, the fast-casual restaurant chain with about 60 restaurants, mostly in California, will get a new look and new menu—and the man heading up the changes is a San Clemente resident.
Bill Trefethen, an investor and a surfer in San Clemente and the new CEO of Daphne’s (now called “Daphne’s California Greek”) said to look for changes at the San Clemente store this summer—the company will be remodeling two locations a week throughout the coming year until each has a hip new décor.
“We’re kind of filling the Mediterranean space,” Trefethen said. “The Mediterranean diet is getting some good press. The Daphne’s menu really hasn’t changed in the last 20 years.”
He said the restaurants will get a healthier menu, and the cuisine will move from classic Greek foods to “Greek-inspired” California cuisine. The aim is a fast-casual atmosphere that captures more of the sit-down dining crowd; think Chipotle with a less hard-edged urban feel, Trefethen said.
The restaurant will also serve beer and wine.
For a preview of what the Daphne’s on Pico in San Clemente will look like, you can visit the one in Aliso Viejo.
As an example of the updated menu, the new “California Greek Salad” is being added in April. He said it’s doing well among test diners.
“It’s more of a chop salad with pine nuts and gorgonzola dressing,” Trefethen said. “It’s doing as well as our most popular item, the traditional Greek salad.”
The restaurant will be adding a new salad to the menu every month, adding a grilled salmon dish, introducing flatbread pizza in the fall and California-izing the gyro offerings.
“Pretty much anything you can do with a pita you can do with a burrito,” Trefethen said.