German Doner Kebab – Carving a Reputation
“Quality in Everything We Serve” is our motto!
With German Doner Kebab (GDK) set to open its second London branch in West Ealing this Monday, not only did its European CEO, Kamshad Abbas Zadeh, and its Marketing Director, John Gaskin, find the time to answer a few of our questions regarding the global franchise’s ethos, plans and menu, but were also kind enough to offer Feed the Lion readers a:
Free Drink with every GDK Doner Kebab or Durum Sandwich
(Offer valid until 8.10.15 – simply ask in store mentioning Feed the Lion)
Feed the Lion (FtL): On your menu, you have a dish called a Lahmacun – also affectionately referred to as the “Turkish” or “Armenian pizza”. Is that region the origin for the ingredients and spices used to make up your overall menu?
GDK: Lahmacun is the bread style that we maintain from that region and is very popular in our German and UAE stores – not many know of this in the UK – yet! The meat for all our stores is uniquely prepared with subtle spices at pre-cooking stage which results in the high quality German Doner Kebab taste.
FtL: You also offer on your menu something called a Durum Doner; what exactly is a Durum Doner?
GDK: Durum Doner is a large circular durum wheat flat bread on top of which is placed sauce, salad and meat, and then rolled with one end folded for an easy and delicious eat-in-the-hand meal.
Unlike most UK kebab concepts, we don’t sell lamb at all. The end result is succulent, low fat and high in protein.
FtL: You say on your website that you hope your customers will “enjoy the original German Doner Kebab”. Aside from the obvious, what makes your German Doner so original and distinct from any other Doner Kebab?
GDK: Great question! We use succulent lean beef and chicken that is prepared with secret spices. Unlike most UK kebab concepts, we don’t sell lamb at all. The end result is succulent, low fat and high in protein. This coupled with our special firm, crispy yet soft GDK Doner sandwich bread makes for a whole new exciting dining experience compared to a more traditionally known Doner Kebab in the UK.
GDK: Definitely our GDK Doner Kebab – with choice of beef, chicken or mixed meat with fresh salad and each of our secret sauces. We’re sure you’ll love it!
FtL: Is the menu on your website a default used all over the world, or do you tweak it to cater for the unique taste buds of the people of a region you serve?
GDK: Our menu is the same but we occasionally have dishes that we trial in some stores then roll out to others. Our meat, sauces, bread and spices are all consistent recipes throughout GDK.
FtL: Is there anything on the British menu that’s unique to our taste buds?
GDK: Our GDK Doner Bread is causing a sensation here and whilst this is well known in Germany (and our Swedish stores) it’s a new experience for the UK customer. Also the meat is the highest quality, we believe completely different to everything you tasted before.
FtL: Where and when was your first UK branch opened, and what problems and obstacles, if any, did you encounter?
GDK: Our First UK Branch opened in June 2015 at 84 Bull Street, B4 6AB, Birmingham. This branch has two floor levels of seating. The biggest problem is the queues at lunch and dinner time – a nice problem to have but we want to make sure our customers are serviced as quickly as possible when they come in store. We have ironed this out by taking customer orders in the queue and increasing the numbers of our trained kitchen staff.
FtL: You have two branches currently operating in this country (Ilford, Birmingham), and are looking to open more across London (West Ealing, Wembley, and Fulham). What was the reason for starting off outside the Capital?
GDK: When prospective area franchisees sign for multiple stores our highly experienced property development team worked very closely with them to select the right location. It’s simply a case that Birmingham found their location first very closely followed by Ilford. Both these stores are extremely popular with very happy customers (and owners!). West Ealing is already serving (training period) and our ‘Grand Opening’ is this Monday, 5th October.
We are already operating 34 outlets in 10 countries worldwide and are looking to offer our outstanding services to the rest of the world in 2016.
FtL: Do you have anything planned for the grand opening day that customers might look forward to?
GDK: Plenty of lovely food on the menu! There is also an opening offer of Free Drink for the first three days with any GDK Doner Kebab or GDK Durum Doner Sandwich. Some of our directors will be there chatting with customers and enjoying the food themselves!
FtL: Do you have any new menu items currently in the pipelines we might look forward to?
GDK: We do and it’s going to be a big seller for sure. We can’t tell you here (very sorry) but will on Facebook soon, and will make sure FtL have the first nod on this scoop.
FtL: What are your short- and long-term plans for the future in the UK?
GDK: To make sure GDK is recognised as the customer’s main choice for great healthy food to eat in or take out. We are already operating 34 outlets in 10 countries worldwide and are looking to offer our outstanding services to the rest of the world in 2016. “Quality in Everything We Serve” is our motto and maintaining this from the start is paramount and ensures the highest standard from the very first to the newest store world-wide.
FtL: Wanna take this opportunity to say anything to our many hungry Lions out there?
GDK: You’ll never forget your first Big Bite into our GDK Doner Kebab Sandwich – the texture and flavours are unique always bringing a big smile on customers’ faces – and we’re really confident you’ll be back many times. Enjoy! Lastly – thank you for taking the time to read our answers to really great questions.
And Feed the Lion will be at the grand opening, God-willing, this Monday, so we’ll see you all there!
DISCLAIMER: And as always, this interview will not in any way, shape or form impair our high standards of objectivity. We are as impartial and as unbiased as they come.