Get Healthy Now With Taziki’s: A Note From The CEO

At Taziki’s we’re always looking to step into a healthier lifestyle and the New Year is the perfect opportunity to recommit to all the elements of getting healthy, including diet.

In my experience, a healthy lifestyle starts with inner peace (grounded psychology and spirituality) and physiology (breathing and exercise). Yet, with a quick Google search, you can find articles highlighting why diet is far more important than even exercise when it comes to losing weight. The average person burns between 5% - 15% of daily calories through exercise, which is small in comparison to the food our bodies intake for energy at each meal.

One of our corporate team members Sam Stamps, shared her story, “Calories Aren’t Everything” including how she embraces the healthy lifestyle in her own life. Sam elaborates on how she changed her approach when it comes to calculating calories which helped her lose 30+ pounds!

“Your body doesn’t treat all calories the same. If you eat high-quality foods that are rich in nutrients, like leafy greens, nuts, and chicken, you will fill up quickly and stay fuller for longer. It can also trigger the release of hormones that tell your body to burn fat (yay!).” - Sam Stamps, Training + Technology for Taziki’s Corporate

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At Taziki’s we understand that a healthy lifestyle is tied to the table. Whether you are dining in or taking out, we have nutrient dense food constructed to give you energy throughout the day while keeping you full and satisfied. My go-to dish is the Mediterranean Salad with Salmon. It’s so colorful and it has an amazing cravable flavor profile! And the generous portion always leaves me feeling full and ready to go!

This year, I’m committing to starting each day with prayer and mediation, exercising 30 minutes a day, and kicking off January with a modified “Whole 30” reset (internally I jokingly call it the “Whole 29”). After a year of boxing with Title Boxing (great workout), my wife and three energetic kids all joined me in a climbing gym membership and we’re already enjoying the challenge of scaling the walls together!

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We invite you to tackle your New Year’s resolutions goals with Taziki’s. Our team is here to help you along your journey!  What are you looking to accomplish this year? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook post!

With Gratitude,

— Dan

CEO, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

Meet Our Staff: Bill Teany

At Taziki’s we strive to create an environment that combines extraordinary food with meaningful human connection. Bill Teany, General Manager at Taziki’s Southland Drive worked his way up to his current position after joining the team in 2016. We invite you to learn more about his journey below:

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Tell us about how you were introduced to Taziki’s?

I have been working for Taziki’s since July 2016 (2+ years). When I moved to Lexington, I had a friend that worked for one of our sister company restaurants and he told me about the new Taziki’s that they had opened on Southland Drive. He said how it was a growing company with a lot of opportunity. I am so glad that I went and applied because he was right!

Was it in the plan to work up as a manager?

In my first interview for Taziki’s, I did express a desire to move up to be a manager and I continuously strived to learn more and prepare myself for this goal.

Tell us more about your journey?

I was promoted to kitchen leader and then shift manager all in less than a year. I was very proud when I was asked to come to our second store and train the kitchen staff before opening.

I took it as an opportunity to show what I had learned and teach others. I enjoyed teaching everyone and seeing the impact I could make on people’s lives. About 8 months ago I was promoted to kitchen manager and transferred to the Hamburg location that I helped open.

How has the adjustment been?

The move was relatively easy because most of the employees already knew me from the store opening. My bosses also know I always try my hardest, so I wasn’t afraid to make a mistake. I enjoy the mentally challenging stuff, so for me, the adjustment has been fun and very rewarding.

How do you motivate your employees? 

I look for ways to compliment them anytime I’m giving them constructive criticism. I like to get my hands dirty and show them how to do things, so sometimes I come in on a slow night with a couple pizzas and a cleaning list. We do challenges like who can sell more nightly specials or desserts.

Mostly, I think it’s important to explain things thoroughly; the “what” as well as the “why”. When people full understand their actions they are more likely to make good choices.

What is your favorite part of leading a team?

It’s one thing to be able to do and check everything yourself, but it’s really rewarding when you can teach others to do those things as well. I was able to leave my store with our corporate inspector and a shift manager through the lunch rush, while the rest of the management team went on a marketing blitz. Everything ran perfectly and it was a really rewarding day for me and the whole team.  

How do you "Live the good life" outside of work?

This past summer I went skydiving and to Mammoth Caves for vacation, which was great! I enjoy amusement parks, and went to Kings Island a few times. I enjoy playing pool, racing go-karts, and going around town trying new places. Kayaking and hiking are two of my favorite pastimes to do outside.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m always working towards my next goal. Currently, I’m learning General Manager responsibilities so I will be ready when the opportunity arises. A good friend once told me, “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” and I try to apply this to all areas of my life.  

Happy Holidays: A Note From The CEO

With the holiday season upon us, the entire Taziki’s family would like to wish you and your family a fulfilling season of giving. This time of year reminds me of the sentimental Nat King Cole records my grandparents played when I was a boy, the anticipation of Christmas morning and Jimmy Stewart’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It’s reminder that “Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole.”

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Likewise, we strive to be a small, but a special part of your community. We believe that great food brings people together and it’s a privilege to make great food, build relationships, and serve your community. We know the best memories are made and shared over a meal, and the holiday season reminds us of that.

