Naf Naf Grill, the local chain of fast-casual Middle Eastern restaurants, is about to explode. Born in Naperville, Naf Naf has expanded to four current locations without any advertising. Four more are also on the way, including a prime space on 326 N. Michigan just south of the river, sandwiched between a Chipotle and Qdoba, opening June 1. The others are Rosemont (3-4 weeks), Orland Park (July 1), and Evanston (August 1).
The new locations will be the first to serve steak shawarma, the other menu items remain the same. New locations will also feature a "Chipotle-style" system, the existing Naf Nafs use pagers.
Partner David Sloan cites a few reasons Naf Naf's rapid growth: baking bread and grinding falafel in-house, the global spread of Middle Eastern food, and customers tiring of burgers and burritos. "It's a lot of our customers' first experiences with Middle Eastern food," he says.
Sloane says he wants as many Naf Naf Grills as possible and he'll "keep spreading Naf Naf all over the place." His goal is to make it a national brand, starting with four new locations within the next four months. He's even going to splurge on billboards.
· Naf Naf Grill [Official Site]