Get inspired with Omar El Jurdi from Beirut Bites

Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures, with this being said, residents and tourists still crave for authentic dishes from their home country. This is what inspired Omar El Jurdi, founder of Beirut Bites – to share to the world authentic Lebanese street food.

1. How did you enter the franchise business?

Beirut Bites was founded in 2019, with a growth and expansion plan in the GCC region and later the world. Customers loved our concept, and after 6 months from opening, some customers showed interest in a franchise. Due to this, we believe a franchise model is beneficial for our growth plan.

2. Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?

I was in Lebanon when I started thinking of the concept, wanting to share to the world the authentic Lebanese street food in its true flavors. Quick snack bites, which I’ve enjoyed eating during my college years 15 years ago or during office lunch breaks.

3. What inspired the brand name?

The brand name was inspired by the street food and bites that I had in the amazing streets of Beirut, such as Hamra and Bliss. Wanted a name that is catchy, showing Lebanese origin but also easy to spell for the expatriate community living in the MENA region. Thus, Beirut Bites was created.

4. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?

The brand’s logo actually is the image of the brand’s slogan ‘Love at first bite’. So we created a simple but unique logo, a heart with a bite on it. A modern way to show our customers that they are going to love our authentic flavors from their first bite.

5. What makes your brand different from your competitors?

Beirut Bites offer quick authentic food taste, good quality of ingredients, and great value of money to customers. We created a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere for our dine-in customers to enjoy their food experience. We value our customers, so we are very flexible and customer-oriented.

6. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?

A franchisee should sustain the quality and transparency in the partnership after all working together will make us succeed. A franchisee must be considered as partners, must adapt to our system, or even suggest modifications. A passion for food and experience in the f&b industry is a plus. No matter the size of the franchisee, they should always treat the brand as their own, putting all effort and passion to succeed.

7. How long does it take, on average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?

It depends a lot on the size and location of course, but I believe it takes one year and a half to two and a half years. However, putting initial on the side, monthly profits compared to monthly operational costs will be achieved in six months.

8. What was the major challenge you faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

To attract customers to our new brand in a competitive and saturated market. We were able to use social media, SEO, SME’s and offline marketing solutions. However, the new and recent bigger challenge was the Covid-19 pandemic, which I believe all the restaurant community is currently facing. To survive this we also focused on social media to promote Direct Ordering, invested on improving our APP and Web Ordering, improved and modified our existing health and safety procedures, and focused on contact-less dine-in.

8.1. What is your best achievement?

Still new in the market, we believe that customer’s showing interest in your brand for a potential franchise opportunity is an achievement for itself. Never to forget, small achievement such as repeated customers who simply love the brand, and winning a food award after 4 months of opening, gives a sense of pride.

9. How does your business day start?

Having a cup of coffee every morning at the restaurant, greeting the staff who are the soul of the brand, and checking with the chef that all is managed properly inside the kitchen.

10. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?

Well since I’m starting now with the franchise career, I believe this moment is yet to come. But for sure, signing the first franchise agreement and seeing my brand growing will be one of various best moments.

11. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

Growing in the MENA region, focusing primary on opening new branches in the GCC.

12. Any tips you want to impart to our readers who want to be in the franchise industry?

Follow what you love and believe in your product. Always Think Big, Start Small, Grow fast and healthy. To do it, ensure you have a good team to help you on this journey.

SOURCE: The Franchise Talk

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