As we wrap up another year, a few highlights include celebrating our 20-year anniversary, launching TAZ Rewards, being named as one of Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, and welcoming a few new locations to our store family - Bartlett, TN; Oviedo, FL; Bent Tree - Raleigh, NC; West Chester, OH; Eagle, ID; Edmond, OK; Hattiesburg, MS.

Without the support of you, and our entire Taziki’s family none of this would have been possible. With that said, the holiday season is a time to “Live the Good Life” while enjoying time with people who mean the most. We hope you take this invitation to spend your time intentionally.

We also invite you to enjoy the Tomato-Basil Soup (back by popular demand) with the brand new Grilled Pimento Cheese. Step away from the fast-paced holiday season and warm up with this perfect combination from the inside out.

From the entire Taziki’s team to you, have a safe and happy Holiday season.

With Gratitude,

— Dan

CEO, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe


National Feast Day Winner!!

At this time of year, many of us are feasting and enjoying time together. In honor of the release of our new Taziki’s app, and TAZ Rewards, we decided to celebrate by making December 1st National Feast Day -- a chance to win free feasts for a year!

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Many of our guests took the opportunity to join in on the celebration by purchasing their Chicken Feast on our app and online.

Congratulations to Kristy Cerro of Opelika, Alabama for winning our National Feast Day giveaway! Kristy has been a loyal guest at our Opelika location and didn’t want to pass up on this opportunity. When we told Kristy she was the winner, she made our day even sweeter by telling us how much she loves Taziki’s!

“I am so excited to win!!! This past Friday was my birthday and my several of friends surprised me with lunch at Taziki’s! We love going to eat at Taziki’s,” said Kristy Cerro, Winner. “The food is always fresh, fabulous!”

“The following day while out doing Christmas shopping, my friend and I ordered our lunch from the app so it would be ready when we arrived and it was! Thank you for chance to win, can’t wait to take advantage of my winnings!!!”

Thanks to everyone who participated in National Feast Day on December 1st. We’ve received such great feedback and look forward to running future giveaways to reward you again in the future.

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We All Love Baklava

Honey, flaky filo dough, and walnuts...need we say more? Baklava (pronounced bock-la-vah) is the quintessential Greek dessert that we join our Taziki’s guests in loving. It’s the ideal ending to a meal but we wouldn’t judge you grab one for lunch or dinner.

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Many countries claim this decadent dessert as their own original creation. Placing origins aside, Baklava today is made differently in every culture. For example, the country of Jordan makes it with pistachios, Lebanon makes it with an orange blossom and rose water syrup, and Israel typically makes it with cinnamon and orange.

Unique to this dessert, there are what seems to be a hundred light and fluffy layers. It’s handmade in a bakery with real ingredients, one of our favorites is honey. We can put it down in our books as healthy, right?

Our Baklava is an authentically sourced product, made fresh from Hellas Bakery, our partner in fine Greek pastries and specialty desserts. All of their pastries are made fresh daily from only the finest ingredients. Not only are they made in-house, but they are delivered daily.

“Everything we do is about quality at Hellas. Everything is made in-house. We've been making baklava the same way for 100 years now. Pretty soon we will have our fourth generation family members working,” says Nick Karterouliotis, a family member who helps run the bakery. “Taziki's does business in the same fashion so it just makes sense to have two similar partners.”

For us, living the good life equates to balance in everything. We work, have fun, eat salads and baklava. We share moments together over food and know it’s nourishing power to our bodies and our souls. Allow yourself to be present in the moment and fully enjoy that piece of baklava today! Life is too short, don’t skip dessert!


Taziki’s Is Thankful: A Note From The CEO

Taziki’s family, as we look back over this past year, we have so many things to be thankful for. Without our amazing guests and staff members, none of our achievements this year would have been possible.

Our team wanted to share what we are thankful for as we approach the holiday season. We made a special video just to share with you:

We invite you to tell us what you are most thankful for you by commenting on either our Facebook or Instagram posts. We will be choosing a lucky winner on each platform to receive a $100 Taziki’s gift card! The winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 21st.

You can comment on Facebook by clicking here. If you want to double your chances for a gift card you can comment on Instagram by clicking here.

With Gratitude,

— Dan

CEO, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe


National Feast Day - December 1st!

National Feast Day Giveaway is Coming!

We’re excited to bring you another exciting opportunity to win something special! We’ve deemed December 1st, Taziki’s National Feast Day!

We’re giving you a clean and seamless chance to share in the goodness that comes with easy ordering and stress-free dining.

On December 1st, order your Chicken Feast through our app for a chance to win a Free Chicken Feast a week for a year! We couldn't be more excited to share in the spirit of giving this holiday season!


We will announce one lucky winner on our app, social channels, and blog on Friday, December 7th.

Before you go, we’ve made it even easier for you. Get started by downloading our Taziki’s app here!

Good luck, friends!

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Looking Forward To TAZ Rewards: A Note From The CEO

The holiday season is nearly upon us and this time of year reminds me to practice gratitude and generosity. With so much to be thankful for, we wanted to offer a tangible expression of thanks.  After increasing our online and to-go orders by over 60% in the last six months, we knew it was time to develop something special to elevate our online and app experiences. With that said, we are excited to announce a newly designed version of our app and introduce you to TAZ Rewards, a built-in loyalty and rewards program this winter.

