Making a Dream Into Reality: The Kebab Shop

Square has enabled The Kebab Shop to have better control over their customer and brand experience, reduced operational costs, and expand their business at an incredible pace.
Apr 18, 2024 — 2 min read


Wally Sadat: Sometimes I think I misspelled onions once and a customer told me, and then I literally changed it on my phone and it changed it for the whole company. I was like, whoops. Thanks for letting me know. So the Kebab Shop is a fast casual Mediterranean brand that actually started in East Village San Diego in 2008. We joked around in the early days that we could make this as mainstream as burgers and pizza. In the beginning it was kind of just funny, but now when you have 27 restaurants and all these different cities, we think that this dream can slowly start becoming a reality.

What we like to do is keep things very simple in order to make our food accessible for everyone. Having all of our systems communicate with each other is more than essential. I think it was 2013, we decided to make the transition to Square to have a digital cloud-based point of sale. The goal was to really make everything easier for everyone from the customer to our team members.

Arian Baryalai: What we've seen in this past year, throughout this crisis that we're all in is how important it is to offer customers the opportunity to order online and to order for contactless curbside delivery. That number has gone from 10% to close to 45% of our sales.

Wally Sadat: We've always tried to have some type of delivery function that we controlled with Square on Demand delivery. We are able to achieve that. It's almost like a lifesaver as a restaurant financially, you're not paying these high fees to these third party companies anymore. So the financial gain is the operational gain because now we control the menu. And then the other thing is when a customer comes into your restaurant, you make them food, they eat the food and they leave. But what happens after that?

Arian Baryalai: Being a business owner, you always want to know how your stores are doing, and what Square does is it gives you the real time data.

Paula Baryalai: When a new store opens and it's like 11 o'clock and it's about to get to lunch rush, and he's like, oh, okay. They have $500 and he's always pulling it up on his phone.

Arian Baryalai: What we do is rely on the reports that we have in the dashboard. We're lucky in the sense that we have data that we can pull from different stores that are in different markets. We're trying to decide how we're going to grow, where we're going to grow the sales performance of the existing stores. The information that we pull from Square always feeds into those decisions that we're making.

Wally Sadat: We chose Austin, Texas as our first out of California market, and now we're just a few weeks away from opening our third location in the Mueller neighborhood. So here we're about, I would say about 80% complete with construction at this location. We're hoping to open this one in about a month or so. So what you're seeing here is pretty much the bones of everything. What's cool when you're in this stage of construction is you really kind of get to make adjustments from your previous restaurant so that way it can accommodate new trends in our menu or also new behavior from our customers. We are not building restaurants for a five years or two years or something. We're building these restaurants for forever. We really hope to be a part of the neighborhood.

Arian Baryalai: What I am really excited about is introducing our concept to more and more people. We think we have something really great in our hands and we wanted to share that with everybody.

Wally Sadat: It's just amazing to just see customers still coming into our restaurant, still surprised by the experience and that simple affection that we see from the neighborhood. That is the motivating factor for us to keep growing and really see how far we can take the kebab shop.

Products mentioned

Square Restaurant KDS

Square Restaurant KDS

A KDS that manages orders from anywhere.

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Square Restaurant POS

Square Restaurant POS

Get an all-in-one restaurant POS system.

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This restaurant more than doubled its footprint using website, on-demand delivery, directory, and POS tools.

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