Lebanese food with a modern twist in Cairo: Manaqish

5 min read
Nada ElSharkawy

This is a story that tells the journey of how strong friendship bonds can turn into a successful business. A group of three friends who have known each other for almost twelve years, shared the love for travelling, exploration and entrepreneurship. They had the same dream and ambition, to start their own private business. After conducting a feasibility study and some market research they decided to open a Lebanese food restaurant in Cairo that specializes in Manqish, but with a modern twist.

Manaqish is a popular Levantine food, it’s a flatbread topped with a variety of toppings.

You can watch how Manqish was portrayed in our latest campaign in the video below, and you can read on to know more about their exciting story as they enter the food and beverage market in Egypt:

Lebanese food in the heart of Cairo

lebanese food manaqish oven

The three founders of Manaqish come from different educational backgrounds, one of them is an engineer with a master’s degree in business administration from Geneva Business School in Switzerland. The MBA had helped him a lot in translating his life and work experience to a scientific methodology and approach, and also helped structure his way of thinking.

After preparing a business plan, the three friends decided to start their small business and start the pilot of Manaqish to test the market’s feedback and gather feedback to learn how, when and where to expand. They explain:

We started Manaqish in August 2019 and we started by only serving manaqish and pizza as takeaway or delivery.

When it comes to Manqish’s signature dishes, they’re known for their special manaqish with pastrami, and the one with turkey and spread cheese which is the most popular and requested item in the menu. The future plans for their restaurant are to expand, and open more branches in not only Cairo but different cities around Egypt.

Creating a digital identity for Lebanese food

manaqish website godaddy

Manaqish’s founders are very fond of technology, they explain: ”we've always been passionate about technology, automation and artificial intelligence, and we’re a great believer that technology can help make our lives easier and more productive.”

They created their website manaqish.co in June 2019, using GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing tool, they say:

The Websites + Marketing tool provided us with all what we need and more to bring the website to life in a very short time with minimal effort and tech knowledge.

They explain that the website building journey was very simple, straightforward, and cost effective. Moreover, they described the process as effortless “We managed to choose a domain name, and build the website in a very short time. You can have your website up and running yourself without the need to go to a designer and invest a lot of time and money.”

Do you want to start your own restaurant?

When we asked the founders for tips and best practices for other entrepreneurs or people who want to start their own restaurants they said:

If you want to start a successful restaurant you need to stay up to date with the market and customer needs, and act immediately.

At Manaqish, they always try to introduce one to two new Lebanese food items in the menu every couple of months, to keep their menu fresh and offer a large variety of options to serve the customers’ needs.

In addition to that, they’ve listed some tips for restaurant owners to help them sustain a flourishing business, they have to:

  • Be patient: You may face some difficulties, especially when you’re still starting, but patience is the key to continuity.
  • Select the right staff: Your staff is your greatest investment, so make sure you select them wisely.
  • Control the supply chain very well and have different sources for raw materials: Try to work with different vendors, so that you always have a backup in case something goes wrong with one vendor your whole supply chain won’t fall apart.
  • Develop a concrete marketing plan: Marketing plays an important role for all businesses, you can check this article that has useful marketing tips for small businesses in the region.
  • Get a trusted experienced manager: The restaurant manager is your right hand, and if he’s not experienced or trustworthy, you’ll suffer.
  • Focus on taste, hygiene, and packing: Consistent tasteful items will be the main factor to bring the customer back.
  • Do the right opening ceremony: Your restaurant’s opening will set the tone and build a reputation. First impressions are important so make sure you set an amazing one because it might last.

If you’re looking for the right tools and products to build a website for your restaurant make sure you check out this article to help you create a sizzling website for your restaurant.