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I’m Stealing This Growth Strategy

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Hi! I don’t know if you’ve ever been or not…

But the fast-casual Middle Eastern/Mediterranean chain, Cava, is pretty awesome.

They’re expanding super quickly because of a really interesting growth strategy (that you can steal).

When Cava started to take off, they looked for a more affordable way to expand into new markets. Some of the most expensive parts of expansion are real estate/space, build outs, and equipment.

But instead of blowing lots of cash on doing all of that (like Sweetgreen has been!) — Cava looked for a non-traditional, yet brilliant, pathway to success.

I’m Stealing This Growth Strategy

Cava realized the Mediterranean chain Zoe’s had lost its way and was looking to give up all of its real estate.

Knowing that Zoe’s was popular and had positioned themselves in hot markets, Cava made an offer —

They took all of Zoe’s stores, real estate included, and setup over 250+ locations across the U.S. in less than 2 years.

Instead of having to buy new spaces, test out unknown markets, and spend loads of capital on build outs, Cava could simply renovate already existing spaces and get up and running more quickly.

There are 2 things you can learn from Cava’s creative strategy:

1️⃣ Zoe’s failed, in part, because it lost its way. Zoe’s isn’t that different than Cava, so why is Cava taking off when Zoe’s went out of business? Zoe’s forgot what it was and who they catered to. Cava seems confident in who they are and what they serve, and they do it all with less than 30 ingredients. 

The lesson? Don’t try to be all things to all people. Know your customers and continue to speak to them.

2️⃣ Think outside of the box and diversify your assets. Technically speaking, Cava’s in the business of making delish hummus, bowls, and pitas. But part of their growth strategy has been to buy up real estate (like how Starbucks is more of a bank these days, and McDonald’s is a brilliant real estate company). 

The lesson? Don’t think narrow-mindedly about your business growth. Yes you can grow your services or sell more products. But you can also invest in other ways that might be a little out of the box. 


Q: I didn’t like my LLC name, so I created a DBA under the LLC with a different name. Do I get an EIN for that DBA or do I keep my existing EIN tied to my LLC? Do I change my existing business name information on my business bank account too? – Michelle

A: Hey Michelle! No, you don’t get a new EIN for a d/b/a (doing business as) name. Your EIN will be tied to your LLC. You may, however, need to update the IRS to notify them you have a d/b/a now tied to your LLC. And yes, you need to notify your bank, business insurance, PO Box, and update your legal documents now that you have a d/b/a.

❓You can submit your Q for me to A in a future Sidebar issue here!


The start of the year is a busy time for my Bundle members! We’ve got people registering their businesses, some taking theirs to the next level, and others re-tooling for a better year.

Luckily there’s an entire training in the Bundle all about how to legally name your business, courses, programs, and taglines. It’s just 1 of over 35 trainings you get inside.

Legally speaking, there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it – and you don’t want to do it the wrong way 😉


Epi 187. Kickstart Series Part 1: How to Start a Business Online (Setting the Foundation)

In Part 1 of your new 4-part Kickstart series, we’re talking all about setting a strong business foundation for long-term growth. Tune in to learn how to set your business up for success in 2024.




The new Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) requirement just came into effect and its causing panic online. I’m getting all sorts of panicked messages from people hearing they need to pay hundreds of dollars, hire a lawyer, and potentially face stiff penalties.

Scare tactics!

Get my free BOI Guide to learn a simple way to comply with the new BOI requirement (without fear or threats)


Talk soon!

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