Cava(l), Woman (c), Cava bowl(r)

The Image Party/Shutterstock @theeshayla.reads/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Thought I was bout to have a boujee first time CAVA experience’: Woman tries CAVA for the first time, finds something unexpected in her bowl

'I would've ate the bowl so fast I wouldn't have even seen that.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 15, 2024   Updated on May 15, 2024, 1:22 pm CDT

While Chipotle has been constantly getting dunked on customers, a similar restaurant, CAVA, has been receiving nothing but love from its guests. Folks on social media have praised the restaurant for its “love” button, while others have expressed frustration towards fellow diners for trying to show too much love while ordering their meals.

However, in a peculiar turn of events, a TikTok video by user Shayla (@theshayla.reads) has gone viral, capturing a less-than-perfect first encounter with the popular Mediterranean chain.

The video, which has garnered over 770,000 views, features Shayla’s first-person POV as she excitedly opens what she expected to be a “boujee” rice bowl. Her excitement quickly goes south as she discovers a piece of cellophane buried in her meal.

“Thought I was bout to have a Boujee first time CAVA experience,” Shayla writes in a text overlay of her video, which begins with her removing the plastic lid of her food bowl, which contains some lettuce, rice, corn, bits of what appears to be lamb, and red cabbage.

The video then cuts to her picking around the bowl, and she writes in another overlay, “I want to mute this video so bad because I was smacking.. I was 2 bites in… but yall had to hear my honest reaction.”

However, the clip ends on a somewhat positive note, showing a free meal ticket from CAVA that reads, “This one’s on us.”

Shayla added that the experience won’t deter her from returning to the chain. “I’m mad… but I’ma try it again,” she wrote in the caption.

The comments section was full of many CAVA enthusiasts encouraging Shayla to give the chain another chance.

One user exclaimed, “I would’ve ate the bowl so fast I wouldn’t have even seen that.”

While another suggested, “Baby it’s SO good you might have to go to a different location.”

A particularly timely comment read, “Watching this while waiting for my cava order like…”, highlighting the fierce loyalty some customers have towards the brand.

@theeshayla.reads 😩😩 I’m mad… but I’ma try it again #cava #cavabowl ♬ original sound – Shayla Reads

Amidst these personal anecdotes, one comment stood out by noting the steep prices. “Girl it was the best $23 I spent for a bowl of food fr,” the user wrote. “The pita chips soooo good.”

While many customers still rejoice for CAVA despite its priciness, other chains have been flamed by internet users for increasing costs. McDonald’s, dubbed the King of fast food, has recently faced such criticism. In response, McDonald’s is rumored to be considering new value meals to attract budget-conscious diners and mitigate backlash over pricing

The Daily Dot has reached out to CAVA via email and Shayla for comment. 

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*First Published: May 15, 2024, 8:00 pm CDT