Nick the Greek opening in LA!
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Anton Van Happen is a franchisee of Nick the Greek, a Greek quick-service style restaurant concept with an aggressive expansion strategy for 2020 - COVID be damned. He did not only successfully open a location in Ventura in May 2020, he is also about to open his next location in Westwood UCLA on October 8.
The San Jose based chain was founded in 2014 and is centered around the concept of a traditional Greek Souvlaki house where guests walk in and order a Gyro to go. With 15 successful locations in the Bay area, the expansion into Southern California is the natural next step.
Anton, tell me about your concept and the new location in Westwood UCLA?
The grand opening of my second location here in Southern California is happening on October 8th and we are very excited to introduce the concept to the UCLA student body and the neighborhood.
At Nick the Greek everything is truly about the quality of the food and the freshness of our ingredients. It is a quick service family-friendly restaurant that offers authentic Greek street food at an affordable price. Our guests choose from flavorful rotisserie meats, charbroiled skewers, zesty sauces, and the freshest vegetables – wrapped in warm pitas or on plates.
The stores have a high-end look with wooden floors and blue tiled walls that give you the feeling of being on vacation in Greece.
How did you adapt your concept and what changes did you make because of COVID?
Luckily our concept is already geared towards take-out and delivery, so we didn’t have to make too many changes.
We adapted the layout to enforce social distancing and sanitation guidelines as well as mask wearing inside the restaurant.
Concept wise we made no changes other than removing the self-service beverage station.
Before the pandemic we worked exclusively with Doordash to deliver our food, but once the pandemic hit, we decided to expand through Grubhub and Postmates in order to give our guests as many different ways to get our food as possible.
You are announcing a very healthy pipeline of restaurant openings for 2020 on your website, while many other restaurants chains are hurting or closing. What is the reasoning behind your aggressive expansion during COVID times?
Restaurant concepts that are rooted in quick-service, take-away and delivery have done extremely well during the pandemic for the sole reason that their food is optimized for later consumption. People still need to eat – now they just want it to be delivered to their home instead of eating it at the restaurant. Our menu is perfect for that.
The stay at home order has mostly been difficult for traditional dine-in restaurants with big square footage and who had to scramble to adapt their concept from one day to the next.
Images provided by Nick the Greek