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COMING SOON

Our gift to you this holiday season is when you dine with us in the restaurant or order online, you can earn rewards. Your path to a reward will be clean and simple. Soon, for every $5 you spend, you’ll earn a star. Get to 25 stars, and we’ll share a $10 reward that you can apply to a future meal!

By providing our regular guests with the opportunity to enjoy complimentary Taziki’s, we hope to make it a little easier for everyone to #livethegoodlife this holiday season and beyond. We thank every single guest who has believed in what we do for over 20 years. We applaud you for joining us in seeking a healthier lifestyle. You are the reason we source authentic ingredients from the Mediterranean, from American farmers, and local produce partners in the towns we serve. You are the reason we go to such great lengths prepare every meal from scratch every day. These are things we’re thankful for.

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With TAZ Rewards, we welcome you into the inner circle, and our family of regulars and insiders. As our guest, you allow us to achieve our mission to create an environment that combines extraordinary food with meaningful human connection!

Want to get ready to earn your first reward? Download our app and it will ping you when TAZ Rewards is launched! After that, you can join either in-store or through our Taziki’s app.

With Gratitude,

— Dan

CEO, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe


Six Health Benefits Of Greek Yogurt

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Did you know that one of the oldest fixtures of the Mediterranean diet is Greek Yogurt? Greek Yogurt is both delicious and healthy.

Some of the benefits include:

  • High amounts of protein to build and repair tissues

  • Vitamin B12 the nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy

  • Iodine to make thyroid hormones. These hormones control the body's metabolism and many other important functions.

  • Calcium to build bones and keep them healthy. Also enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract, and our heart to beat.

  • Good fats -- like omega 3’s and unsaturated fats which reduce inflammation and help you stay full longer

  • Probiotics giving us microbes in the lower intestinal tract that help digest food, fight harmful bacteria, and regulate the immune system.

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Notably, the probiotics in yogurt are really what sets this food apart from other dairy products. Probiotics keep your gut healthy and in-turn, keep your brain healthy as it is said your gut is your “second brain”! Greek yogurt is a perfect after-workout snack, breakfast, substitute for sour cream and mayonnaise, and can be the perfect addition to many appetizers, main dishes, and even desserts. Here’s a link to one of our favorite at home recipes for a post-workout snack.

At Taziki’s we recognize how Greek yogurt as a powerhouse food! As we fully embrace the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, we choose to incorporate it as a staple ingredient in our Taziki Dip, which is a guest favorite appetizer.

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Greek yogurt combined with fresh cucumber and lemon creates this light signature favorite and we pair it with soft pita slices or baked pita chips.

DID YOU KNOW?

Yogurt has a long history dating back to the 6th Century B.C. in Turkey. It is believed that Central Asian herdsman stored goats milk in containers, which led to fermenting, thus came about yogurt! Over centuries, yogurt has evolved into many varieties, and expanded from home production to mass production. It is a staple in many diets throughout the world, especially the Mediterranean diet. In particular, Greece has long used it as a base to their tzatziki dip and as a dessert, with honey and spooned sweets on top.

What Does Winning Look Like? Good Choices.

By: Mike Smith

I grew up in Wentzville MO.  It is a small town about 40 miles west of St Louis MO.  Wentzville is not a place of historical significance with only a few notable residents. The town considered itself the “Crossroads of America” due to the fact it just happens to be the location that Interstates 70 and 40 intersect.  It was a blue-collar community driven around manufacturing, construction, and farming.

As a young kid, I hated vegetables.  This may be partially because I associated them with working in our 1-acre garden.  Other than picking the strawberries, which were in my mind the only reason we should even consider this laborious endeavour, I wanted nothing to do with it.  We also butchered our own hogs and steers at my uncle’s farm. This labor I was a little more bought into because it yielded the salivating rewards of steaks and bacon we could feast on and grill for the next year.  Again, this had to be done in a hard way in the dead of winter to keep the meat cold during the butchering process.

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As my parents aged and my older brothers moved away, there was less labor to be shared in our own food production and my family yielded to the habits of the changing world and buying cheap and often processed foods.  Sometimes, we would visit the local produce stands or pick fruits in season, but when those were unavailable processed foods were everywhere.

I often opted out of boring meals all together and just went to my room or went to bed early until football re-entered my life.  Sports were a big part of life growing up, but until high school, it didn’t truly matter. Enter the “Friday Night Light” effect. To be a contributor I had to get bigger, faster, and stronger.   To do this I had to gain muscle and healthy weight.

Exit junk and processed foods. I started making my own dinners or at least my own sides at family dinners.  I made requests around different shopping choices and my parents were supportive enough to buy the healthier foods I requested.  Often times I would cook the majority of the meal for the family so I could have it the way I wanted. Food was the one luxury we could afford and so began my experimentation with food and quest around a healthy lifestyle fueled by great tasting food.  

The passion for fitness I learned playing high school sports carried over to college and beyond.  From humble beginnings at the “crossroads of nowhere,” I have been lucky enough to get out and see some of the world.  I spent 13 years in San Diego where the mountains and beach were always just a bike ride or short drive away.

