Eggcellent Breakfast

Post by Mark

eggcellent

Since we’re on the subject of breakfast today, I just found out about a new breakfast delivery place called Eggcellent that opened up last month. I haven’t tried them out but based on the photos their sandwiches look pretty appetizing. They deliver from Sunday to Thursday, 6:30AM to 2PM and Saturdays from 7:30AM to 3PM. Their instagram is @eggcellentkw

via @theculinaryquest


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Cocoa Room New Menu

Post by Mark

cocoaroom

One of my favorite breakfast and brunch spots just updated their menu this past weekend. Cocoa Room has been my go-to place for years but their menu really hasn’t changed much since they introduced their breakfast menu. Now they’ve added a bunch of new dishes to the menu which I’m going to have to start going through one by one and trying out. They’ve started posting some of their new creations on their instagram account which you can check out [Here]


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How the New Delivery Law Will Hurt Small Businesses in Kuwait

Post by Mark

law

A few days ago I posted about how a new law came out stating that restaurants could no longer place a minimum order amount on deliveries and how the maximum they could charge for delivery is also just 500fils. As a consumer I think thats fantastic news but as a business order and specifically a small business order this could signal doom. I had long heated discussion with a friend of mine on Facebook and later offline on this very subject. My friend is one of the co-founders of Al Nata, a brand I’ve posted about on the blog a number of times. They’re a small business, a startup basically and this new law will be causing them a lot of issues. I was originally going to write about their perspective but then decided to let them do it themselves so I invited my good friend AJ to post about it himself. This is what he sent me:

I’m not sure if you’ve recently seen news of a law that was passed on the 10th of April and enacted on the 17th of April.

The Law, in its first article, states the following:

“Delivery charges –
Within the town of the restaurant 0.250 KD
Outside of the town of the restaurant 0.500 KD

Minimum order amounts will not be allowed on meals or single items. Delivery must be done according to the rules above.”

It has a few other articles that are reasonable, but it’s this first one which I believe to be unreasonable.

First a little background on myself. I’m a budding entrepreneur with almost no key money. I don’t have a family office I can withdraw funds from at leisure and as such predicated my entire business model on hard work and financial projections that I update on a daily basis and continue to tweak to ensure I can manage my cash appropriately until I break even.

I have been operating for almost a year now, and recently I’ve been able to just about touch the horizon of break even-Dom. Ah yes, the fabled land of not having to worry about whether or not you’ll have enough cash to pay your rent and employees.

A big part of seeing this horizon has been based on my restaurant’s ability to attract orders on a daily basis to supplement direct cash injections into the company that I regularly make from my own day job salary. I was able to accurately model the income and growth of these cash deliveries by building my model according to a fixed minimum order amount when I make a delivery.

Here’s the best part. As any startup will attest, it’s physically impossible to make all deliveries ourselves on a daily basis with just one driver and a car. As such we have two solutions:

1- Pray to our lucky stars that we somehow find enough cash lying around to pay for more drivers and cars. (Oh, and that’s if we can get more drivers on our Shu2oon documents, but let’s leave that for another day).

2- Contract a third party to do our deliveries for us at an exorbitant but necessary price.

Naturally, being the pragmatic fellow I am, I went for the latter, though on occasion my partner does leave a few offerings for the cash Gods to somehow rain upon us. He’s a believer though.

Anyway, we began looking for perishable delivery services with as quick turnaround as possible ( ps quickest turnaround available is an hour from placing the call, which is why restaurants delivery times on Talabat are normally one hour or more – yes, a lot of us use third parties). Once we got a shortlist, we started using them to find someone that can stick to a schedule.

No trials come free of course, so this is out of pocket money to make sure we can deliver on time before we even start delivering.

Here’s the kicker though:

Price per trip within the first 6 ring roads?
2.500 KD – 3.000 KD

So before we even start preparing your order, I’ve already paid 2.500 to 3.000 KD of your order amount to this third party.

Let’s assume I’m a brilliant negotiator and got the 2.500 KD per trip rate (ps – I am…)

So here I am looking at your order for let’s say 3.500 KD of food.

In order for me to make money on this order, I’m going to have to make sure your ingredients and the labor cost to make it cost are equal to or less than 1 KD.

Let’s assume I’m Superman and somehow make the above work (hint: it’s pretty impossible if you’re using quality ingredients and quality staff).

So now I’ve got 2.500 KD delivery cost and 1.000 KD ingredients AND labor/staff overhead costs rolled into one.

That’s a total of 3.500 KD in this best case scenario in costs.

If I have to follow this new law without placing a minimum order value on deliveries, I have broken even on this delivery. I have not made not lost any money.

And maybe for some that’s all well and good (honestly it isn’t good…for anyone), in which case they’re simply fulfilling orders for people without any gain.

And actually they’ve lost something even more valuable, the time they had to spend fulfilling an order that made them no money. So this break even model assumes there’s no inherent cost for time…

And that, my friends, is bogus.

If time had no value, your sitting at a desk doing nothing on some days should by default also equate to no pay. And yet you do get paid, because your employer understands your time has an implicit value that you have contracted to and seek to honor.

In the above scenario, my business breaks even on your order and loses the implicit value of time spent painstakingly preparing your order. But we get no recompense because we are a seller in a supposedly free market that you buy from.

But this market isn’t free at all, because all its done is protect the consumer’s right to eat whatever they want whenever they want (which mind you, isn’t really a right at all).

So here I am, looking at this law and thinking about how I can work as a business moving forward.

I can’t predict cash flows any longer from my orders. My bills are piling up, and I can’t get cash from banks or funds. I’m pretty much staring down the barrel of a gun, and my government has decided to pull the trigger.

