The Dubai based F&B Company continues to move forward with expansion plans, taking homegrown eatery, Operation: Falafel, international despite COVID-19 pandemic
UAE: AWJ Investments announces the successful opening of Operation: Falafel’s first international location in New York. Marking the ongoing success of the holding group which currently runs 12 unique culinary concepts across 38 outlets in the Middle East.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of its international expansion plans the established and beloved UAE homegrown brand, Operation: Falafel opened its first store in June, in one of the food capitals of the world, New York City. The first store is located at 232, 7th Avenue Chelsea, Manhattan, and channels Operation: Falafel’s distinctive restaurant design, that has impressed diners visiting the new hotspot. The almost 2000 sq ft restaurant seats 60 and serves even more for take-out and delivery options.
As the first location in AWJ Investments international portfolio, the new restaurant has seen huge success within its first few weeks, with sales exceeding targets by 40% within the first week.
The popular restaurant chain, known for its modern twist on casual Middle Eastern street food, offers an adapted menu for the Western market as well as the classics including shawerma, pitas, bowls, salads, hummus and of course the brand’s namesake, falafel.
Manhal Naser, Group CEO and Co-Founder of AWJ Investments, says: “With the UAE celebrating 50 years of prosperity, development, and inclusivity we wanted to pay homage to our home and continue to break moulds as a proud UAE homegrown pioneer moving into the western market.
“Our goal following the onset of the pandemic was to continue with our global expansion, which we have successfully completed with the opening of our New York location. We are thrilled to still be in a position to share real Middle Eastern street food with the world, taking a monumental step into western markets. We’ve seen an increase in interest in franchise opportunities, proving the success of the dine in and delivery concept in the market.”
“Customer feedback has been exceptional, in terms of flavour, the quality and freshness of our dishes as well as value for money. By remaining authentic to our brand roots, we are able to achieve a perfect balance that provides customers a healthy, delicious, affordable and on-trend dining experience in an effective operational model. We’re looking forward to welcoming more customers into our new location.”
The success of the opening has proved encouraging for AWJ Investments, with the company now accelerating its plans to open more outlets across the Big Apple, including 10 stores in the Downtown area of Manhattan and signing a further 350 units throughout the USA by 2023. Operation: Falafel will also continue its growth mission by opening France and UK in the coming months.
About AWJ Investments:
AWJ Investments is a fast-growing Food & Beverage Holding Group that owns and grows home-grown Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and International dining concepts. Exploring global opportunities, AWJ recognizes the potential of a rapidly evolving Food & Beverage market, with the aim of acquiring and growing brands that are internationally recognized and loved. Founded and headquartered in Dubai; AWJ set out on its culinary journey with five unique concepts – all strategically located across popular tourist and dining destinations in Dubai and have now expanded into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through owned and franchised locations. AWJ now plans to continue to travel and explore Markets across Europe, North Africa and the USA, experimenting with new tastes and old, and infusing traditional flavors with a fusion of traditions.