Today almost every trip I take has some adventure or fitness event attached to it.  I have been so fortunate to hike the coasts of Hawaii, Dolomite Mountains in Italy and to the base of the Eiger in Switzerland.  I have snowboarded in 4 different states, jumped off cliffs, and climbed waterfalls in Jamaica. My list of what to do next is just getting started.

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A couple years ago I made the trip to Birmingham to meet with the Taziki’s team.   I ate at several restaurants in Nashville and Birmingham and fell in love with the food. When I became a part of the Taziki’s team it was the first time that I was able to connect my passion for healthy and flavorful food with my career.  

Too many times in the restaurant business we sacrifice our healthy souls for a little extra flavor or to give a giant portion that creates an artificial perception of value.   Value is balancing natural flavorful foods that fuel us to thrive in other areas our lives. Today, I am fortunate enough to be a part of a team that wants to share that philosophy with our guests and we execute it every day.

Anyone that has been around me knows that I am competitive and love a challenge.  We have been competing with humans and nature for thousands of years and we compete to win.  In order to win we have to define what it takes to win or at a minimum what winning looks like.  What does winning look like to me?

Winning looks like living a fit and active lifestyle.  That includes traveling and trying the food inspired by people around the world.  For you, winning might be getting off the couch and running your first 5K or hitting the gym in your hometown.  Either way, I hope next time you sit down to eat you look at your food as a choice that fuels your life and that your life is if nothing else is an adventure.

What am I working on next?  My goal is to do 100,000 push ups before the end of the year and my next adventure – Tough Mudder Nashville.  Looking to build my team for both goals. If you want to join me reach out and connect!

How I "Live The Good Life": Red Williams

June 1st, 2016 is the day my life would forever be changed.  I’ll never forget showing up to Flywheel and feeling so out of place.  Everyone there was perky and had the ideal physique bodies. In my mind I kept thinking “I don’t belong here.  This is embarrassing. Abort mission!!!” However, when we got into the studio, you could immediately feel the energy shift from fear to excitement.  Our instructor, Joyce McNally, came right up to Nikki and me to introduce herself and get us set up on the bike to make sure we were comfortable.

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I could tell right away that this woman loved what she does and that this was going to be something special.  And it was. The lights went down and the music went up. It was the perfect atmosphere to focus on you and only you.  To feed off the energy that was in that studio. To close your eyes when you needed to just let go and get lost for a bit. The endorphins hit me for the first time in a LONG time.  I was immediately hooked! I was completely terrible, but hooked nonetheless.

I ended up buying a monthly membership at Flywheel so I could go an unlimited time each month.  At first I was only going 1-2 classes a week. However, once I started seeing and feeling results, I became addicted.  So I started going at least 4 times a week. It started to become my passion. The community there started to become family.  We would all push and inspire each other. Not only does Flywheel offer spin, but they also have a Barre room that I was scared to death of.  But with persistent pushing and encouragement from friends and instructors, I took my first step in that room on March 1st, 2017. And that made all the difference my last year at Fly.  For 2 solid years, Flywheel was a catalyst to something I never thought could happen.

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I never believed I would be in love with taking care of myself again.  Before Flywheel, I was in a dark place. I didn’t even realize how bad of a place I was in until I started shedding off the weight.  With each workout, and each pound lost, I was slowly finding my smile. My heart was starting to wake back up. My soul was starting to burn again.

All I kept thinking after walking out of that studio was “I never want to lose this feeling.  Everyone should feel like this at some point. In some way.” 2 years at Flywheel taught me what living vs existing meant.  And I know now that I’m LIVING my best life because I have found myself.

When I realized I wanted to move back to Birmingham, I had to start mentally preparing for not seeing the studio on a regular basis.  I struggled with that a bit. Actually, that was the hardest mental struggle I dealt with. I wasn’t sure I was disciplined enough to hold myself accountable the way my #Flyfam did.  I had hit a wall as far as weight loss, so I thought it would be a good idea to start weaning myself off of the bike and getting into a gym to switch up my routine.

Another good friend of mine took me to Planet Fitness one day and showed me a dozen exercises or so.  She knew what I wanted to work on the most, so she made sure I had some things in my arsenal to start. It felt good to actually lift heavier weights and start working with muscle groups differently.  Again, once I started seeing results, I was hooked.

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Once I started getting on a routine of going to work out by myself, along with catching a spin class 1-2 times a week, I realized a switch had flipped inside me.  I realized that I would be ok to move back home. That working out had become a lifestyle. I recognized that on some of my bad days, I craved working out. That my time in the gym is the most quality “me time” I can get.  It is where I go to shut everything else out and commit an hour and a half to myself. Because I’m worth it. I love myself too much to go back to that dark place. I will forever remember that dark place. Because it is a very real place.  But I’m strong enough to keep it at a distance.

Now that I’m back, I have kept up with going to Planet Fitness 3-5 times a week.  I’m always researching different workouts to fit into my goals. Goals are so important to have.  When I started Flywheel, I never had a weight loss number in mind. But, once I got on the scale and started to see that number go down, I made goals each month.  Small goals like 5-6 pounds a month (I had it to lose). I still have goals, but the weight number isn’t as important anymore.

