Morgan Lanier

gusto! Selects Local Operating Partner for West Midtown Restaurant

Morgan Lanier
gusto! Selects Local Operating Partner for West Midtown Restaurant

For more information:
Morgan Lanier or Valerie Miller
Melissa Libby & Associates



Steve Schaefer Brings Entrepreneurial Spirit and Passion for Exotic Food to Atlanta’s
Most Flavorful Fast-Casual Chain


ATLANTA (March 1, 2019) – gusto! founder Nate Hybl and director of operations and strategy Richmond Green announce local operating partner Steve Schaefer as a new addition to the team at the fast-casual chain’s new West Midtown restaurant. gusto!’s fourth Atlanta restaurant, located at 530 17th St NW in the new West Midtown Center, will be under the leadership of Schaefer, who aims to introduce guests to new, global flavors while connecting with the vibrant community of West Midtown.


“West Midtown is a very progressive culinary destination, and I look forward to carving our niche in this dynamic neighborhood,” says Schaefer.


The local operating partner program was launched to help gusto! – one of the metro area’s fastest-growing private companies – expand responsibly both around Atlanta and in other regional markets. Partners are charged with driving the success of new restaurant locations.


“We feel very fortunate to have Steve leading our new West Midtown restaurant,” says Hybl. “In addition to his expertise in the fast-casual segment, he truly embodies the spirit of gusto!”


Prior to gusto!, Schaefer owned two locations of My Friend’s Place Deli & Catering in Duluth, Georgia. He served as a restaurant owner, general manager and catering manager for the franchise for 21 years.

Schaefer was inspired to get into the restaurant business after his first trip overseas to Europe. “I met amazing people, and my eyes were opened to a whole new world of delicious food.” 


Upon returning from his trip, Schaefer left his job in the corporate world and decided to open his first location of My Friend’s Place. His travels took him to Thailand next, and the food he ate there is still etched in his memory. Schaefer has since traveled to every continent in the world except Antarctica and hopes the bold international flavors at gusto! will ignite a similar excitement and passion within those who visit the West Midtown restaurant.


“I want guests at gusto! to not only come in for the delicious and internationally diverse food but also for the very personal and friendly service we provide,” Schaefer says.


gusto!’s 1,430-square-foot West Midtown restaurant features the brand’s signature warm, yet modern, industrial design adapted for a smaller footprint and a menu inspired by both international cuisine and familiar American flavors in the form of fresh bowls and wraps.


gusto! West Midtown is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. To access the restaurant, use one of two 17th Street entrances to West Midtown Center; gusto! is located in the middle of the building facing 17th Street. For more information, call 678-705-4080 or visit Follow the restaurant on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for additional updates.


About gusto!

Nate Hybl founded gusto! with a mission to deliver fresh, flavorful food fast. The underlying passion of his company can be found in its name, which means “enjoyment or vigor in doing something.” gusto! offers a simple menu of bowls and wraps that highlight fresh, high-quality ingredients and bold flavor combinations and don’t hide behind gimmicks or trends. They are served fast and without breaking the bank. With a passionate team that believes in “living life with gusto” and a focus on food, flavor and freshness, the company has attracted a loyal following with its four Atlanta locations. gusto! Peachtree is located at 1935 Peachtree Road NE; (404) 352-4157. gusto! Ponce is located at 782 Ponce de Leon Ave NE; (404) 330-8114. gusto! Decatur is located at 1545 North Decatur Road; (404) 549-8525. gusto! West Midtown is located at 530 17th St NW, Suite 345; (678) 705-4080. For more information, visit