Zoës Kitchen

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Zoës Kitchen
Traded asNYSE: ZOES
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryFast Casual
FoundedJune 1995; 24 years ago (1995-06) (as Zoe's Kitchen, Inc.)
Homewood, Alabama, U.S.
FoundersMarcus Cassimus
Zoë Cassimus
Number of locations
258 stores
Key people
Kevin Miles(CEO)
Other food products
ParentCava Group

Zoës Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant chain headquartered in Plano, Texas, United States. Serving a menu of variety of chicken salad, pasta salad, pitas and grilled chicken sandwiches, the chain has grown to include 203 locations across 17 [1] states with plans to expand further. Zoës’ menu features Mediterranean-inspired comfort food with made-from-scratch recipes using fresh ingredients. Kevin Miles (CEO), who joined Zoës in 2009, succeeded Greg Dollarhyde as president in March 2011.


Zoës Kitchen was originally incorporated in Jefferson County, Alabama, in June 1995 as Zoe's Kitchen, Inc.[2] It was founded by Zoë and Marcus Cassimus.[3] Originally, the restaurants were not franchised, with Cassimus retaining a 51 percent ownership stake in all newly opened locations.[4]

Its first location opened in October 1995 in downtown Homewood.[5] A second location opened in the Riverchase section of Hoover in 1999 and a third in downtown Birmingham in March 2001.[3] The restaurant continued its expansion with the opening of its first store outside the Birmingham area in Tuscaloosa in May 2001 and its first out-of-state location in Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall of 2001.[6] By 2006, Zoës had expanded to sixteen restaurants, with eight located in Alabama and others located in Phoenix, Nashville, Memphis, Baton Rouge and Destin.[7]

With 20 stores open by 2007, Cassimus sold a majority ownership stake to Brentwood Associates of Los Angeles.[8] Following the purchase, Cassimus announced that he would remain as chief executive, the company would remain headquartered in Birmingham, and the menu would not be affected. Additionally it was revealed that the sale could potentially result in the opening of 200 new franchises over the next five years.[8] By Spring 2008 GE Capital Solutions loaned the company $10 million to allow for the development of 50 new stores across the southeast and southwest.[9]

In November 2008, Cassimus resigned, with Greg Dollarhyde taking his place as CEO.[10] Formerly the CEO of Baja Fresh, Dollarhyde announced that he would be looking to expand the restaurant to new locales with two-thirds remaining company owned and the remainder being franchised.[10]

Kevin Miles, who joined Zoës in 2009 after working at Luby’s, Pollo Campero and Baja Fresh, succeeded Greg Dollarhyde as president in March 2011.

As of August 2011, Zoës has 11 franchised stores and the rest are company-owned [41]. Miles announced that Zoës would consider multi-unit franchisees in the future.

Zoës launched online ordering in 2011 and a mobile loyalty app in 2013.

Miles promised that the company would stay headquartered in Birmingham (the city where the company was founded and a majority of employees were located), in 2011.[11] In 2014, though, when the company announced that it was going to be publicly traded,[12] SEC filings showed the headquarters as Plano, Texas.[13] Reasons given for the shift included simplifying travel, a lack of talent available in Birmingham (the talent source for the company’s initial growth and development), and the need to consolidate offices to prepare for an IPO. Local media, business, and civic leaders said they were unaware of the move.

In August 2018 Zoës was acquired by Cava Group, Inc. for $12.75 in cash for each Zoës common share. Cava is a privately held Mediterranean restaurant chain.

On September 24, 2018, American Airlines announced that Zoe's Kitchen will be the primary food partner to serve the light snack and food items in Main Cabin seats[14].


As of March 2015, Zoës Kitchen has 203 locations throughout seventeen states of the United States.[15]


  1. ^ http://zoeskitchen.com/locations/list-view.aspx?
  2. ^ Staff Reporters (July 18, 1995). "June incorporations in Jefferson County". The Birmingham News.
  3. ^ a b Williams, Roy L. (November 14, 2000). "Zoe's to expand downtown". The Birmingham News.
  4. ^ Williams, Roy L. (November 10, 2002). "Former running back to kitchen coach". The Birmingham News.
  5. ^ Harvey, Fletcher (September 21, 1995). "New Zoe's features healthy menu". The Birmingham News.
  6. ^ Williams, Roy L.; O'Hara, Jo Ellen (November 7, 2003). "Zoe's debuts its new look when Federal Place restaurant opens". The Birmingham News.
  7. ^ Williams, Roy L. (May 31, 2006). "Zoe's set to spread wings with stores in more states". The Birmingham News.
  8. ^ a b Goodman, Sherri C. (November 2, 2007). "Zoe's Kitchen selling big stake Cassimus sees deal as spice for expansion". The Birmingham News.
  9. ^ Williams, Roy L. (April 16, 2008). "Finance plan will enable Zoe's to add 50 locations". The Birmingham News.
  10. ^ a b Williams, Roy L. (December 10, 2008). "Zoe's new CEO wants to grow the eatery's brand". The Birmingham News.
  11. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/print-edition/2011/09/09/commercial-real-estate-zoes-set-to.html
  12. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/news/2014/03/11/zo-s-kitchen-files-ipo-looks-to-raise-80-5.html
  13. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/news/2014/03/18/why-zo-s-kitchen-moved-its-hq-from-birmingham.html
  14. ^ http://news.aa.com/news/news-details/2018/Take-a-Bite/default.aspx
  15. ^ http://zoeskitchen.com/locations/list-view.aspx

External links[edit]