Now it’s all about how I feel.  I also believe in rewarding yourself when you achieve a goal.  My biggest goal crusher was breaking the 200 barrier and getting into “one-derland” for the first time in 15 years!  And when I did that, I rewarded myself by doing something that scared me to death…I went zip lining. It was the most liberating experience.  My next goal for 2018 is to be able to a 5k without walking. FYI – I LOATHE running.

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I hope my story has reached someone that has been playing with the idea of becoming active.  If it’s to lose weight or simply just to get out there more and enjoy life. Do not let your mind set you back.  Mine did for far too long. And some days I have to remind myself how far I’ve come to refocus. Get out there and take the first step.  That’s the hardest part. But once you take that step, all you’ll have to do is put one foot in front of the other to keep going. I never would have guessed spin was the key for me.  You never know what’s out there that could reignite your spark! Go feed your soul! You’re worth it!

Living the good life is something we embrace daily but it’s also an aspect of our life that is long term. I’d love to hear how you find happiness outside of your workspace. Feel free to share on our Facebook page!


How I "Live The Good Life": Andy Chirico

By: Andy Chirico, Digital Strategist

Crossing the marathon finish line with the clock showing 2:55 brought one thought to my mind -- “Eudaimonia”. A rush of happiness, pride, and fulfillment filled my spirit as I knew it was at that moment I hit a high of “living the good life”.

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At Taziki’s, we hold the culture of living a life full centered around eudaimonia, which is translated as “human flourishing”. We emphasize the opportunities to embrace the "The Good Life" whenever they present themselves.  We all have activities or hobbies that bring us this happiness. For me, it comes from running.

I recently completed the Big Cottonwood Marathon with hopes of a Boston Qualifying time, aka, a BQ. For my age group, I have to run a 3:05 marathon which seemed impossible after running my first marathon in 3:19. Achieving this seemed far from realistic but the challenge couldn’t be turned down.

I was able to enjoy great food while keeping my diet in check. Yes, I still had some of our Whipped Feta Appetizer because it’s just too hard to turn down.

I was able to enjoy great food while keeping my diet in check. Yes, I still had some of our Whipped Feta Appetizer because it’s just too hard to turn down.

After months of training and dieting down (there were several Taziki’s meals- Mediterranean Salads with chicken were a staple in my diet), I was able to run this race in a 2:55 which ultimately got my goal accomplished with a time that qualified me for the Boston Marathon! Fortunately, the support system was like none other during the process. My family, friends, and coworkers all were key contributors to the accomplishment.

I’ll never forget the messages on my phone when I finished the race. Not only did I pick up a big win, but everyone on my team did too. This truly was a group effort.

Being able to see Utah is an experience I will never forget. Driving up to the top of the canyon and taking everything there was to offer was a surreal moment (did I mention it dropped a quick 20 degrees from the drive up?). The opportunity was something special and made me reflect on how lucky we are to be able to do things that we enjoy with people that are special to us.

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Living the good life is something we embrace daily but it’s also an aspect of our life that is long term. I’d love to hear how you find happiness outside of the office. Feel free to share on our Facebook page!

Up next- Boston!

The Not-So-Secret To Success: A Note From The CEO

Taziki’s family, something special happened last month. Taziki’s was named as one of Inc 5000 fastest growing companies! Wow! To be listed among the 5000 fastest growing companies when there are over 30 million companies in the US is something the entire Taziki’s family is proud of. Being recognized is another milestone we are able to celebrate and it couldn’t have been more perfectly timed as we continue to celebrate our 20 year anniversary, alongside and nearing the opening of our 100th location! Whew, 2018 has been a good one!

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People often ask me, how did we do it? There really hasn’t been a secret recipe to achieving these special milestones. Instead, we’ve honed in our approach, focusing authentically on the fundamentals and letting the success follow. Our plan has not been fast growth, rather smart and sustainable growth. So, yes, I feel this award is well deserved - and a credit to all the world-class cashiers, line cooks, managers, local partners and everyone at the support office who collectively help Taziki’s grow smart.

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Our smart growth starts by collaborating with the right franchise partners in communities across America. We know sustaining this growth is only possible through our people and culture which continues to develop over time. We have followed the same process at the corporate home office by focusing on people and culture, finding and developing A players and living out our five brand values and company mission.

The future of Taziki’s looks brighter each and every day as long as we keep accepting the daily invitation to live out our mission which is to create an environment that combines extraordinary food and meaningful human experience. We will continue to fulfill our purpose of helping people and communities flourish, or as they say in the Mediterranean -- Eudaimonia which means, “to live the good life”.

Whether it’s lunch, dinner, or catering, find a location near you here to discover the best of the Mediterranean around our table or yours. For franchising opportunities, visit our GrowWithTazikis website, which includes information about how to join our family as an owner.

Thanks for going on this journey with us! We’re thankful for our friends like you!

-Dan

CEO, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

YAY! National Gyro Day Giveaway Winner!

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This year wasn't the first time we've celebrated National Gyro Day at Taziki's. To be honest, we celebrate this holiday on a daily basis because we love gyros as much as you do! But this year we did it BIG! On September 1st, we encouraged all of our gyro-loving friends to purchase theirs through our app or online for a chance to win free gyros for a year -- and man, did they ever! We had such a great turnout through mobile ordering, it just further confirmed our suspicions that Taziki's lovers also love the convenience of technology.. and so do we!

