German Doner Kebab (GDK), a fast-casual restaurant chain, plans to open 350 restaurants in the United States over the next seven years. The first location will be within American Dream in East Rutherford.
GDK is part of the fast-casual Hero Brands portfolio, based in Glasgow, Scotland. The company specializes in doner kebab, which is a slow-cooked meat often served on a flatbread. GDK operates more than 70 locations in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Oman, and Bahrain. GDK also plans to open locations in Ireland and Saudi Arabia.
In addition, to growth in New York over the next two years, Texas-based Yum franchisee Tanweer Ahmed has committed to developing 12 of the kebab locations in Houston, Dallas and Las Vegas. The GDK locations will grow Ahmed’s portfolio, which now includes 153 KFC outlets, 58 Pizza Huts and 24 Taco Bells. The brand is also looking to expand in Saudi Arabia, where a master franchisee is planning the development of 100 stores over the next decade, the company said.
New York City-based JAACRES is representing GDK in finding American locations. Joseph Aquino of JAACRES said the company is seeking locations in malls, strip centers and central business districts. GDK plans to open later this year as part of the American Dream’s grand opening. A typical GDK unit runs 1,300 – 1,500 sq. ft with a 400 sq ft kitchen. The stores have seating for 40 plus guests.
“Doner Kebab” is a fast food retailer that has created a healthy and nutritionally balanced approach to traditional kebabs. GDK opened our first store in Berlin in 1989 and spent the next decade perfecting its policies and procedures, its unique blend of traditional spices and exclusive products, as well as refining and improving our innovative cooking processes.
Their kebabs are made from quality ingredients that are exclusive to Doner Kebab Restaurants. The great taste comes from the SECRET SAUCES. GDK uses succulent beef and pure chicken fillets. These meats are imported directly from Germany to maintain quality and consistency. The company uses fresh, locally produced vegetables that are delivered and prepared daily along with its special “Doner Kebab” bread.
To drive the growth GDK has hired industry veteran Nigel Belton to lead guide it’s U.S. vision. The Former Yum Brands executive has been named managing director for the North American operation of German Doner Kebab, or GDK, a U.K.-based fast-casual brand that has plans for expansion in the U.S.
For the past two years, Belton has been working with German Doner Kebab in a consulting position, Prior to that, Belton has held senior executive positions with both KFC and Pizza Hut in South Africa and the Middle East. Before emigrating to the U.S. in 2015, he was CEO for KFC Pakistan.
“GDK is a game changer within the Mediterranean restaurant sector and I have no doubt that consumers in North America will love the experience and food,” Belton said. “We have plenty of work to do as we build the local team and are fortunate to have a strong support base out of the U.K.”