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Our History

Naf Naf's first location opened in Naperville, IL
Sahar Sander opens first location in Naperville, IL
Expanded to multiple states outside of Illinois
Naf Naf's first franchise deal signed
First franchise deal signed
Naf Naf's first franchise store
First franchise store opens
Greg Willman, CEO
Greg Willman named CEO
Naf Naf's continued expansion in multiple markets including Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte
Continued expansion in multiple markets including Atlanta, Dallas and Charlotte
Opening of Love's third location in Gary, IN
Opening of Love’s third location in Gary, IN
Naf Naf's third store in Wisconsin
Naf Naf opens third store in Wisconsin!
Naf Naf Grill reaches 39 stores with it’s first opening in North Carolina

Naf Naf means to “Fan the Flame”

The expression is used as an invitation for friends and family to gather and share a meal together. Back in 2009, Sahar Sander, our late founder, opened the first Naf Naf in Naperville, Illinois, and invited the community to try his authentic handmade recipes true to his Middle Eastern upbringing. We still serve those recipes today at every Naf Naf and invite you in to share a meal with us.

Sahar Sander, founder of Naf Naf Grill

Our Values

When it comes to how we operate our restaurants and grow our brand, these fundamental values are non-negotiable:

Elevate Every Bite

Our commitment to authentic and superior food quality is evident in every aspect of our cooking process from hand-made Shawarma towers, fresh shaped falafel and daily baked pitas in every restaurant.

A Table for Everyone

The name Naf Naf (literally translated as “Fan the Flame”) implies a heartfelt invitation to gather around the table to Share A Meal.  At Naf Naf, we believe in the power that food has to bridge differences and bring everyone together, to embody the spirit of “sharing a meal.”

Together we Kindle

We are profoundly committed to supporting our team members, our partners and the communities that serve us everyday.

Innovate with Purpose

At Naf Naf, we believe that keeping things simple requires innovative thinking.  Our innovation must always result in three outcomes – help our operators execute, help our store performance and elevate customer engagement.

Industry Awards

Proudly recognized by our industry for our culinary, hospitality and operational excellence and the work our teams do every day.

  • Fast Casual
    Fast Casual – Movers and Shakers 2024
  • Nation's Restaurant News
    Greg Willman – Power List Most Influential restaurant CEO’s 2022
  • Fast Casual
    Top 50 Movers and Shakers 2021
  • Chicago Tribune
    Top Workplaces 2019
  • Fast Casual
    Top 100 Movers and Shakers 2019
  • QSR
    40/40 Hottest Start-Ups 2018
  • Fast Casual
    Top 100 Movers and Shakers 2018

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