GDK Franchise Ė 5 Things You Didnít Know About German Doner Kebab

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german doner kebab

Doner Kebab is a favourite of many of us here in the UK. The naughty takeaway food, which isnít exactly great for your waistline but does wonders to soak up a boozy night of excess or celebrate the end of the week, is also eaten by millions of people across the world. Generally made of minced, seasoned lamb thatís reformed and cooked on a vertical rotisserie, before being shaved off and served with a pitta and salad, the treat is similar to the traditional Greek gyro or Arab shawarma. But where exactly did the doner kebab come from?

Surprisingly, doner kebab has roots in Germany, despite seeming like a middle eastern treat. One of the most widely believed origin tales is that the doner kebab was created by a Turkish man who was working in Germany called Kadir Nurman. He is credited with selling the first doner kebab as we know it in 1972, which was sold in West Berlin.

Nurman moved to Germany in 1960 as part of an initiative to increase the labour force in West Germany. He settled in to life in the country, but noticed that there was a lack of tasty, substantial options for German workers who wanted a lunch they could eat on the go. Inspired by the typical meal feasted on by Turkish Royalty, which consists of meat skewers, rice and vegetable, he popped the tasty meat inside bread known as durum to make it more portable. And so, the doner kebab was born.

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Disputed Claims to Fame

However, Nurmanís claim to be the founder of the doner kebab has been disputed. Turks are the largest non-German ethnic group in Germany, so around the same time there were many other ambitious food entrepreneurs trying to bring their countryís cuisine to the masses. Nevzat Salim claims that he sold the first doner kebab in 1969 in Reutlingen and Mehmet Aygun states that he popularised the doner in 1971 in Berlin.

One thingís for certain though: regardless of who brought the doner kebab to Europe, itís cemented itself as a firm favourite of many of us. Around 600 tons of doner meat are eaten daily in Germany alone and an estimated 1.3 million kebabs are sold every day in the UK. So, it seems as though doner kebabs could be the perfect food to start your own franchise around.

Thatís exactly what German Doner Kebab has done. The kebab business franchise is one of the worldís leading kebab retailers, with more than 60 branches in countries including the UK, UAE, Sweden and Oman, and branches coming soon in Canada and the USA. Weíve rounded up five of our favourite facts about the franchise so you can learn more.

  • German Doner Kebab (GDK) was founded in 1989 in Berlin. The food franchise spent more than a decade perfecting its kebabs to make them delicious, traditionally spiced and perfectly cooked before it began recruiting franchise partners. Its founders knew that they wanted to create a quality version of the cheap kebab that so is sold in so many other kebab outlets across the world. Rather than slabs of grey meat that often come to mind when people think of a cheap kebab, GDK created a version of the classic kebab that is fresh, vibrant and relatively healthy.

  • Dispelling the myth that Doner Kebabs are full of unhealthy fillers and contain a shockingly low percentage of real meat, GDKís kebabs are different. The franchise uses 100% chicken fillets in its kofte to shish kebabs and crafts its tasty signature doner kebabs out of 100% lean succulent beef. All of its meat is sourced directly from Germany, which has rigorous standards on the quality of the meat products that it exports. The meat is then accompanied by salads made from fresh, locally produced vegetables that are delivered to each branch at the start of every day.
  • GDK utilises social media marketing in a way that many franchises just havenít managed yet. From challenging competitive eater Kate Ovens to try its 18-inch kebab challenge, to inviting influential reality tv stars like the Love Island cast to the openings of their new branches, the franchise uses the innovative marketing techniques to make it appeal to a wider audience and spread the word about the brand. By sharing mouth-watering pictures of its delicious treats through Instagram, one of the most popular social networking sites for young kebab fans, itís able to create more demand and drive interest in new branches before they even open.
  • GDK claimed the title of the best UAE franchise brand from the influential Middle East & North Africa Franchise Association in 2014, demonstrating that people across the region canít get enough of the franchiseís offerings. As all of GDKís menu is certified Halal, itís suitable for the large Muslim population that visit its UAE, Oman and Bahrain locations. This means that its customers can tuck into delights like the franchiseís doner kebab/quesadilla mash-up, cheesy chilli chips and tasty doner burger without worrying.
  • You donít even have to leave the comfort of your home to get your hands on some tasty GDK treats, as the franchiseís UK operation has teamed up with Ubereats and Deliveroo to bring food straight to your door. Simply log on to either of the apps (depending on which delivers to your location) and place your order, then sit back and wait for your delicious kebab to arrive at your home. Itís the perfect solution for a lazy Sunday or Friday night treat, as youíll only have to move from your bed or sofa when your feast arrives.
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