Dives Holding recently opened the first international location for the Turkish restaurant concept CZN Burak and its new burger brand. FACT catches up with the Chairman to discuss all things F&B.
Could you please tell us about Dives Holding and why you’re seen as one of Dubai’s leading restaurant operators?
As a businessman and an investor after all our successful projects in Iraq and Turkey, we wanted to start from scratch with a strong brand that can fit and compete with GCC Market. Dives Holding was a brand that is born in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We took the risk to start an organisation that would be ready to please our consumers and investors. Dives Holding decided to bring one of the biggest Turkish F&B flagships to UAE and soon the wider GCC, with the pleasure of bringing happiness to all our consumers. Our motto stands as “Happy people make people happy”, and as an addition to this, we brought the biggest smile in the world to UAE. As one of the top and most favoured restaurants in Turkey, CZN Burak has gained the love of the GCC region. Thus thanks to our brand and professional team, we managed to reach our ambitions and be one of the leading restaurant operators.
How did you start your food and beverage career, and what is it about the industry that inspires you?
F&B is one of the biggest parts of hospitality and as per my businesses, we already have ongoing hospitality projects. Therefore the F&B sector isn’t new for us. However, what inspires me is seeing a good project and if that project is professionally managed, it will provide huge success. That’s why we chose Dubai and a big brand for our projects. One of the biggest countries for business and one of Turkey’s biggest and strongest restaurants equals success.
As Chairman of Dives Holding, could you tell us about your day-to-day role and what keeps it challenging and exciting?
Mainly what keeps me going and excited is setting goals for my company and making sure that it is managed properly. As we gain success, the proof shows we have a great CEO and a successful and experienced team. Before we come to Dubai, we had no team nor an office which created a challenge. So I set my goal and accomplished it by setting up my company and bringing a strong brand to ensure success.
We know you’re currently working on several new openings across Dubai. So what can we expect to see in the coming months?
When we launched Dives Holding, our target was the Dubai market and GCC region. The Dubai market is one of the most competitive when it comes to businesses. Therefore you can expect another CZN Burger coming early next year in Dubai Hills Mall, as well as a Qatar opening for CZN Burak Restaurant.
From the opening of CZN Burak and its six branches in Turkey, what was it about the concept that made you want to bring it to Dubai, and have you had to adapt the brand in any way for the local market?
When we visited Turkey and were recommended CZN Burak restaurant, we didn’t expect what we saw! The restaurant was fully packed and orders were coming and going nonstop! Let’s not forget to mention the moment Chef Burak enters and the smiles of people. We had a dream and ambitions to grow bigger. Thankfully we managed to persuade him to believe in himself and believe in us to make him reach the corners of the world and infect people with his smile, happiness and kind heart.
CZNBurak Burger has just opened in The Dubai Mall. What can you tell us about the concept and how does it differ from the numerous burger joints found in the city?
CZN Burak Restaurant is categorised under fine dining for families. However, we believed we needed a new concept for the youth as well as families. The Burger restaurant within Dubai Mall has several special touches starting from the interior design, burgers, sliders. The serving of the food is social media-oriented to provide people with special experiences. The taste of the food with the special touches of Chef Burak represents quality food at affordable prices.
How is it working with social media sensation Chef Burak?
He is a young mind filled with ideas, dreams, and ambitions dedicated to his work and family. We value family in this organisation, and he fits right in. He has a fantastic personality with a tremendously infectious smile.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the hospitality scene in the UAE. Do you think the industry is beginning to bounce back?
Of course, we were one of the organisations that took a risk and started a business during the pandemic. If we managed well through the pandemic, we can manage even better in the future. Now people are allowed to travel and are vaccinated. Hopefully, it will bounce back to where it was before, which means we need to be ready to put more smiles on our customers’ faces.
What do you believe restaurants have to do to stay relevant and ensure success during these unprecedented times for the industry?
Of course, it was hard for the F&B sector. But, we made sure to stick to the hygiene rules set up by UAE and ensured our quality of service never dropped. As promised, we brought the biggest smile and made sure to keep our consumers smiling.
We hear that you are an avid believer in corporate social responsibility. How do you plan to utilise Dives Holding as a platform to promote awareness towards becoming more socially conscious?
As you may already know, Chef Burak is known for his philanthropic activities, whether it is in the UAE or Turkey. We at Dives Holding support and advocate this philanthropy by all means, especially after these challenging times. We have budgeted separate funds to meet the needs in this aspect. We aim to reach underprivileged parts of society regardless of the location.
What would you say sets Dives Holding apart from your competitors in the marketplace?
Along with the food and beverage sector, as Dives Holding, we are considering operating in other sectors in the UAE. The UAE is crucial to us and a perfect location to grow a business, and we will definitely use this favourable ground to our advantage. No market has no competition. It is just the build of your company that showcases your brand and sets you apart from other competitors.
We also hear you are expanding outside of the UAE with openings in Morocco and Qatar. What can you tell us about these projects?
We once made a promise to Chef Burak, and this is us keeping our promise. Of course, we will keep pursuing our efforts to make sure the brand of CZN Burak reaches the world. But, at the same time, it is proof that we are doing a great job.
Finally, please could you talk us through the expansion plans for Dives Holding in the next five years.
As mentioned earlier, our ambitions are big, and we are looking forward to opening as many restaurants as possible throughout the upcoming years. We will be opening in Qatar, Morocco, Tajikistan, Egypt, UK, the USA, and many more locations throughout the GCC. Furthermore, our team is working on having a merchandise shop and an upcoming online game that will be one of a kind.