When it comes to breaking the glass ceiling, Mireille Hayek, Founder and Co-Owner of Em Sherif, has shattered it all together. Her brands, Em Sherif Restaurant; Em Sherif Café; Em Sherif Sea Café; and Parrilla, have been a raving success both locally and internationally. With four branches in Lebanon and nine abroad (Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UK and Saudi Arabia), Hayek is not considering refraining anytime soon, and will keep on innovating. HN discusses with her the current obstacles and her growth forecasts .
1. How do you plan to adapt to and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and what do you expect to be the ‘new normal’ in its aftermath?
We believe that from all the sectors, the F&B industry has suffered the most damage from the current situation. Our clientele will be increasingly cautious, probably share less and practice social distancing, which might increase catering services and deliveries or takeaways. When it comes to staff, we’ve always implemented strict hygiene measures and will now also introduce social distancing in the kitchen, with fewer employees and probably more shifts to minimize contact.
2. What is your motto for life?
It’s not called being picky it’s called not compromising your standards, through perseverance, leadership and attention to details.
3. What is the highlight of your year?
Oopening (opening) more Em Sherif Restaurant and Em Sherif Café outlets in the GCC countries
4. How is your restaurant going green?
We’ve started to reduce our plastic consumption with cardboard straws and takeaway packaging. We’re currently recycling shortenings and cardboard, and working on recycling organic waste.
5. What trends do you forecast?
Clean food, high quality and value for money. Our clients are increasingly looking for a culinary experience rather than a simple meal.
6. What are your upcoming projects?
Expanding Em Sherif Restaurant in Europe and opening Em Sherif Sea Café in KSA and Abu Dhabi soon.