Open less than 2 years, this downtown Columbus eatery is a top franchise in the company

Though The Simple Greek restaurant on Broadway has been open less than two years, it’s become a staple for nine-to-fivers in the uptown area. .

The restaurant is an example of fast-casual dining and draws big lunchtime crowd during the week—such a large crowd that the locally-owned franchise is the No. 1 performer out of 35 locations across the country.

“We look at weekly sales to determine top performance…we also look at customer reviews, social media and other components,” said Sean Ferrier, chief marketing officer for The Simple Greek corporate office.

The other top performer is in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ferrier said.

Locations range across 16 states, from California to Ohio to Pennsylvania, and the Chattahoochee Valley claims the only two locations in Georgia.

Husband and wife Dan and Nickie Lopez, along with her parents Steve and Sherry Ginn, own the location at 1228 Broadway as well as the Midland location, which opened this summer.

Nickie Lopez said the Broadway location became one of the top five in the company within the first three months of opening and has remained there since.

“I think it’s just a good combination of location and community support and having a great product,” Lopez said of the restaurant’s success.

Lunchtime is the busiest time for the Broadway location, according to Lopez.

“It has a lot to do with the business traffic; there are a lot of businesses down there and people are down there for lunch,” she said. “I think our (evening crowds) are more of like the local people who live downtown.”

The Midland location is in the top 10 of the company, Lopez said, and they are looking to continue to drive more traffic to the store.

“People are still not quite aware that it’s out there,” Lopez said. “It’s a different kind of traffic, downtown you have a lot of walking traffic and a lot of businesses and people that are right there whereas in Midland you have to kind of go there with a specific purpose.”

Ferrier said the Lopez family has done a “tremendous job” since opening.

“Their attention to detail, the food and customer service are top notch,” he said. “Dan and his team in Georgia exemplify what The Simple Greek is all about.”

The chain was founded by entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis in 2015 and franchised in 2016.

The Simple Greek uses a build-your-own, assembly line format, and customers tell employees what they want to include in their salad, bowl or pita wrap.

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