A regional flagship for Caribou Coffee and Five Guys, Al Sayer is providing the foundations for forward-thinking franchising in the Middle East
Project Manager: Matthew Selby
Coffee. A universally renowned staple drink across communities around the world, it has established itself as one of the most popular caffeinated beverages on the planet.
According to current estimates, more than two billion cups of it are consumed every day (25,000 every second). Yet despite its undeniable global popularity, the drink remains a relatively new addition to modern culinary delicacies in the grand scheme of history.
Unbeknownst to many, the earliest evidence of coffee’s consumption dates to the early 15th century when it was found in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen. From here, it took less than a century for the refreshment to spread throughout the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, even reaching Persia, Turkey and South India.
Its rapid rise in popularity became somewhat turbulent, having been banned by religious leaders in Mecca, Cairo, Ethiopia and even in the Catholic Church in centuries gone by.
Nonetheless, coffee has continued to prevail, no better reflected than by the current demand for it in the region where it was first discovered.
According to Euromonitor international, the coffee industry in the Middle East is expected to be valued at $4.4 billion by 2021. And while the versatile drink continues to become recognised as a multicultural, artisan experience, those providing the beverage, such as Al Sayer Franchising Company, will continue to thrive.
A flagship franchising business of American coffeehouse chain Caribou Coffee, Al Sayer’s own exponential growth speaks volumes of these changing tastes, having opened over 200 branded Caribou Coffee stores throughout Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar and Egypt since 2005.
Coffee, however, is not the sole string to Al Sayer’s bow of expertise.
More recent times have witnessed the enterprise making additional strides into new markets, namely evidenced by the launch of its first Five Guys store in Kuwait in 2016. Subsequently, the three years since have proven to be a monumental success, the company in turn opening 75 such restaurants across Kuwait and Oman while also further expanding its portfolio with The Cheesecake Factory Bakery brand.
“Adhering to our corporate values and vision, we are recognised as one of the fastest growing franchising companies in the food and beverage industry locally and regionally,” Hamad Al Sayer, CEO, states in his corporate message.
Al Sayer continues: “Passion is the essence of what we do – we are committed to deliver best experiences, adopt high practices and build enduring partnerships. At Al Sayer Franchising Co., we believe that competition is the drive to any corporate success as it fosters knowledge exchange in the marketplace to pursue perfection.
“We are keen to learn from others’ experiences as well as innovate and set new standards in our industry.”
Embodying this overriding ethos and testament to the company’s rapid rise, consistent delivery of high quality, innovative products and adherence to best industry practices are the firm’s staff.
Currently employing 3,000 people, Al Sayer and its diverse team, consisting of over 30 different nationalities and operating across 10 countries, share this mutually adopted vision.
It is because of this that the business has been successful in identifying new markets and new opportunities, in turn introducing international concepts, products and brands to the Middle East and beyond, offering new experiences to a range of different demographics.
“I thank our family members who work with passion and total commitment, in addition to our franchise partners who work alongside us to deliver high-quality experiences to our guests,” the Chief Executive affirms, highlighting the firm’s recognition of these contributions.
This acknowledgement is equally reflected in both Al Sayer’s attitudes towards retaining its existing staff and its employee strategies geared towards acquiring leading industry talent, positioned as an employer of choice with competitive advantages and equal opportunities.
Considering each and every one of its team members to be a valued asset, it promotes a passionate, energetic, creative, family culture at all of its franchise outlets, providing its teams with dynamic, growth-oriented career paths.
“At Al Sayer Franchising we work hard to put in place the best tools to reward performance,” the message from Al Sayer Franchising Co’s HR Director reads.
“What we provide is sustainability and growth as shown in our high retention rates from our staff that have been progressed from freshers to managers and unit heads.
We are keen on internal promotions and on capturing and attracting the best talent to handle the upcoming growth.
“We offer a job that has an attractive work environment and reward for performance.”
Looking again at Euromonitor International’s predictions and the recent alternate expansions of Al Sayer, it seems that such opportunities will remain in an abundance for the foreseeable future.
In terms of the company’s wider outlook, the coming years look equally bright, the firm embodying the same characteristics as its staff in the way of progression.
Its forward-thinking, growth-centred philosophies will continue to act as pillars of consolidation moving forward, set to be powered by expanded partnerships, the introduction of new brands and an enhanced regional presence.