Operating successfully over two decades in Germany, Doner Kebab is recognised for authentic Turkish gourmet food experience. In an interaction, Farshad Abbaszadeh, CEO, Doner Kebab shares the brand’s worldwide expansion plans, including the UAE.
Namita Bhagat (NB): Share the concept of ‘Doner Kebab’.
Farshad Abbaszadeh (FA): Originating in Germany, the first Doner Kebab outlet was opened in Berlin in 1988. Ours is a dynamic fast food retail concept based on an entirely classic healthy approach to traditional kebabs. Our kebabs are made from quality ingredients which include 100% veal, lamb and pure chicken fillets. We import these items from ‘Kaplan Doner’, a foremost Doner Kebab production company in Germany. Apart from this, we use fresh locally produced vegetables that are prepared daily and special ‘Doner Kebab’ bread. Most importantly, Doner Kebab menu complies with Halal guidelines.
NB: What is the USP of the brand?
FA: We are fairly different to the way other operators make their kebabs. As Doner Kebab offers a healthy gourmet food experience without preservatives, it can be an all day food option. Over the last 10 years or so, the company has focused on its policies and procedures, to uphold quality and uniformity of our unique blend of traditional spices and exclusive products. We have endeavoured to improve our innovative cooking methods. Therefore, with strong modern brand values that appeal to a broader market, ‘Doner Kebab’ is poised for further growth and success.
NB: Please share brand’s presence in the Middle East?
FA: Dubai is now becoming the model metropolis for Middle East's new economic boom. We are just about to launch our franchise. We are setting up our first unit at Jumeirah Lake Towers. The Doner Kebab franchise is a locally owned fast food outlet and is positioned as an international franchise through our creative approach to the company's image and detail presentation. The brand’s franchise provides a combination of excellent food at value pricing, with fun packaging and atmosphere.
NB: Tell us about the brand’s franchise model?
FA: Our aim is to find the right partners to expand in Middle East and grow together with a brand which is already operating successful over two decades in Germany. The total investment required depends on the location – different places different costs. We charge USD 25,000 franchise fee and 6% Royalty monthly from gross sales. Here in UAE the estimated start up investment is USD 150,000 per shop. We provide our franchise with the rights to use Doner Kebab brand name and trademark for the term of the franchise agreement. They are also given license of business concept know-how through initial and on-going training and provision of material, operating manual, software and business literature while the final site selection is to be approved by Doner Kebab,
NB: What kind of training is offered to the prospective franchisees?
FA: The franchisee is given two weeks initial training at the Doner Kebab Head Office and company-owned stores, for which expenses are to be borne by the franchisee. Later on pre-launch training in the franchisee territory for the first store will also be provided byDoner Kebab operations personnel. Moreover, post-launch support including soft opening and launch event, on the job training and store monitoring for the first store is also given.
NB: What other support is extended to the franchisee?
FA: Doner Kebab also offers technical support in relation to customised store designs and layouts etc, along with provision of site development plans. We also guide the franchisee with supply of lists and specifications of equipment, furniture, fixtures and fittings. We also provide franchisee with content and website architecture for localised website.
NB: Do you offer operational support as well?
FA: Yes, we do. The franchisee will be given on-going management, operational, technical advice and guidance after the launch of the store operations including on-going site visits to franchised territory as mutually agreed, periodical review of financial auditing and production of updated business plans, website support, market research and introduction of new products, promotions and marketing ideas and much more.
NB: How will you deal with competition from other fast food concepts?
FA: Ours is a unique concept, however in present highly competitive environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate one fast food outlet from another. Therefore, to succeed in this business we would focus on creating a unique, innovative, entertaining menu that will differentiate us from the rest of the competition. In addition to cost control at all times, we will sell the products that are of the highest quality as well as keeping the customers happy with all of our product categories from food to store merchandising. Also we will strive to provide 100 per cent satisfaction to our customers and maintain the level of excellent services among other competitors.
NB: What are the plans for the brand’s further international expansion across the world?
FA: To expand the Doner Kebab franchise model internationally, we are negotiating with several groups in several countries to become our partners. As we are ready with our existing infrastructure, we would like to extend our footprints in different parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, America and parts of Europe.