In this interview, we talk to Noora Saeed, Founder / Managing Director, of VIBE Cafe, in Dubai, UAE.
I established the brand VIBE in August 2018 and here we are 3 years later with 2 locations. It’s truly spectacular to see the overwhelming response we have had in Dubai to the brand and the big idea behind VIBE.
Once VIBE took to social media, we gained unparalleled traction and popularity. VIBE became a place for good food and good vibes people wanted to experience. We were flooded with inquiries and requests to launch a similar concept, which is what sparked the notion to franchise the VIBE brand, keeping authenticity to reach a larger audience.
I am a foodie and traveler by heart. I love to travel the world, trying different cuisines from different cultures and bringing back what I have been inspired by to the market. Food is all about awakening your senses and heightening experiences. I want my customers to experience the same love of food I have.
Traveling the world can provide a plethora of new experiences. The 3 most essential components that struck me while travel and appreciating restaurants worldwide are;
It seemed like a constant challenge to find a restaurant in Dubai that encompassed all those elements. This is what inspired me to create the clean eating concept that tastes amazing and is pocket friendly too. Apart from the cuisine, I delved into carving a mark for casual, comfortable and instagrammable dining. (Visit Vibe Cafe website here).
Being an Emirati Woman, I wanted to cultivate an atmosphere which is women focused but not limited to women.
I have always been all about positivity, good energy and looking for good ‘vibes’. When I chose to create VIBE, I wanted to include and surround the brand with those important factors, that’s how the name VIBE was born.
We wanted to make our mark with simplicity and identifiability. The logo is modern and clean with the font being an essential visual piece. Our typography and name is at the forefront of the logo, allowing us to communicate the uniqueness of our brand which is also easy to absorb and remember.
There are a number of distinguishing factors that make VIBE Cafe different from competitors. To name a few;
One of the most important qualities I look for in a franchisee is their love and passion of the brand and vision to spread that love. We want to have people who love the brand as much as we do, to work and grow alongside us.
Another driving factor is the effort to be invested in the brand. The franchisee should want to be woven into the fabrics of the brand and treat it like it is their own.
When I opened my first branch in Al Wasl, it didn’t take more than a year for me to realize my real opportunity from the business, this is then when I looked into starting a second outlet at DIFC.
Like most businesses, we were faced head on with the challenges from the pandemic. It was barely a year since I started my first branch and only a few months after I started the second branch when the pandemic hit. Having both my outlets closed at the beginning of the business was an enormous hurdle to tackle and overcome.
It affected us from a brand perspective too, as we lost the chance to push the opening of the second location of VIBE in DIFC during the launch.
We have been fortunate that the business was doing well pre the pandemic which allowed us to manage operational expenses. Once business resumed, it gradually picked up again and we are proud to say that it is back on track and back to normal.
We spent the time we were closed, we became very strategy focused. Effective marketing being of utmost priority to help accelerate recovery.
One of my best achievements is that I have been the sole owner of my brand and have made my name as a woman in the F&B hospitality industry. It was a sizable task to have taken on to compete against the big sharks that exist and have established themselves in the market. I’m proud that I have not only managed to run 2 outlets all by myself in the past 3 years but my brand and my own name are recognized internationally.
The start of my day at work always begins with meeting my VIBE family. My employees matter the most to me. It is very important as an owner and as a person, that we can work together in the best interest of everyone involved in the business.
Once my daily meeting is complete, I visit each outlet in person. This allows me to keep a track of operations and the appearance of each outlet. We work hard to keep everything consistent.
Lastly, I strategize and look after the daily operational needs with my team and work on any ideas which will improve VIBE. We are all about new and exciting things.
Being new to the franchising career, I am still looking for my first franchise opportunity and a potential client. My proudest moment will be when VIBE becomes an international sensation.
After opening 2 branches in the last 3 years, my goal for the next 5 years is to expand the concept internationally. The brand is loved by many but unfortunately, many are unable to experience VIBE due to geographical constraints. I want to be able to reach all potential VIBErs by franchising the brand.
There’s nothing quite like following your dreams and seeing it come to life. Stay strong, resilient and most importantly, enjoy the journey.
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