Some street food leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. And it is exactly what the three locally-based foodies who founded WOK BOYZ had in mind too. Right from their iconic graffiti to their funky menu, they cater to Asian street food lovers across UAE. Their goal is to make Dubai one of the street food capitals in the world. Discussing Asian street food flavors of Wok Boyz with Gaurav Sabharwal, the CEO and co-founder, we find out more about their recipe for success.
At the inception of WOK BOYZ, we knew we were modelling out a multi-unit multi-country model and thus, franchising was always on the radar.
Just a year into operations, we started receiving enquiries on franchising the brand locally and internationally. And that is when we knew we had to ensure all our processes were bulletproofed for remote management and independent local operations.
With the help of industry stalwarts and consultants, we have developed a fantastic model that is concrete and well adoptable.
I always enjoyed having street food on trips to South East Asia. But felt there was no ‘hip, urban’ Asian street food concept that gave you customizable, great-tasting food. Finding a prime piece of real estate on Sheikh Zayed Road was just the perfect sign to move forward with my dream. So, did just that!
Having explored numerous options, WOK BOYZ was reflective of our character, personality, and overall aura of the brand. The name needed to be hip, energetic, and creative to reflect the brand’s true spirit in and outside of the kitchen.
Our Logo had to be street style because that is what represents our food and overall character of the brand. Thus, the graffiti themed typescript just nailed it in the first go!
With all due credit to our competitors, we have always strived on strengthening our cores – food, brand and experience and our customer testimonials are a true reflection of our success.
Food: The declared analytics from the leading food aggregators are a validation of WOK BOYZ’s acceptance levels across Dubai being the highest in our cuisine type.
Brand: Our social media strategy has been on-point to achieve notable active followership. This is backed by tremendous blogger support with 100’s of experiences being shared month on month.
Experience: Our life-size graffiti mural, street-side seating, the theatrics of live wok-fired cooking served in the takeaway noodle boxes have all played a significant part in offering our customers a truly memorable experience that they all love highlighting on their individual social channels.
We look for franchisees with positive attitude, mix of entrepreneurial and hands-on approach. In addition to sound financial status as they will surely come back for more assets.
18 to 25 months depending on location.
For over a decade and a half, I was part of the corporate world and a restaurant was always an avenue for food and not a business. Thus, transitioning from that mindset to fueling my entrepreneurial passion in an industry that I had no formal business exposure to was surely tough. So, I spent hours and days and weeks in the kitchen working alongside my team and understanding every aspect of the business. I also owe equal credit to a few industry patrons who were very forthcoming in sharing their experiences and guidance at every development stage of WOK BOYZ.
WOW, probably the toughest of all the questions thus far! I will take the liberty on splitting my response into 2 parts here –
Reviewing the prior days’ performance and engaging with the team on our successes and opportunities has been my kick start of the day since inception of WOK BOYZ.
This one is yet to be achieved, thus, will surely come back to you on it soon!
At the risk of sounding stereotypical, we aspire to go global and are well aligned with our plans to expand across 3 new countries over the next few months. Thus 5 years in, I truly hope to see WOK BOYZ being recognized as a proven successful franchise model across different geographies.
Data is King! So read the trend lines, follow the analytics from your POS systems, financial systems, and aggregator reports, as the answers and opportunities are all there!
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