VertsKebap Inc. is shortening its brand name to Verts, with a “Mediterranean Grill” tagline, as well as making plans for a new design and menus, the company said Tuesday.
The Austin, Texas-based fast-casual chain, which has 29 units in Texas, said the changes were being made as the brand evolved and started to move outside the Lone Star State.
“Our guests always refer to us as ‘Verts,’ so the shortening of the name was a natural evolution of the brand,” said Michael Heyne, co-founder and CEO of VertsKebap, in a statement.
“While the name change may seem slight, it’s a big statement that reflects our vision of being not just the leader in fast-casual Mediterranean food, but a leader in the fast-casual category overall,” Heyne said.
Fast-casual brands based on the Mediterranean region’s cuisine have been increasing in number over the past five years, including the 174-unit Plano, Texas-based Zoe’s Kitchen Inc., the 24-unit Denver-based Garbanzo Fresh Mediterranean, 22-unit Chicago-based Roti Modern Mediterranean, and the seven-unit Pleasant Hill, Calif.-based Yalla Mediterranean.
A Verts spokesman said some elements of the new design will start to appear in upcoming Dallas-Fort Worth area locations in April and May. In addition, new entrees, side dishes and sauces, as well as seasonal menu items, will be rolling out under the direction of Jason Donoho, Verts culinary director.
Keith Peterson, Verts director of marketing, said the changes are aimed at positioning the chain as a premium brand. “The name and logo change collectively reflect those ambitions,” Peterson said in a statement.
Verts is planning its first out-of-state location, only identified as on the East Coast, this coming summer.
Nation’s Restaurant News named VertsKebap, founded in 2011 in Austin, a Hot Concept in September 2015.
In December, VertsKebap acquired $20 million in private funding.
Verts has locations in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.