Romford businessman shaking up the market with quality burger bar chain Meat and Shake
PUBLISHED: 11:33 18 December 2015 | UPDATED: 11:33 18 December 2015
A successful businessman from Romford is seeking to expand his alcohol-free, "inclusive" burger bar chain across the UK and to the Middle East.
Faraz Ahmad, 33, is the founder of Meat and Shake restaurant, which opened its first shop in Tooting three years ago.
The high-quality burger house serves halal meat but no alcohol.
Mr Ahamad and his business partner Osman Ahmed, have big plans for 2016, and are planning to open several new shops in central London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leicester.
“Romford is also on the list,” said Mr Ahmad, who was brought up in Hornchurch in a Pakistani family and always had a passion for food and eating out.
He explained that although nearly 70 per cent of customers are non-Muslims, the presence of a Muslim community is an important pull factor in deciding where to open restaurants because the fine dining concept is “a growing market” among halal consumers.
The chain does not advertise the fact it does not sell alcohol.
“If people want a drink, they can go to the pub next door,” said Mr Ahmad.
“If the food is good enough, people will stay”.
Mr Ahmad wants the restaurant to carry “a social responsibility” as he is concerned smokeshouses can be “extremely boozy” and can have “a big social impact” on customers who may feel “intimidated by drunken lads”.
He told the Recorder having had a “cosmopolitan” upbringing with many non-Muslim friends he wanted the restaurant to be “inclusive” and end some of the “misunderstanding around halal food”.
“We are all have friends from different backgrounds, and we are a restaurant for everyone, no matter where you are from.”
Since August, Mr Ahamad has opened restaurants in Ealing and Watford.