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Description

Cava (stylized as CAVA) and also referred to as Cava Grill, is Mediterranean fast casual restaurant chain with locations across the United States. Cava is owned by the publicly traded Cava Group, which also owns Zoës Kitchen. The combined company is the largest restaurant operator in the Mediterranean category in the U.S. restaurant industry. Cava also produces a line of Mediterranean dips, spreads, and dressings that are sold in grocery stores across the US.

History

In 2006, first-generation Greek Americans Ted Xenohristos, Ike Grigoropoulos, and Dimitri Moshovitis launched the full-service Cava Mezze restaurant in Rockville, Maryland, with Moshovitis as executive chef. In 2008, Xenohristos, Grigoropoulos, and Moshovitis partnered with Geoff Maites and Kenny Maites to launch a line of dips and spreads, and grew the product line into over 200 stores, including Whole Foods Market. In 2009, Brett Schulman joined them as CEO and co-founder of the fast-casual chain Cava (originally called Cava Mezze Grill, later rebranded as Cava Grill and then simply as Cava). They opened the first Cava restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, in January 2011.

In April 2021, Cava Group completed a $190 million series F funding round led by T. Rowe Price, bringing its value to nearly $1.3 billion. Since 2015, the company has raised more than $640 million.

Cava was named one of the world's 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company in 2018. Fishbowl Analytics named Cava Grill its top emerging restaurant brand in 2019. Since 2018, Cava has been offering its employees paid time off to vote. In the 2020 presidential election, Cava offered free meals to poll workers in all of its locations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cava launched a program called Feeding Families where, for every family meal sold, they donated another to the family of a first responder. Cava has since removed the family meal option from their menu.

On June 15, 2023, Cava made its public debut on the NYSE under the symbol CAVA.

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