Emblem of fresh and high-quality ingredients

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Sunaina Rana / Emirates Business

BouBouffe restaurant, owned by Michel Aramouni, first opened its door in 1976 in Ashrafieh, Beirut Lebanon. It was initially conceived as a neighborhood restaurant targeting middle to upper market.
Its daily dishes, charcoal Chawarma and Lebanese authentic food became well-known as the best in town. The brand has recently begun operating in the UAE with one brasserie in Abu Dhabi and a second one in Dubai.
With 40 years of experience, BouBouffe is renowned for its use of fresh and high-quality ingredients, particularly its authentic home-style daily dishes and its famous charcoal-grilled Chawarma.
In 2015 BouBouffe International signed a Franchise agreement with the Addmind Group, a food and beverage management and concept creation company, to bring BouBouffe to the UAE. BouBouffe, with time has positioned itself as a Lebanese Brasserie appreciated for its food quality and service. BouBouffe’s Dubai branch is located in Aspin Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road, near the Shangri La Hotel. BouBouffe offers a full-fledged menu from breakfast to dinner, comprising authentic Lebanese home-style cuisine with selected international specialties. The new branch mimics the same intimate and warm interior of the original BouBouffe, transporting guests to the busy streets of Beirut.
Aside from the brand’s Dubai opening, UAE residents can look forward to four more BouBouffe branches opening within the next two years, a result of a franchises agreement signed between BouBouffe International and the Addmind Group.
Emirates Business talks to Ralph Nader, Deputy CEO, BouBouffe regarding the company’s venture in the UAE.

What is the vision behind Boubouffe?
The vision behind Boubouffe is to offer our customers, Lebanese homely food done exactly as our grandmother used to cook, without altering the recipe. Globally, our vision is to spread the brand in the international market, sharing our love for authentic Lebanese food

What is your opinion on the UAE’s F&B market?
The UAE F&B market is becoming a very mature one. The food industry is booming, customers have a lot on their plate — high quality products and services. The market is much diversified — the customers are well travelled and are aware of authentic flavours of the cuisines. Having said that, it is becoming a very competitive market, price sensitive with high
operative cost.
What made Boubouffe develop its first franchisee outside the Lebanese border in the UAE?
UAE is positioned itself as one of the world’s top cosmopolitan destinations — the country has a massive Lebanese community who already know Boubouffe from their home country. The proximity played a big role but also the desire to open in a mature stable destination was an important motivation behind our decision.

What are the fundamentals/advantages that you
identified in the UAE?
The UAE is one of the first Gulf countries that was able to move from a fuel economy-base to an economy relying on trade, real estate, bank system, retail and hospitality industry. The F&B market is growing rapidly and the UAE is seen as a testing platform for various concepts.
The fundamentals of the UAE’s F&B market rely on a good percentage of the population that has a high purchasing power and also on the growing number of people who prefer going to a restaurant rather than to cook home.

What do you think about the
competition in the market?
The market is undoubtedly competitive; however, I don’t believe that a market could be saturated. It is just the survival of the fittest.

How you manage to
reproduce the authenticity of Lebanese dishes in the UAE?
First and main criteria is to select a franchisee that strongly believes in our brand, has a proven successful management team and that agree with the importance of reproducing the same taste that is offered in Lebanon. This is why we have selected the Add Mind group to be our exclusive franchisee for the UAE.
Second is the selection of the key staff members that were all trained in Lebanon infusing them our Boubouffe culture.
Third is the careful selection of the ingredients that is of utmost
importance to reproduce the exact
authentic taste that our customers
experience in our home country.

What makes you different from your competitors?
Boubouffe is a middle market, Lebanese Brasserie that has a strong USP in the form of famous charcoal Chawarma and some ‘international’ dishes such as burgers and pizza. What sets us apart from our competitors is our concept of food which has the essence of homemade dishes.

What are your further plans of
expansion in the UAE?
Our plan is to open six Boubouffe outlets in the UAE. Of which, two are already operational. The first one in Yas Mall Abu Dhabi and the Second one on Sheikh Zayed road.
A third branch is under construction and will open its door in July 2016 in Bay Square — Business Bay Dubai. 2017 will see the opening of 2 outlets, one in the ‘Marina/JBR/JLT’ area and another one in Abu Dhabi. The sixth outlet will open its door in 2018 in Deira Dubai area.

Are there any other major projects in the pipeline?
We are looking to develop the brand in KSA, Iran and London in the next three years. We identify these destinations as ‘high potential’ areas, where Boubouffe can make a
significant impact.

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