Dan Simpson became the CEO of Taziki’s Mediterranean Café’s this past spring. Simpson previously served as the restaurant’s Chief Innovation Officer from May 2016 through February 2018.
During this time, Simpson was instrumental in the growth of the restaurant brand visiting Taziki’s locations in all 16 states where the chain has a presence, gathering both customer and employee feedback.
Simpson is working closely with Founder Keith Richards as the restaurant plans include having 100 locations open by 2019. The two have worked closely with Taziki’s board and staff to form a clarified purpose, mission and brand values to guide the next 20 years.
He believes that Keith’s vision for his restaurant is an inspiration to so many, and that he has created an environment that combines extraordinary food with meaningful human experience. Simpson says he hopes to help lead the charge to offer fresh, healthy, diverse, and affordable food options to the tables of tens of thousands of people.
Simpson is working closely with Keith Richards to carry out his vision for the next 20 years of Taziki’s, and his passion for working to create the new ‘Mediterranean-Coastal’ design for the restaurants has been an integral part of this process.
The new design elements that Simpson launched for Taziki’s restaurants include community tables established to create a welcoming environment for conversation within the exposed stone and painted white shiplap adorned walls. Shades of bright white and deep ocean blue can be found in the restaurant’s interior accent pieces.
Hanging wicker lanterns provide a warm yet fresh ambiance, highlighting Taziki’s delicious menu teeming with original chef-driven recipes prepared daily from more than 100 fresh produce items as well as more than 60 herbs and spices flavoring the food. All meals are prepared from raw ingredients much like you would use in your own home. Taziki’s does not use fryers or microwaves while preparing meals for customers.
Natural lighting streams from windows and exposed wooden beams in the ceiling provide the experience of dining outdoors. In the back of the restaurant, a community board lists local non-profit events with information about how to participate, furthering the at-home, communal feel.
As a Taziki's franchisee and managing partner at Fresh Hospitality from January 2015 until May 2016, Simpson learned what customers wanted and observed an over 60% increase in the amount of online and to-go orders in the past five years.
Prior to joining the Taziki’s family, Simpson was also the founder and CEO of ToGo Technologies from May 2012 until January 2015.
Under Simpson’s leadership, expanding Taziki’s technology capabilities for customers including app offerings, accessibility to ordering online as well as a new website is a big focus Taziki’s. They are working to anticipate consumer trends and seeking innovations that enhance guest experiences.
Simpson and his team just launching TAZRewards, Taziki’s rewards loyalty program, that works both in-line and on-line through Taziki’s app, as a way to say thank you to the restaurant’s growing community of loyal guests.
Simpson was also the Chief Development Officer of Dispensary of Hope, Nashville, TN from May 2008 until May 2012. Similar to Taziki’s Founder Keith Richards, Dan’s heart seeks to tie Taziki’s back to local communities and bring people together over delicious food.
Dan earned his BS from Clearwater Christian College followed by his MBA from West Virginia University.