Middle Eastern food is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Enjoyed as a healthy lunchtime snack, dinner mezze platter or late-night kebab, this versatile cuisine is finding more and more fans as time goes on.
If you’re interested in starting your own Middle Eastern restaurant, you should consider investing in a franchise. Joining an established brand will give you the credibility you need as a new business owner, as well as proven strategies, a ready-made customer base and support from an experienced franchisor.
Why start a Middle Eastern food franchise unit?
- Consumers are becoming more adventurous - A decade or so ago, the restaurant sector was dominated by a few different cuisines. Now, high streets across the UK are bursting with unique and wonderful flavours, home to restaurants specialising in dishes from places like Korea, Brazil, the Caribbean, Poland and Lebanon. Middle Eastern food has found a large customer base among Brits, so you’re likely to see consistently high sales if you can crack the formula.
- Experiment with a huge variety of flavours - Middle Eastern food is all about flavour, so you’ll be able to get creative with your dishes. Also, this cuisine covers a number of different sub-categories, from Greek to Turkish, Moroccan and Persian foods, so you should be able to offer something for even the fussiest eaters.
- Cater to vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs - Your menu will probably include veg-packed dishes, so you should have lots to offer those who don’t eat animal products or gluten. If the franchise you join has made a few clever menu choices to make sure it’s inclusive, you can appeal to a wide proportion of diners.
- Benefit from social media marketing - The colourful, attractive food of the Middle East looks great on camera, so use this to your advantage when marketing your business. If your franchisor allows, post high-quality pictures of your dishes to your social media pages to tempt hungry customers through your doors.
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Middle Eastern food franchise opportunities
Let’s run through some of the top food franchises in the Middle Eastern category.
Hummus is a consumer favourite when it comes to the Middle Eastern diet. This winning franchise takes advantage of our newfound love for the blended chickpea dish, serving it alongside a selection of pitas, falafel, salads, pickles, sauces and juices.
- Becoming a HUMPIT Hummus franchisee: This business is on the hunt for regional franchisees all across the UK to bring the brand to their local areas. It offers the chance to operate from small sites with low fit-out and running costs.
- How much you need to invest: If you’re interested in opening a HUMPIT Hummus franchise, an initial investment of £30,000 is required, but the total capital necessary to grow the business will be around £70,000.
- What you get for your investment: You can opt to launch a sit-down café or a takeaway site, depending on your chosen location. Whichever model you go for, the franchise team will provide a comprehensive training programme and ongoing support covering everything from help with site selection to fit-out, product lines and marketing.
Abou Shawarma has developed a network of quick-service restaurants across Panama, Qatar and the UAE. But it has big plans for expansion, with two new sites already lined up for Saudi Arabia and Oman.
- Becoming an Abou Shawarma franchisee: If you’re to join this franchise, you’ll need to find a suitable site of between 25 and 120 square metres.
- How much you need to invest: In order to open a standard Abou Shawarma outlet, you’ll need between £120,000 and £200,000, but you should be prepared to pay £250,000 to £310,000 for an area development agreement including an office and central kitchen. This agreement comprises an exclusive territory for a minimum of five outlets.
- What you get for your investment: The franchise team will be on hand to supply training on best practice and an operating manual. You’ll also be given helpful documents and videos, and remote franchisor support.
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If you’d like to start a shawarma restaurant, you could alternatively join Shawarma Shack. It currently has 30 locations in Luzon, the Philippines’ largest island. This franchise originally operated as a food cart, and secured a loyal customer base after introducing its famous “Buy 1, Take 1” promotion.
- Becoming a Shawarma Shack franchisee: This franchise is currently based in the Philippines, so if you’d like to find out about bringing it to UK shores, you should get in touch with the brand directly.
- How much you need to invest: There are several options when it comes to starting a Shawarma Shack business. Open a shopping mall ‘cart’ for £13,300 or a ‘non-mall cart’ for between £15,400 and £23,400. If you have a higher budget, you could choose to launch a full store. This will cost you around £52,100.
- What you get for your investment: Shawarma Shack likes to make sure its franchisees have all the tools to succeed. That’s why it provides an operations manual, training in management, marketing and customer service, and support with site evaluation and the grand opening.
Kalamaki Street Greek
This Middle Eastern food franchise puts a modern twist on classic Greek dishes. It’s proud to create dishes that are ‘made slow’ but ‘served fast’, and banish unhealthy, greasy food.
- Becoming a Kalamaki Street Greek franchisee: You’ll sell a range of high-quality, traditional cuisine at a fair price. There’s already a restaurant up and running in London, so get in touch with the brand to learn more about helping it grow in the UK.
- How much you need to invest: Franchisees interested in this opportunity need to pay a franchisee fee of £15,000 and have at least £120,000 in capital.
- What you get for your investment: In return for your capital, you’ll get access to an extensive training programme. During your coaching period, you’ll have the chance to get to grips with everything from promotion to store selection and design.
Elfalafel is a Middle Eastern restaurant specialising in - you guessed it - tasty falafel! It has established a sterling reputation at its Edinburgh site over the five years it’s been in operation.
- Becoming an Elfalafel franchisee: You’ll be joining a brand that classes itself as a young and vibrant company keen to innovate. In fact, it’s the first falafel company in the UK to introduce chilli and spinach variations of the falafel.
- How much you need to invest: To get a breakdown of the investment costs, head to Elfalafel’s website to request further details.
- What you get for your investment: Franchisees can look forward to receiving initial training and ongoing support. This includes regular visits from a member of the franchising team, and helpful training manuals. All marketing material, including the website, menu and brochures, have already been designed and produced for you.
Launch your own successful Middle Eastern food franchise
As you can see, there are plenty of different options when it comes to launching a Middle Eastern food franchise. You can find even more restaurant investment opportunities right here at Point Franchise.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©