Good bye, and good luck,

Signed,
Ahmad Jafar (Al Nata Co-Founder)

Ahmad has already submitted a letter of grievance but he’s certain they won’t hear it without other parties being a party to the grievance claim. So Ahmad’s asking anyone that owns or runs a restaurant that feels this law will negatively impact them to contact him directly to create a union or class action filing of sorts. To get in touch with him you could contact him on europatekuwait@gmail.com


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No More Minimum Order Amount for Delivery

Post by Mark

minimumorder

A new policy was introduced this month by the Ministry of Commerce stipulating that restaurants can no longer have a minimum order amount for delivery. They’ve also added that delivery charges can also not exceed 250fils if the delivery location is within the restaurants area and 500fils if outside it.

I know from a friend of mine who has a business that they’re not too happy about the change but from a consumer point of view this seems like good news. Talabat has already started contacting all the restaurants letting them know of this change but a lot still have a “Minimum Order Amount” in place. According to Talabat “it will take a considerable amount of time for the remaining restaurants to adhere to this new regulation.”

I rarely order delivery so not sure how bad the charges are or the minimum order amounts but I’m assuming they must have been ridiculous for them to create this new policy. I tried to find an English (or Arabic) source for this news but I couldn’t so if you find one let me know so I can link to it.


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Five Guys Opening Soon

Post by Mark

fiveguys

They’re supposedly opening sometime in May or June across the street from Al Shaheed Park in Al Tijaria Tower. They brought down their hoarding today so May or June seems plausible.

Update: The hoarding is still up, the shot was taken from inside it


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New Restaurant: Backyard

Post by Mark

backyard

I didn’t try Backyard yet, I just passed by it yesterday because I was meeting with a friend but I left in complete shock at how unexpectedly beautiful the location was. Backyard is located in the Argan Business Park, a place I didn’t even know existed until a few days back. It’s a very striking and impressive glass structure located at the far end corner of the Free Trade Zone. There are no markings or any signs outside the building, and because of its heavy use of dark glass, the building could easily pass as a headquarters for a secret spy agency or the offices of Darth Vader Enterprises if such a thing existed.

backyard2

Once you walk inside this complex though you’re suddenly in an open air courtyard with beautiful pools and greenery. Just gorgeous landscaping which caught me by surprise. And right there over looking the pools and greenery is a new restaurant that just recently opened called Backyard.

backyard3

The chef is Bernat Rodriguez Candel which some of you might know of if you have any friends at C Club since he’s also responsible for the restaurant over there. Chef Barnat is also now responsible for Backyard and flipping through the menu I caught a few things that I’d want to go back and try. I wish I knew about this place last week when the weather was still cool during the day but it shouldn’t be that bad right now if you go in the afternoon. They also have indoor seating but really it’s their outdoor seating that I found very serene. Right now they’re open from Saturday to Thursday, 8AM to 6PM, here is their location on [Google Maps] and here is a link to their instagram account @backyardkw


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Healthy Feast & Arabica Opening in Shuwaikh

Post by Mark

healthyfeast

Healthy Feast and the popular coffee shop Arabica are both opening their second branches in Shuwaikh. Their new location is going to be down the street from Tilal Complex and Lilly Center, just before my favorite flowers shop, Orchidaceae. The two will also be joined by a second branch of the burger place EightySix.

The area there is booming but parking is already difficult to find as is and traffic there can be unbearable so things are just going to get worse.


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OVO – A New Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant

Post by Mark

ovo1

OVO, not to be confused with Drake’s record label, is a new vegan and vegetarian restaurant that opened up in Bneid Al-Gar around two weeks back. They’re located inside the Massaleh Complex and they have a pretty great outdoor seating thats secluded from the rest of the surrounding area.

ovo2

More than 80% of their menu items are vegan or vegetarian but they also have some flexitarian options (food with meat) for those tagging along with vegans or vegetarians. I took a couple of photos of their current temporary menu so you can get an idea of what kind of food they serve. You can check it out [Here] and [Here]

ovo3

Even though they’re currently in a soft launch phase and they’re still adding and fixing stuff on their menu, I’d definitely recommend passing by since the weather is amazing and you don’t want to miss out on their outdoor area before it gets too warm.

Finding their location might be a bit tricky though since they’re hidden off the main road. OVO is located inside the Massaleh Complex, so you’re going to have to park your car, and then take some side stairs to the back of the complex to find it, but if you follow this [Google Maps] link you shouldn’t have any difficulties. In case you get lost you can call them on 22575324/22575374 or visit their isntagram page @ovokwt

That area of Bneid Al-Gar is shaping up to be a healthy area with Alive Yoga and Healthy Feast both located nearby.


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Prêt à Manger Coming to Kuwait?

Post by Mark

pretdubaiairport

Now that Pret recently opened up their first location in the Middle East inside the Dubai International Airport, does that mean we’ll also get it? According to a friend who was in Dubai recently and spoke to a Pret employee, it seems that might be the case. The employee didn’t reveal much other than to say they will be eventually expanding around the region which logically should include Kuwait.

Pret is a popular sandwich chain based out of the UK and is super convenient for grabbing a bite on the go which is why I’m not so sure it would succeed here in Kuwait. Not unless they do what “Walls” are doing which is setting up small stations in office towers.

Image Source


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Elevation Burger Opening on the Seef Strip

Post by Mark

elevationseef

Elevation Burger is opening up a new location on the Seef Strip in place of where Pintxos used to be. I’m curious to see if Elevation will be able to break the curse of that location since everything that has opened in that spot never ended up doing well.


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