Saturday, February 6, 2010

The journey begins...

Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it.

-- William Wallace, Braveheart

This is the story of three friends traveling the road of entrepreneurship. Do we have what it takes to run a successful business? Can we leverage our unique skill sets to thrive in an industry where we have little experience? Only time will tell...

Hi. My name is Artina Sheikh and I invite you to join us as we embark on this exciting adventure of opening our first restaurant 9 months from now. I hope to update this blog regularly to keep you in the loop and share lessons we learn along the way. I'd also love to hear from you if you have comments, questions, and especially suggestions.

Before I tell you more about the restaurant, let me introduce my team. Amir Memon currently works at a private equity firm in Boston, MA. He has experience in the worlds of finance and strategy/management consulting, but is always dreaming up new business ideas in his spare time. Saffron Grill is a product of his creative thinking and many late nights of ordering food in while at work, but more on that later. Amir graduated from the University of Pennsylvania which is where we met. As for me I am 23 years old and work in the online advertising industry. Amir and I got married 4 years ago and I’ve been pushing him to take this leap of faith ever since. I am incredibly excited that we are finally making a move and am confident that Amir can lead us to success in this venture.

Our third teammate is a Harvard alum Nick Pike, a friend of Amir’s, who brings a unique perspective to Saffron Grill. He embodies all of the characteristics of our target market and believes that our idea has legs. As you may have gathered by now the three of us have no firsthand experience in the restaurant industry, but we hope to bring an unmatched level of professionalism and business-savvy in running Saffron Grill.

So what exactly is Saffron Grill? I won’t be able to describe all the details of our concept just now, but our goal is to open a chain of fast-casual restaurants to share the world of kabobs with people. Kabobs come in various shapes and forms and span several ethnic cuisines, namely the Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Mediterranean cultures. From our research we have seen most of these restaurants in the U.S. lack mass appeal or are too exclusive to the elite. We want to make kabobs accessible to the average American who is turned off by the hole-in-the-wall immigrant-run shop, and not looking to empty his/her pockets to experience the cuisine at a fine-dining restaurant. We want kabobs to be as convenient to enjoy as burgers, tacos, or pizza is today.