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UAE-Based Jalebi Gets Set To Roll Out Its Pioneering Technology For Restaurants In Saudi Arabia Jalebi's presence in the Saudi market is expected to help local restaurants to improve their operations and drive growth.

By Entrepreneur Middle East Staff Edited by Aby Thomas

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

Zohare Haider, Mubashar Ehsan, and Rizwan Ahmed Khan, co-founders, Jalebi

UAE-headquartered restaurant operating system (ROS) Jalebi, which was launched in 2021 to provide a holistic approach to reduce food waste while optimizing inventory management and operations, is now venturing into Saudi Arabia.

The startup has already partnered with 20 Saudi-based restaurants, including Rukn Hashem, a 2001-founded falafel brand that has 11 branches across Riyadh, and contemporary fast-casual brand Posh Burger. Jalebi has already had a presence in Saudi Arabia owing to its participation in a accelerator program run in Riyadh by the US-headquartered Techstars in partnership with Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Saudi venture capital firm Raed Ventures.

According to the team at Jalebi, the promising response from the Saudi market is due to multiple factors. While the Kingdom's food service market is projected to be valued at US$30.47 billion by 2029 (according to a study featured on Fortune Business Insights), food waste still continues to be a major roadblock to the industry's success. A September 2022 report by the General Organization for Grains in Saudi Arabia shows that the country ranks sixth in the world when it comes to food wastage. Jalebi hopes that Saudi restaurants can improve their food cost through a data-centric inventory command center, thereby securing their ambition of thriving in an industry that has always played a critical role in the business, social and cultural life of any flourishing economy.

The Jalebi website.

Claiming to be the world's only ROS that uses a proprietary inventory-first approach, Jalebi -a winner of Entrepreneur Middle East's 2022 Enterprise Agility Awards- operates as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. As a fully integrated "inventory to point-of-sale" ROS, Jalebi can also be seamlessly integrated into the operations of restaurants of all sizes. But while inventory management forms the backbone of this startup, it also seeks to unlock lost value in working capital, while subsequently helping a restaurant achieve its sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

For example, using Jalebi's supply management services, restaurants can streamline suppliers with its customer relationship management technology, thereby simplifying restocking and ordering plans. On the other hand, the platform also enables restaurants to autonomously sync recipes and menus to match their real-time consumption and options. And at the bottom line of all these services lies, perhaps, Jalebi's most enticing offer yet- a promise that it can save restaurants at least 5% on food costs.

Now, as per statistics provided by Jalebi, poor inventory management results in a high food cost, which has been a key reason behind why 60% of restaurants fail to make it past their first year, while the surviving 80% shutter before their fifth anniversary. With these numbers expected to be significantly higher since the COVID-19 crisis, Jalebi hopes that its services can offer value to more restaurants across the MENA region.

That is evident through Jalebi already securing partnerships with multiple restaurants across the Gulf -particularly in the UAE and Oman- as well as Pakistan. "No one, locally or regionally, has understood or addressed the real Achilles' heel of the F&B industry like this before- let alone build a solution by working directly with restaurant operators to co-create a thoughtful technology-driven approach," said Zohare Haider, co-founder and CEO of Jalebi. "By optimizing costs through a restaurant's in-house supply chain, restaurants can predict, anticipate and master their real cost of food, through its movement across the whole operation, while reducing waste and driving impact. We are humbled and proud to partner with forward-thinking brands in the Saudi market."

Related: Entrepreneur Middle East Publishes Report Looking Into The GCC's US$3 Billion Cloud Kitchen Industry

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