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Wed 29th Jun 2016 - Scottish entrepreneur acquires kebab concept franchise rights
Scottish entrepreneur acquires kebab concept franchise rights: Scottish entrepreneur Athif Sarwar has acquired the master franchise rights in the UK and Ireland for the The German Doner Kebab (GDK) concept. The Sarwar family operates one of Scotland’s most successful business groups – its £230m empire encompasses a wholesale cash and carry business, 532 franchised convenience stores, a chain of pubs, Asian restaurants and a pharmacy group as well as a soft play centre and bowling alley. Athif Sarwar said: “Just over three years ago I was on a business trip to Dubai and came across German Doner Kebab. I was blown away by how tasty and fresh the meal was so I decided to investigate the company. I visited their headquarters in Dubai and discovered they had several stores opening globally. I loved the concept of using only 100% meat that is of the highest quality and they also handmade the doner bread. In recent years the doner kebab has had a tarnished reputation as a greasy snack you have after one too many pints – GDK turns this on its head. After three years of discussion and several visits to Dubai (we have) now taken on the franchise for the UK, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. Since launching in March this year we have opened five outlets in England and we have already signed up another 70 potential franchises. I believe we have the capacity to have 300 restaurants in total. Ideally we are looking for experienced franchisees with the ambition to take on multiple outlets although we will consider single unit operators as well. They may already have interests in another quick-service restaurant franchise brand and looking to expand their portfolio.” In contrast to most kebab outlets, the GDK concept is primarily as a sit-in restaurant as well as providing take-away with a 60/40 split predicted. All the meat and bread is provided from the factory in Germany and the sauces come from Dubai. “Quality and consistency is paramount and the only way we can do this is by providing our own ingredients,” added Sarwar. “GDK has been doing this for 25 years so they have it down to a fine art. The kebab is very popular in Germany and is considered the number one street food. Our kebabs offer a healthy alternative to burgers as they are lower in calories. The meat is 100% pure and is grilled not fried. It is a very simple franchise to operate as it does not require a qualified chef to prepare the meals, it’s more a case of assembling the ingredients – the German Engineered Kebab. One million fans on Dubai’s German Doner Facebook can’t be wrong.” A GDK franchise costs £25,000 for a single unit, and for clusters of three the price reduces. Total investment required is roughly £160,000 depending on the size of the restaurant, which can range from 800 to 1400 square feet. There is also a kiosk option (350 to 600 square foot). GDK has franchises in ten countries in Europe and the Middle East with plans to open in the US in the near future.


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