Today we announced a plan to expand our CAVA family by acquiring Zoës Kitchen. This is the letter we shared with our employees about our plan.
To our CAVA family,
Twelve years ago, we set out on a journey to bring bold flavors and no-compromise meals to communities around our hometown of Washington, DC. What started in 2006 as a single full-service restaurant in Rockville, Maryland, has now grown to include more than 60 chef-casual restaurants, our dips and spreads in more than 250 Whole Food Markets around the country, and 1,800 CAVA team members across 10 states! This accomplishment is something we can all take pride in because it’s the direct result of the work that each and every one of you do daily.
We are now starting another phase of our journey — one that we are all very excited to share with you.
Today, we announced a plan to expand our CAVA family by acquiring Zoës Kitchen, a well-regarded Mediterranean brand that shares our heritage and passion for exceptional guest experiences.
In fact, over the 20 years since it was founded by a Greek-American family in Birmingham, Alabama, Zoës Kitchen has built its own strong and loyal customer base across more than 250 café-style restaurants in 20 states. And like CAVA, Zoës Kitchen believes firmly in putting people and guests first. This opportunity is truly exciting and will now position CAVA as the leading player in the Mediterranean culinary space. With this larger platform to deliver on our mission, we can double down on making the investments that are core to who we are: our culinary, our people, and our spirit of innovation.
We recognize that change brings many questions. We pledge that throughout this process, we will continue to lead with our values and make decisions in a transparent way. In that spirit, I want to put forward a few points now to help answer some of your immediate questions:
• Washington, DC, will continue to be our home, but we expect that Zoës Kitchen’s Plano office will serve as a regional hub for the company.
• The CAVA culture and brand will not change. As I said before, we’re proud of what we’ve built together and are committed to growing those accomplishments across the country.
• This acquisition will not change CAVA’s level of commitment to our people, our food, or our guests.
• Brett Schulman will serve as CEO of the company, though we will of course be working closely with Zoës Kitchen’s leadership.
So, for CAVA, it’s basically business as usual for now. Upon close and as part of one platform, we will look at all options to best serve our guests and continue to bring exciting, culinary innovations to both businesses. And over the next few weeks, Zoës Kitchen will work to receive all the necessary approvals to complete this deal so they can join our family.
We mentioned this earlier, but it really is true that today’s announcement is only possible because of you. Your hard work, commitment, positivity, relentless pursuit of excellence, and fanaticism for CAVA have made expanding our family possible. On behalf of the four of us and the rest of the CAVA leadership team, thank you!
Stay tuned for more updates, but in the meantime keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing: creating unparalleled guest experiences that elevate and emphasize the human experience on both sides of the line while serving up mind-blowing food!
Brett, Ted, Ike, and Dimitri
What did we announce today?
Today we announced a plan to expand our CAVA family by acquiring Zoës Kitchen, a well-regarded Mediterranean brand that shares our heritage and passion for exceptional guest experiences.
Why make this decision now?
Since day one, it’s been our mission to bring healthy, no-compromise Mediterranean meals to communities around the country.
Together, this shared platform will help us deliver on that mission, while also enhancing our ability to invest in what makes CAVA so great — our people, culinary, and innovation!
Why did CAVA choose to acquire Zoës Kitchen?
Like CAVA, Zoës Kitchen has a shared heritage, as it was founded by a Greek-American family who wanted to bring the food of their upbringings to a wider audience.
As a business, Zoës Kitchen also shares our passion for putting their people and their guests at the center of every decision.
Does today’s news mean that big changes are coming to CAVA?
For now, it is business as usual — and we’re excited about that!
From delivering on our promise of making mind-blowing meals to opening new restaurants to cultivating our culture each day — we want everyone focused on keeping CAVA the best there is.
Oh, and by the way, while we also shared this news with our guests today — please tell anyone who asks that no one is going to touch their Crazy Feta!
As a CAVA employee, what changes should I expect now that Zoës Kitchen is joining our family?
There will be no changes to our compensation, benefits, career opportunities, or the amazing work you are doing for CAVA.
This announcement was only made possible by your hard work and fanaticism for CAVA, and we pledge to keep you informed throughout this process.