CAVA tops Yelp’s list of fastest-growing retail brands

CAVA tops Yelp's list of fastest growing retail brands.(Courtesy CAVA)

D.C.-based fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant chain CAVA tops Yelp’s list of fastest-growing retail brands.

North Bethesda-based Total Wine & More ranks No. 47 on the list of 50 fastest-growing brands.

Yelp’s list is based on net-new location openings and consumer interest and searches on its platforms. It also ranks CAVA as among “challenger brands,” or those that are not market leaders but are competing by disrupting their industry. Yelp said challenger brands make up 70% of the companies on its fastest-growing retail brands list.

“CAVA’s vision of introducing a new, healthier dining option to a wider audience has enabled it to become one of the fastest growing businesses,” Yelp said.

CAVA opened 72 new locations last year. According to Yelp, the brand saw a 54% increase in consumer interest nationwide last year. It was also the fastest growing brand in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Alabama.

Yelp reviewers don’t just post about CAVA’s Mediterranean-inspired bowls. Yelp’s review insights show CAVA’s beverages, including its pineapple apple mint and blueberry lavender drinks, are consistently praised for taste and quality.

After years of growth as a privately held company, CAVA went public on the New York Stock Exchange last summer in one of 2023’s most successful IPOs.

CAVA was founded in 2011 by three Maryland friends: Dimitri Moshovitis, Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos, with its first restaurant in Rockville. It now has more than 309 locations in 24 states, including seven in the District.

CAVA acquired fast-casual restaurant chain Zoe’s Kitchen in 2018, gaining another 145 restaurant locations, completing conversions last year. It has more than 8,000 employees nationwide.

CAVA recently moved its corporate headquarters to City Ridge, the mixed-use, Wegmans-anchored redevelopment of the former Fannie Mae headquarters at 3900 Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest D.C.

Total Wine & More was founded in 1991 by David and Robert Trone, originally as Liquor World. Total Wine now has more than 260 superstores across 28 states.

Yelp’s full list of Fastest Growing Retail Brands is online.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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