Steve Walker is the Co-creator of mezeh mediterranean grill, a fast casual mediterranean concept with 23 locations and 6 new openings scheduled to open by the end of 2020. Steve is also a Co-creator of Smak, a sandwich, salad and soup concept located in the heart of DC, and oversaw operations of 4 Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurants in DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland. Steve consistently focuses on quality, flavors, food innovation, strategic performance, marketing strategies, brand image, and increasing growth, revenue streams and customer loyalty at all his concepts.
Steve has over 15 years of multi- unit leadership with a variety of concepts in Chicago, Boston, DC, Richmond, North Carolina, Northern Virginia and Maryland throughout his career. He gained valuable restaurant experience and customer awareness working for Chicago based restaurant company, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc, for over 8 years. He also worked for Brinker International, Inc. He has extensive proven experience in 25+ different store openings throughout the Midwest, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and DC markets. Steve has held a variety of positions in operations, culinary creation, sales and marketing, business planning and development. Throughout the many important developmental roles Steve has played, he has consistently produced increases in sales and guest counts. He demonstrates critical business knowledge and vision in the ability to maximize a profitable successful concept as a multi-unit operator, as well as in the development of creating new concepts.
In the last 5 years, Steve and his partners have successfully opened 23 mezeh mediterranean grill restaurants which have been highly acclaimed in all areas. Steve plays a crucial role in the creation and development of mezeh’s culinary flavors, menu development and operations. To top it off, he oversees the training and development of all the staffs.
In addition to his career accomplishments, Steve played a key role in building the successful relationship between Moe’s Southwest Grill and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), he raised over $25,000 annual for the foundation, and partnered with Operation Pinecone (collecting items to make care packages for the soldiers oversees), Relay for Life and Movember. Steve has completed a Sprint Triathlon and has completed several half marathons in recent years. Steve was a member of the Franchisee Advisory Sub Committee for Moe's Southwest Grill. He was on the Brinker International ($3.8 billion dollar company) Savings Plan Administrative Committee.
Steve attended Johnson and Wales University and has a degree on Culinary Arts and Restaurant Business. He was one of only three students chosen to participate in a special internship program with Certified Master Chef, Paul Elbling.
Working in Richmond Virginia under Chef Paul Eblings at La Petite France holds a special bond with Steve. It was the most beneficial culinary experience in the start of his career. He developed a strong foundation of flavor combinations, creativity and the fundamentals of the essence of taste. Steve worked under Chef Paul learning as much as he could working every position in the kitchen, also assisted Chef Paul in cooking classes he offered to his guest.Steve believes the experience and development he gained working under Chef Paul has strongly influence of his culinary success.
Founded in 2012, mezeh mediterranean grill is a fast-casual restaurant specializing in fresh, bold, and natural mediterranean flavors. mezeh has 23 locations throughout Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina - and is growing rapidly!
The words “meze”, “mezze”, “mazza”, or “mazmiz” all mean some variation of taste, flavor, nibble, or small plate in the middle east and mediterranean. ‘mezeh’ is our unique twist on the well-known word.
The brainchild of friends Saleh Mohamadi, Steve Walker, and Tai Chiao, the original concept of mezeh was bold: provide customers with an abundance of fresh mediterranean food, made from scratch daily, in an inspiring atmosphere, and at an outstanding price. With fantastic customer service, gorgeous interiors, and 70 recipes to choose from, mezeh warmly invites you to create your masterpiece at our modern-day mezze table.
All 70 of mezeh’s recipes are made from scratch in-house daily, starting with raw, good for you ingredients. The ‘create-your-own’ bowl (with unlimited toppings!) is mezeh’s most popular menu option. With such a large array of menu items following any diet, whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, keto, etc., it’s a breeze at mezeh! Some favorite recipes are: chicken shawarma, falafel, turkish salad, lebanese tabbouleh, israeli couscous, three types of hummus, spicy feta dip, baba ganoush, and tzatziki sauce.
mezeh uses only 100% olive oil and halal protein. no hormones, no preservatives, and no additives. just simple, delicious, good for you ingredients.
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