meat & shake interview qanda ealing

Meat & Shake’s Director Osman Ahmed

With Meat & Shake set to open a new branch in Ealing on the 15th of August, we decided to grill this popular burger joint’s Director, Osman Ahmed, with a couple of juicy questions behind its apparent success and his plans for the future.

Feed the Lion (FtL): What made you choose Ealing for your new branch?

Osman: Ealing was chosen because of the demographics of the location and it falling in line with our expansion plans.
We want everyone in London to be accessible to a Meat & Shake and we are going to cover East London, central London and North London in the coming years.
Ealing and Watford caters for our west London clientele, and Tooting already covers South London.

FtL: And why the new menu; did the old one not work?

Osman: We have always wanted to do the menu we are going to introduce in Ealing.
The problem with Tooting is that it is a small unit and there is physically not enough space for a large menu in the kitchen in terms of practicality and storage.
Tooting has been very successful for us and we thank our customers for its success and growth. I am sure you can see that our growth into new stores stems from Tooting with its successful smaller menu.

We have taken on board a corporate executive chef who … has worked with Michelin starred restaurants…

FtL: What would you especially recommend from this new menu (please don’t say “everything”)?

Osman: Our smoked chicken and Jambalaya mains.

FtL: Is there a ‘secret menu’ that’ll blow your customers away?

Osman: There is no secret menu; but the menu that we will launch will have a few nice surprises that no Halal restaurant does anywhere such as smoked brisket cooked for 18 hours in hickory and mesquite wood.

FtL: How do you plan on keeping your menu fresh, innovatory and constantly evolving?

Osman: We have taken on board a corporate executive chef who overseas and produced our menu across all stores. He has worked with Michelin starred restaurants and has provided consultation for Marks and Spencer’s.
Our head chef has already developed guest items and new lines to introduce later down the year.

FtL: Is there anything new and different you’re going to try with this branch that you haven’t with any other?

Osman: Set a benchmark for a southern smokehouse barbecue restaurant, especially in the halal sector.
The burger market is over-saturated and everyone is doing the same thing now.
Our new smokehouse menu will introduce something completely different.

FtL: If you were told that the burgers from your Tooting menu lacked depth of flavour and a tasty sauce that brought things altogether, how would you address this complaint, if at all?

Osman: Add more seasoning and sauce!
It’s very difficult to balance everyone’s taste buds as some people like a little sauce and others a lot. If there are any requests, then we can accommodate anything.
Yes, we mean anything!

The menu that we will launch will have a few nice surprises that no Halal restaurant does anywhere…

FtL: What have been the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a burger restaurant?

Osman: Evolving our menu, which we have now done. As mentioned earlier, everyone is doing a burger restaurant; so to distinguish ourselves from the rest, our new menu will add that spark.

FtL: What famous faces have entered your doors?

Osman:  Shelina Permalloo (Masterchef winner); Siddique Khan (MP and London mayor candidate); Nat Coombs (NFL host on Channel 5).

FtL: Any other plans for the future?

Osman: Our expansion plan consists of 15 stores in 5 years. We have already lined up a few more stores next year.
We are keeping ourselves busy by opening Ealing this week, and Watford next month.
Hope to see you down.

We’ll be there alright (hopefully in time for that 1000 burger give away).

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  • 15 stores! There about to take over the world. Make one in Manchester please. Where deprived over here.

    13 Aug '15
  • Holla, if you came from HUKD

    13 Aug '15

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