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Former Which Wich executive James Park took the CEO post at Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh in December 2015, changing its name from Garbanzo Fresh Mediterranean (and before that Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill), part of a brand tweak he hopes will help the 23-unit, Denver-based chain to expand. The chain is majority-owned by Gemini Investors and Michael Staenberg.
Known for: Park, a marketing expert, changed Garbanzo’s tagline from “Bold, Fresh, Healthy” to one that better reflects the current popular notion of healthful eating: “Simple Tastes Better.”
Power move: Understanding the need for convenience and speed, Park streamlined the chain’s menu from around 65 ingredients to around 40, speeding up service times from as long as 30 minutes for a line of 20 people to as little as 10 minutes.
What’s next: Park sees a long runway ahead for Mediterranean cuisine and plans to expand Garbanzo in concentric circles from its current markets of Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Minnesota and the Washington, D.C., area.