After keeping our lips sealed as long as we could, it's finally time to share who our lucky National Gyro Day Winner is! Drum roll, please....

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Congratulations to Lynn Peters of Cincinnati, Ohio for winning our National Gyro Day Giveaway! Lynn (and her daughter Julia) have been guests of our Deerfield location in Mason for awhile.

Lynn took convenience to a whole new level by not only ordering through our app, but also enjoying the luxury of having it dropped off at her car window, curbside!

Thanks to all of our guests who participated in National Gyro Day on September 1st! We’re thrilled Lynn will be saving some meal planning time over the next year as she gets a free gyro a week for a year! Cheers, Lynn!

New Whipped Feta at Taziki’s

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CREAMY, LIGHT GOODNESS (YOUR NEWEST ADDICTION).

For nearly 20 years, you’ve been telling us how much you love our Signature Hummus with soft and baked pita (or gluten free with veggies, we can’t forget you!). And we know better than to mess up a good thing. But choices are also a good thing and we felt like hummus needed a partner in crime. After being inspired by the use of feta in the Mediterranean, we knew it would be perfect for the job. Turns out, we were right. Our creamy, savory, Signature Whipped Feta is not only the most crave-worthy item on our menu, it’s available at all your favorite Taziki’s locations and we’re proud to make it with fresh, authentic Mediterranean ingredients. Drop the mic!

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SIMPLE IS DELICIOUS.

We’ve realized you love this stuff as much as we do. And it’s hard to walk away without consuming every single bite (and pita slice). The recipe is simple, just fresh feta, cream cheese, a little mayo, spices and honey -- plus a sprinkle of parsley to finish. We won’t judge you if you lick the plate.

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It’s okay if you want to Order It Right Now. We’ll have it ready for you!

Order Now!

 

Time for Dinner

By: CEO, Dan Simpson

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I’ve heard it said that when you’re raising a family, “The days go slow, but the years fly by,” and it seems to be true. My wife and I are blessed with three spirited kids, ages 8-14 and we try to keep up with all the activities that make up their childhood. Our schedule is made up of school carpools, the boys in club and school soccer games, our daughter in ballet practices and recitals, all the while, squeezing in time for both parents work. Most weeks, I’m on the road with Taziki’s.  Our life, like many of yours, is an on-the-go lifestyle and so dinners are often something we pick up on the way from here to there.

We’re all pretty intentional eaters so we try to limit fast food to once or twice a year and the rest of the time, we’re looking for something nutritious and delicious which limits our options. With home gardens, and a family who loves to cook, we make most of our meals and even pack food if we’re heading to the park, the community pool, or on a road trip. The kids sometimes lobby for Chic-fil-A on a Saturday on the way back from a soccer game, or Nashville local, Hugh Baby’s to indulge in a craft burger and shake, but otherwise, everyone typically asks for Taziki’s or a similar made-from-scratch healthy option. Long before my role with Taziki's, my kids loved Sneaky Taziki’s from the kids menu and my wife and I enjoyed the feasts and dinners for our family meals. We have multiple Taziki’s nearby so a location is nearly always on our way.

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Still, we are kind of old-fashioned in some ways and still try to make family dinners happen around our dining room or kitchen table. Every Friday is pizza and movie night, a tradition which we’ve continued since the kids were still asking for Disney cartoons. When we’re all home at the same time, we try to eat together.  We go around the circle and share highs and lows from the day and even try to pull off a weekly family meeting where everyone ranks how we did at being a family and how each of us can do better. Don’t get the wrong idea. We have lots of protest, meltdowns and interruptions so it’s not often as idyllic as it might seem, still we work hard to come together around a table of food to keep conversations alive between the five of us.

The ultimate splurge is to go out to dinner. There is no table to clean up or dishes to wash. My wife and I will order a glass of wine to kick off the evening, as there’s always some reason to toast life. Our daughter orders from the kids menu (and always asks for dessert before she identifies an entree). Our middle son, who’s 11, desperately wants to be grown-up and hates being identified with the kids menu so the compromise often involves he and his older brother splitting an “adult” entree. We’re working on gratitude in our home, so we often have them just order water.  For us, dinner at Taziki’s is a quiet get away. There aren’t TV’s so there’s room for conversation and we leave feeling full but light. We sometimes give in to the Baklava, from the famous Hellas bakery, and enjoy every last bite.

This summer and fall, whether you find yourself having dinner at "Movies in the Park”, gathering around a table at home with family and neighbors, or end up at your local Taziki’s as our guest, we invite you to rediscover the connections that can happen over the dinner table - our table or yours.

Meet Roseanna Rubio Cox (Marketing and Catering)

Living the good life through country music.

Living the good life through country music.

I'm a Native Texas girl from Odessa, Texas, married to Brian Cox, a mother of two boys, Manuel (age 31) and Victor (age 29), and best of all Nana to my 3 grandbabies, Lily (age 6), Chrissy (age 6 ) and Kai (age 5).  I have been with Tazikis for three and a half years now as the Marketing and Catering Director in Huntsville Alabama. 

