Talking success with WOK BOYZ CEO Gaurav Sabharwal

Talking success with WOK BOYZ CEO Gaurav Sabharwal

Gaurav Sabharwal Founder & CEO, WOK BOYZ

Gaurav Sabharwal has called Dubai home for four decades. Reflecting on his journey, we explore how the CEO and founder of WOK BOYZ has created the ultimate destination for Asian street food with a twist and what lies ahead.

In your opinion, what are the challenges faced by homegrown concepts facing well-established international brands?

Challenges affect every company. Established international brands often have a significant market share. Therefore, local home-grown concepts must strive harder.

Moreover, well-established international brands benefit from widespread recognition and trust. Therefore, building a similar level of trust for homegrown brands can be challenging. This is due in part to consumers being inclined to choose familiar names with a global presence. Hence, consistency is key.

A brand should create its own USP and maintain its brand identity. Furthermore, the brand’s appearance must be consistent across stores, online platforms and advertisements to reinforce a cohesive and memorable identity. This consistency helps people remember the brand and builds trust over time. Establishing trust fosters customer loyalty, encouraging them to remain engaged with the brand for the long term. In short, offering unique value propositions, personalized experiences or niche products can help brands carve out a distinct space in the market.

To what do you attribute the success and longevity of WOK BOYZ in UAE?

WOK BOYZ’s authenticity involves more than just the commitment to flavors; it’s about preserving culinary traditions and ensuring that every dish is true to its origin. Additionally, we meticulously source high-quality, genuine ingredients. We also stay true to traditional recipes.

Furthermore, we also foster customer loyalty through an authentic dining experience. Such dedication to flavor integrity significantly builds a robust reputation and fosters positive word-of-mouth marketing for sustained business success.

In addition, WOK BOYZ consistently engages in market research. We listen to customer feedback and analyze industry trends.

Engaging in community events and incorporating cultural elements into the dining experience are vital aspects of this comprehensive strategy. By doing so, WOK BOYZ has become more than just a restaurant. It has become a valued member of the community.

Why did you decide to open WOK BOYZ in the Mall of Oman and what are the particularities of the Oman market versus Dubai?

Consumers in Oman enjoy exploring and experimenting with new culinary experiences. Additionally, through a comprehensive examination, we identified a distinct gap in the market for Asian fusion cuisine. In line with this insight, we saw an opportunity to tap the unexplored potential in the Omani market. That’s why we introduced an enticing array of Asian fusion dishes. Thoroughly understanding diverse preferences enables us to craft a unique dining experience for Omani consumers. This distinction sets us apart from competitors and seamlessly aligns with the desires of the local consumer demographic, ensuring relevance.

What are the latest food trends in Asian street food and how are you keeping up to date with these trends?

We have embraced the growing demand for fusion concepts. At the forefront of the culinary movement, WOK BOYZ introduces the BYOB (build your own bowl). Thus, we encourage customers to experiment with a variety of flavors inspired by Asian cuisines.

Do you have any projects in the pipeline?

It is going to be an exciting year for us. We are gearing up for international expansion, with the grand opening of our first store in Canada, located in Toronto, on January 22. This marks a significant milestone for our brand, extending our culinary footprint to a city known for its cultural diversity and thriving food scene. With carefully curated menus and a commitment to quality, we are set to become an integral part of Canada’s gastronomic landscape.


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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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