2022 Time 5 min read Last update by 29 May 2024

3 Cava Franchise Alternatives for 2024

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Cava (stylized as CAVA) and also referred to as Cava Grill, is a private  Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant chain with locations across the United States. The owner of Cava is Cava Group, which is also the owner of Zoës Kitchen. The combined company is the largest restaurant operator in the Mediterranean category in the U.S. restaurant industry. Cava also produces a line of Mediterranean dips, spreads, and dressings that are sold in grocery stores across the US.

As of August 2021, there are 133 Cava locations. All of Cava’s restaurants are company-owned, and none are franchised. In 2020, Cava Group converted seven of its Zoës Kitchen locations to Cava restaurants and plans to convert 50 more in 2021.

Cava has also invested in new technologies to expand its tech platform. It has additional off-premises and digital kitchens dedicated to preparing food for online orders. Cava added curbside pickup options for its locations, added delivery through its mobile app and website, and delivery through DoorDash and Uber Eats.

How Is Cava Franchise Positioned in the Food and Beverage Industry?

The Food and Beverage industry in the USA accounts for 13% of all manufacturing employment in the country. Around 1.46 million people are employed in this industry. Food franchises make up to 36% of the total franchise establishments in the USA. They expect to create 1.6 million more jobs by 2027. The annual growth rate in the industry is around 2%. The EBITDA multiplier is around 3x for a single restaurant. Multiples can go up to 7x for 5+ restaurants.

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What Are Alternatives to a CAVA Franchise?

Because CAVA does not franchise, you might want to look at the following alternatives to a CAVA Restaurant:

The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill

The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill is a fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. It is based in West Palm Beach, FL.

The minimum investment amount required to open a The Great Greek franchise is $476,050 and can go all the way up to $798,520. The initial Great Greek Franchise Fee is between $35,550 and $39,500. You have to pay this upfront fee when opening a Great Greek franchise.

To become a Great Greek franchisee, the total investment can vary from $300,000 to $400,000. The range is wide because a number of factors come into play, such as the location of the franchise, local demand, regional rates for construction, rent, supplies and equipment, and other relevant elements. This amount should be enough to cover all the requirements and expenses involved in starting a restaurant business. Some of the expenses you may encounter before your grand opening include insurance, fees for consultancy or legal services should you choose to acquire them, and lease deposits.

Its royalty fee is 6% of gross revenues. The marketing contribution is 3% of gross revenues, and the local marketing fee is 1%.


Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh

Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh restaurants feature Mediterranean cuisine, including hummus, falafel, chicken and beef shwarmas, and salads on handmade pita and laffa and soups, desserts, and beverages for lunch, dinner, catering, and delivery. As of 2022, there were 16 locations across the U.S. There are also corporate locations. Most Food and Beverage franchises like Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh have more franchised locations than corporate locations.

The minimum investment amount required to open a Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh franchise is $386,286 and can go all the way up to $786,162. This includes $39,050 – $39,863 that the franchisee must pay to the franchisor.

Garbanzo does have a minimum net worth requirement of $500,00 of which $250,000 should be liquid assets.

The first step to starting a Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh family is completing their initial franchise inquiry form. You’ll be contacted within 24 hours of completion by one of their franchise development professionals.

APÓLA Greek Grill

APÓLA Greek Grill restaurants are family-friendly fast-casual environments featuring the preparation of top-quality meats in a build-your-own meal fashion and an authentic Greek experience while also catering to many dietary needs. Thir menu is simple but very customizable and offers several options that are Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Halal. Apóla Greek Grill is based in Yorba Linda, CA.

The minimum investment amount required to open an Apóla Greek Grill franchise is $98,000 and can go all the way up to $549,000.

Owning an Apóla Greek Grill franchise requires a 6% royalty fee and a 1-2% marketing fee. These two expenses represent the main ongoing costs you can expect to pay the franchisor throughout the franchise relationship. There may be other ongoing fees disclosed in the Apóla Greek Grill Franchise Disclosure Document.

Keep in mind that there is also an initial Apóla Greek Grill franchise fee of $37,500. This is included in the initial investment amount of $98,000 to $549,000. Depending on the franchise agreement you sign, you might have to pay the full franchise fee again if you decide to extend the Apóla Greek Grill franchise relationship. Consult with a licensed franchise attorney to understand exactly what you receive for paying the Apóla Greek Grill franchise fee of $37,500.

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CAVA is a huge chain that is seeing rapid expansion, But it is not at that point yet where it’s going to start franchising restaurants.  As such, we recommend you to have a look at the alternatives to a CAVA franchise that we have presented.

Before starting a franchise with any company, you must make sure to talk to 3 to 5 franchise owners to get to understand the business better.

While this may be the business for you, make sure also to check out other companies offered on Vetted Biz and in the Food and Beverage Industry.

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