What is your favorite part about working for Taziki's? 

The HOPE Project (Herbs offering Personal Enrichment). It is a project that helps our special needs adults to empower and inspire special need students teaching them job skills.

How do you encourage your employees to deliver excellent customer service? 

To welcome and greet every customer with a smile as if they were a guest in your home.

What do you find most challenging about working for Taziki's? How have you worked around this challenge?  

The most challenging thing about work is working with people who are not team players. The best ways to work around these challenges is to have a weekly meeting and let each team member know how important everyone's role is to make the restaurant successful.
 
Is there a person within Taziki's whom you have found particularly inspirational/motivational? 

 Yes, Christina and Samantha Morris. They are Taziki's special needs twins (we call them the Tazikis Twins). They are such hard-working young ladies and are always willing to learn. They constantly show that if you work hard and apply yourself you can do anything you want.  The twins are amazing team players.  They never complain and always have a big smile on their face.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home? 
Texas Brisket – the best there is. 

Why I Chose to Eat Taziki's While I was Pregnant

Are pregnancy cravings a real thing? Not sure I would have said yes before I was pregnant myself, but I giggle to think about how much I thought about tomatoes when I was pregnant. Yes, TOMATOES! I guess it’s good I wasn’t thinking about Taziki’s Dark Chocolate Cake 24/7 (although I did partake when the opportunity presented itself). 

I was so excited to tell my husband last September that we were expecting our first baby, due to arrive in June of 2018. And I feel like I had all the cliché pregnancy symptoms, minus morning sickness – thank goodness! That’s why I was so thankful for Taziki’s because I could find filling, healthy options that actually made me excited for my meal. I’ll be the first to say that when you’re pregnant (especially for the first time) you are bombarded with opinions and blog posts that can make you think you are doing everything wrong as a mother. One thing that always made sense was to be mindful of what you are putting in your body. 

It was difficult to have the energy to get to the gym, but it was 100 times easier when I was eating nutritious, full-bodied meals that were fresh-made. When I was too tired to make something for my husband and me for dinner I would pick up a Dinner for 4. When I needed a healthy snack I would opt for the hummus served gluten-free. And like I mentioned, everything had extra tomatoes. Like an absurd amount of tomatoes. Through the many trips to Taziki’s I was even reacquainted with my first Taziki’s love – Signature Pasta. 

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Now that my precious Ellie is here, I look forward to the day that she gets to experience Taziki’s many amazing kid options. Even as an adult I’ll order the Turkey Melt – it’s delicious! And when I look back at the 9 months of sweetness that I got to be pregnant with my baby girl – I’m thankful that I chose to “treat” myself with food that my doctor would approve of… a win-win for sure! I encourage my fellow ladies – mommas or not – to take a look at Taziki’s Nutritional Facts to see how they stand up against many other restaurants. 

About Anna:

Anna Duffy and her little family live in Dallas, Texas. She has been an avid lover of Taziki’s since someone brought her to the Colonnade location on her first week of college in 2009. She is excited to see how the brand has grown since that first meal and she’s thankful for two locations in Dallas!

Reflecting On My Time At Taziki's

Today, after 8 years, I say a bittersweet goodbye to my first and only job out of college at Taziki’s as a Marketing Director! When I was hired, I was 22, and I didn’t realize how much of an impact it would be in my life, but I am so thankful God knew and placed me exactly where I was supposed to be. I was hired to market our newest upcoming store at the time in Tuscaloosa, but after training in all of our Birmingham locations, Keith decided he needed a full time LSM in Birmingham so he hired me to market for our 6 Birmingham Stores.

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About two years later, we hired another LSM to split the territory and a few years later we hired two more and now we have four. I’ve loved working with all these wonderful co-workers through the years. When I started, we didn’t have marketing training material, a marketing department, promotional material, and I met people every day who were still learning about Taziki’s. It’s been cool to see our marketing department grow from the ground up as well as our company grow from 7 locations to 85.

I’m really thankful Keith believed in me from the beginning and gave me leadership opportunities because it pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I really grew as a person and it’s made me the person I am today. Some of my favorite memories with Taziki’s would be getting to help plan and lead our first marketing conference with Seth Williams, our VP of marketing at the time, who’s the hardest working and nicest man ever. I also got to be our Marketing Specialist Coordinator, so I was able to stay in touch with all of our LSMs and travel to new places helping to open new stores, which led to meeting so many friends and co-workers not only in Birmingham but across the US.

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I was given the opportunity to travel to New York City, Fort Lauderdale, and Atlanta to market Taziki’s Franchise which was not only really rewarding to be a part of, but really fun! I think the best memories were the lifelong relationships and friendships I’ve made and getting to see how much the company has grown while growing myself as well. While I’ve been at Taziki’s, I’ve gotten engaged and married, gotten pregnant for the first time and had my first baby, and then my 2nd, and now baby number 3 is growing in my tummy.

I’ve been so very thankful that Taziki’s wanted the best for me and let me keep my job that I’m so passionate about while being a mom, which I’m very passionate about as well. It’s been such a blessing to have a Godly boss that wanted the best for me and appreciated me through the years, and seeing how much he gives back to the community and people in need is life-changing on its own. Birmingham is lucky Taziki’s started here and has had the most delicious food for 20 years now, but also lucky to have a Godly leader being a role model for our community and helping others in need, while growing the brand across the US with a great team.

