Author: Mariana Waheep, BSU student
Question: Tell me about your business. Why did you choose this line of business?
Answer: At Shawarma Club, we are a family-run restaurant offering the best quality Shawarma and other Egyptian cuisines in the area. This Shawarma is fresh, and authentic. Our food is made with Quality Halal Meat, and made-to-order for guaranteed freshness, and excellent quality. We chose this line of business because it’s what we knew best. It’s been our goal to give people a taste of Middle Eastern food with an Egyptian twist.
Q: When did it start? What Year?
A: We opened up this restaurant on June 6, 2019.
Q: What was it that made you want to start this business?
A: Starting this business was something we had wanted to do for a very long time. Ever since we stepped foot in this country, it was our goal to open up a business and there was nothing better in our head than giving Americans and people of all cultures a little taste of the Middle Eastern culture.
Q: What was the toughest thing you went through when opening?What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
A: The toughest thing we went through opening up this restaurant was dealing with the overwhelming stress and overthinking about whether this type of business was the correct path to take. However, the advertisement postings we presented on social media got extremely great feedback and everyone was extremely excited and eager to try our famous Egyptian cuisines which inspired us to keep going and put all of our blood, sweat, and tears into these restaurants.
Q: If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
A: The most difficult challenge we faced was during the process of opening the restaurant on the set Grand Opening date that we had released to the public. The day before we opened, we were too focused on getting the actual store together rather than focus on the importance of the recipes and the menu. Our menu is filled with the most popular and known Egyptian cuisines, so we were easily able to prepare all items on the menu. However, our menu is based around Shawarma (meat stacked on a stick and slowly roasted on a spit/rotisserie) so that was the main recipe we needed to put all our energy into. It wasn’t until hours past midnight before our Grand Opening we combined two different marinations and were able to successfully create the perfect recipe.
Q: What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
A: We opened up these restaurants in 2019 and this type of food was not typically found around these areas, so we were able to gain our loyal and happy customers by being a unique restaurant. However, in 2020, there was a rise in Middle Eastern restaurants opening up near the South Shore area. This gave us a little bit of competition which was the toughest part we have faced in 2020.
Q: If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
A: Before investing in this business, we as a family made sure to have a taste of as many Middle Eastern restaurants, we could find to have an idea of what they had to offer. After tasting most food and talking to plenty of owners, we concluded that most of the food produced by them was frozen and not typically freshly prepared. However, every meal we sell is always fresh and authentic; we passionately make all the food with love.
Q: What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
A: Currently, we come up with ‘specials’ every weekend that attract more and more customers. We also make sure to build a connection with each one of our customers. Customers also love to hear the Arabic music we have playing on a daily. We’re able to spread our culture in a variety of ways which is the most exciting part about the business and attracts many customers.
Q: Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc.) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
A: The internet has definitely played a major role in our success because it helps spread the word about our restaurant. It’s a way we could interact with our customers more and advertise our ‘specials’ and new additions to our menu.
Q: Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the right tools?
A: Absolutely, technology is key especially during this generation. Technology is the most advanced way to get the word around to people from all over the world. The right tools could definitely play a major role in the improvement of our business.
Q: If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
A: I would like our name to be spread around the world. Our main goal is to open locations in a variety of areas all over the state.
Q: Increase or decrease, step away and be more a manager, passive owner etc.? Why?
A: My drive in this business is to help my family be successful and content with their lives. We are all a little overworked but that’s generally what a business owner must go through while building up their business.