Naf Naf Grill, the fast growing fast-casual Middle Eastern concept, is preparing for significant expansion in the Southeast. The brand recently signed multi-unit development deals that will bring franchise locations to Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina.
The brand opened its first two franchise locations in mid 2020 and currently has a total of seven franchise locations in operation. The Atlanta and Charlotte deals will add 13 new franchise locations to Naf Naf’s growing pipeline of restaurants. The brand is planning to open a total of 15-20 franchised locations between now and the end of next year.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to continue to drive growth even during a very challenging time for our industry,” Naf Naf CEO Greg Willman said. “It’s incredibly important for us to continue to attract strong operators in key geographies to increase the footprint of the brand and to share our fresh Middle Eastern cuisine and welcoming hospitality with even more guests.”
Naf Naf means to ‘fan the flame’ in Arabic. Per the brand’s website, the expression is used as an invitation for friends and family to gather and share a meal together.
Founded in 2009 by Sahar Sander, the first Naf Naf Grill opened in Naperville, Illinois. Today, the brand is headquartered in Chicago with 28 locations across Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The menu offers fresh Middle Eastern cuisine with staples such as chicken shawarma, falafel, and fresh baked pita.
Guests can build their own pita or bowl with rice, couscous or hummus; add a protein such as chicken shawarma, steak or falafel; and then top it off with chopped salad, purple cabbage or Middle Eastern pickles. Of course, there are sauce options – smooth and nutty Tahini, freshly made S’khug, and fiery Harissa.
No word yet on where Naf Naf is planning to open its first Atlanta franchise locations. But when there is, we’re here for it.