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Pickl Founder Stephen Flawith's Bet On "Fresh, Fast Food, Using The Finest Ingredients" Is Paying Off In The UAE (And Beyond) Flawith believes that it is Pickl's trifecta menu of cheeseburgers, plant-based burgers, and fried chicken sandos -all of which can stand on their own merit- that makes the brand stand out in the Middle East's crowded F&B scene.

By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Having founded Pickl in Dubai in 2019 with the premise that it will offer "fresh, fast food, using the finest ingredients," Stephen Flawith has seen his burger joint evolve from being a local favorite with just a few outlets, to now reaching double digits in terms of the number of stores, as well as growth beyond the borders of the UAE.

And looking at his enterprise today, Flawith believes that it is Pickl's trifecta menu of cheeseburgers, plant-based burgers, and fried chicken sandos -all of which can stand on their own merit- that makes the brand stand out in the Middle East's crowded F&B scene. "We wanted Pickl to be a brand that groups of friends or families could come to, and everyone would be able to have their favorite choice," Flawith says. "While you may have to compromise when visiting some of the other premium fast food burger joints, you don't need to do that at Pickl."

Image courtesy Pickl.

It's this kind of attentiveness to its clientele as well as its offering that has led Pickl to garner the following it currently enjoys in its operational markets of Bahrain and the UAE- and that's a fan base that's only set to increase in size when it opens up in Saudi Arabia later this year. Now, for those of you attempting to figure out the factors that are fueling this homegrown restaurant's continued success, Flawith points again to the fact that it is a place that has something for every kind of burger aficionado.

"At Pickl, from day one, we didn't want to be associated with having just one great burger," Flawith explains. "Instead, a key idea behind Pickl was that the beef would be as good as the chicken, which would be as good as our plant-based option. Doing so required more research and development than if we had chosen to just do one option, but it has paid off with Pickl winning awards for all the different options we offer, and giving a much stronger guest experience."

EUREKA! Stephen Flawith on how you can come up with a great idea

1. Research, research, and research "Really examine your industry, and look for the gaps. Build up a strong knowledge base- know everything inside out."

2. Get out of the office "Great ideas don't often come when you're looking for them, but instead can be sparked by the most innocuous of things."

3. Talk to people about your idea(s) "A different way of thinking can take your basic idea to the next level, and help make it a truly great idea."

Pickl is one of the companies included in the 2023 edition of our annual 10 Great Ideas feature, which, as an ode to the UAE Innovation Month, celebrates individuals and innovations that impress with their ingenuity. Check out the full list of 10 Great Ideas in our print issue here.

Related: Towards New Shores: Samer Hamadeh's UAE-Born F&B Concept Akiba Dori Expands Into India With A 30-Location Franchise Deal

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Managing Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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