I’m forever grateful God placed me here, not realizing He had a specific plan for my work life while also growing my family. I’m very thankful to get to be home with these little ones while they are little and learning important things in life, but I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Taziki’s! Thanks everyone and #tazlove for life!--

Calories Aren't Everything

By Sam Stamps:

Diets. Counting calories. We have all been there.

We all want to look good in that cute swimsuit this summer, so we plan (a lot of soul-sucking planning) a diet and how many calories we can have in a day. I have spent many of hours planning what my diet will be and how many calories I can have for each meal, then by dinner I only have 200 calories left so I am left feeling hungry. However, I only ate the number of calories I was supposed to have! We all think that keeping track of how many calories we consume is key for weight loss. Well, sad news - not all those calories may be beneficial to my body if I want to lose weight and look great in that cute swimsuit at the beach.

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Calories are how much “energy” a food contains. Calories do not show you the entire picture of food; they are only a small portion of the equation. Most of the time you cannot cut out 100 calories a day and expect to lose 10 lbs. Let’s say you go to a restaurant, they have this menu item, let us call it green goo, that contains high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and sulfites, and it only has 100 calories. They may claim the food as “healthy” because it “only has 100 calories!”

Is it healthy for your body to have those ingredients? It’s important to read labels and see what all you are putting into your body. I know I know, reading labels is annoying, but if you are wishing for that rocking body for the summer, it’s important and beneficial.  

Dieting only handles the symptoms rather than the cause. Let’s say that you have a clogged toilet and the plumber comes and says, “Ok, ma’am, you need to stop using your toilet, which will help the clog.” See, the plumber did not really fix the clogged toilet, only the symptoms. Eating poor quality foods may throw your fat-burning, appetite-taming hormones out of sync. We as people need to look at the long-term solution instead of a short term. If you eat healthy, whole foods, you do not have to count calories.

Think quality over quantity.  It is also important to look at how much you are exercising, how much sleep you are getting and how stressed you are. Losing weight is an individual process; you need to do what is best for you. People always tell me, “Oh, you should try this awesome diet! I lost 20 lbs in 2 weeks!.” So I try this “awesome” diet, and I only lose 1 lb in 2 weeks. Just because that “awesome” diet worked for that person, does not mean that my body will react the same way.

Your body does not treat all calories the same. If you eat high-quality foods that are rich in nutrients, like leafy greens, nuts and chicken, you will fill up quickly and it will keep you full longer. It can also trigger the release of hormones that tell your body to burn fat (yay!). If you are eating processed foods or foods with added sugar and refined grains, they may not be inherently satisfying and you may end up overeating.

These foods may prompt your body to store fat (boo).  Sometimes counting calories may have you ignoring hunger cues. I have 400 calories left for the day, I need to use them all, but I am not hungry. Guess I will eat anyways. I am 300 calories over for the day! I cannot eat anything else, but I am so hungry. It’s important to listen to your body, it usually knows what is best for you. In the past, I have been able to get away with eating low-quality food and lose some weight, but I did not feel as energetic and not as satisfied. So, I always end up eating more than I should and then feeling more tired.

If you overeat one day, do not freak out and continue to overeat because you feel you have ruined your diet - that makes you gain weight. One cheat meal (meal, not day, very important) is not going to ruin everything that you have done. Your body can handle the extra food without making you gain weight. It is healthy to keep your mind sane and happy; there is no use in completely punishing yourself. Just do not make a habit of eating like that every day. I know when I have focused on how many calories I have left, I am not enjoying myself or the food I am eating. Why punish yourself when you can eat delicious healthy food?

When I have counted calories, I feel so restricted, out of control and not enjoying myself as much. I was worried about what I could eat at my next meal and if I was going to stay within my calories for the day. I have tried so many diets and failed at so many diets.

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I decided in January of this year that I was finally going to listen to my body. I am now eating whole and high-quality foods. I find recipes that I enjoy and that my body enjoys as well. My body has told me that I do not react to grains and dairy that well. I have more energy now that I have decreased those items (plus items such as soy, beans, and alcohol) from my diet. I am enjoying myself so much more and I am not spending so much time trying to do math with how many calories I can have. I am exercising more and my performance in my workouts has increased. I feel more energetic and not wanting to take as many naps, (I still love naps).

As of today, I have lost 30 pounds just by choosing to eat whole and healthy foods (like Taziki’s!) and watching my portion control. I was able to run a half marathon (not running the entire time, let us be real). Now, I still have my cheat meal every now and then, but I am not feeling as guilty when I treat myself to a sweet treat. So, listen to your body and live the good life!

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About Sam:

Samantha was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and has worked for Taziki's for 11 years and started out as a cashier at the Taziki's Lee Branch location. She is now a Training Specialist and support for online ordering. She does CrossFit at a local gym (CrossFit Gardendale), loves Disney and loves to cook. In February she completed her first half marathon, the Disney Princess Half Marathon. She will be doing the Tough Mudder in Nashville later in the year.