DUBAI // The popular shawarma restaurant Wild Peeta will open two new venues in Dubai by the end of the year and plans to be internationally franchised by the end of next.
This will make it the first Emirati international fast food chain, an achievement which the brothers who founded the restaurant in November last year said would be the realisation of their dream.
Mohamed and Peyman Parham said over the last five months they have been approached by people in Thailand, Fiji, Canada, the US and India wanting to open a Wild Peeta.
“It’s awesome,” said Mohamed, 36. “Although we’ve been planning this for the last 12 years, we never expected it to take on a life of its own like this.”
In November a Wild Peeta will open in Deira City Centre mall and in December a larger space will open in the World Trade Centre. They plan to have outlets in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in the first few months of 2011 and once the UAE master franchise model is set they will begin to oversee the international chain.
“The idea is to bring the Emirati brand but to keep the identity of the community,” said Peyman, 34.
“We want to source local produce and to use social media to have the customers influence the menu.”
Most of the exotic sauces used to garnish the chicken, meat and vegetable shawarma sandwiches served from the existing venue in Dubai’s Healthcare City are results of suggestions from customers through Facebook and Twitter.
The concept of the restaurant is to serve traditional Arabic shawarma but to vary the sauces from traditional garlic mayonnaise. Options include Thai peanut satay, Italian margarita and Mexican pinto bean.
The shop was so successful that within weeks of opening they had such a strong fan base that people turned up to help rebuild the venue when it was flooded.
The men said their aim was to eventually have two restaurants in every major city in the world.
Abdul Baset al Janahi, the chief executive officer of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Entreprises (SME), who supported the venture from the outset said this objective was not at all far fetched.
“I am confident they will get there eventually,” he said. “My dream is for Wild Peeta to become the Emirati McDonalds, for it to become a listed company and for everyone to know the name.”
Mr al Janahi, whose department has helped over 1,050 businesses start and develop and gain access to over Dh850 million in contracts since 2002 said the example of Wild Peeta underpinned everything his department stood for.