Interview: Nellara Spices Eyes 100 Nells Cafeteria Outlets

Interview of the Week Nells Cafeteria

Nells Cafeteria, a Dubai Based eatery with 10 years of serving millions of customers is in the next stage of implementing their GCC expansion strategy. They aim to open more than 100 franchises across the GCC region, in the next five years. The restaurant is offering single unit and area development franchises across several geographic areas in GCC with plans for growth. (

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Nells Cafeteria is an innovative, healthy, home-style cafeteria concept that offers a wide selection of delicious, wholesome meal options and it’s expanding to new areas in the region. Serving up a huge variety of wholesome and Quality meal options, bursting with nutritional ingredients, Nell’s cafeteria offers scrumptious breakfast lunch and dinner menu.

In this interview with Mr. Shamdushin and Mr. Fasal of Nells Spices Group Collectively called as RF Combine Ltd , we discover what drives their successful business model of Nell’s cafeteria.

Fasalu Rahman & Shamsudhin Kanimbanakkal

Fasalu Rahman & Shamsudhin Kanimbanakkal

1. How did you enter the franchise business?

With a reputation for quality, Nellara Group has found a place in the hearts and kitchens around the Region. Today, we are the leading manufacturer of spices, mixes, curry powders, food grains, pickles and more, which serve the world, based in Dubai including the ready to cook segment.

With our strength in delicious recipes we launched our first restaurant in 2009 and now we have opened Nells cafeteria and decided to expand into franchising. After preparing all the manuals, policies and procedures, interior designs and kitchen layouts to suit several layout options, we started looking for qualified franchisees.

2. Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?

The concept was formed in 2008 to offer a unique but original Asian-Arabic Fusion Cuisine to the residents and guest of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We opened our very first branch in Al Qusais, Dubai in 2009 and have grown and grown since then.

Nells Cafeteria logo

Nells Cafeteria logo

3. What inspired the brand name?

Nells in means “paddy” which is derived from the Malay word padi, meaning “rice plant”, which is itself derived from Proto-Austronesian *pajay (“rice in the field”, “rice plant”).

4. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?

Our logo is very unique. It contains the identity Paddy and also reflects the Love of Food and food for all.

5. What makes your brand different from your competitors?

The quality of the produce is second to none and the love and care that goes into the food. Our whole team love what they do and love the company which in return, comes across in the quality of our food and service. We source the very best produce rice, chicken and lamb to ensure we are always the market leaders with our recipes.

5.1. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?

We are seeking franchise candidates regionally who fit the following criteria:

  • The potential franchisee must have access to a prime location in their perspective region.
  • The location must be in accordance with the requirements stated by the franchisor Common Value System.
  • Have a value system in accordance with the franchisor will ensure proper assimilation into the parent organization culture.
  • Ability to replicate and maintain the same or similar consistency in the entire cycle of outlet management as the franchisor.
Nells Cafeteria outlet Karama Dubai UAE

Nells Cafeteria outlet Karama Dubai UAE

6. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?

Our goal is to expand throughout the GCC countries by teaming with passionate partners who share in our mission to established Nell’s Cafeteria as the most convenient destination for healthy meals and snacks, served quickly while maintaining the highest quality of service and style.

Our team has worked extremely hard to create a system for Nell’s Cafeteria that can be easily scaled and replicated across the Region. We have addressed all areas of the Nell’s Cafeteria business model-site selection, supply chain, cost control, build-out timing, marketing, and buzz creation to ensure that each market across the country can be easily opened, rapidly grown, and successfully and profitably operated.

7. How long does it take, on average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?

With our current franchisees, we are seeing an average of 18 to 24 month on full ROI. This is very good considering the market average is 3 years. But it does not come easy. You must be focused and driven for success to achieve these results. Be on top of the marketing and follow our sales training, service excellence training and know that every dish must be perfect and exceed guests expectations every time.

8. What was the major challenge you faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

A major challenge is finding qualified franchisees. Many people have the idea to start a business via franchise but it takes time and passion to see it through. We have been blessed with an amazing brand and have the strategy for a successful business model. By doing our due diligence, we have signed some amazing partners.

9. How does your business day start?

The day starts by greeting all team member arriving to the office. Reviewing the previous day sales report of all branches and franchisees. Reviewing and approving all purchase orders, emails, revision of operations, marketing & action plans, scheduled meetings and visit at least 1 of the operations daily.

10. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?

The best moment was signing the very 1st franchise agreement then going on to sign a master franchise. This process of franchising is getting our name and brand around the world and we have started this journey and very excited in further international expansion.

11. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

We see Nells Brand expanding into the GCC and Asian Market of Indian, Malaysia as well as the UK and Canada with around 100 outlets.

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