5 Interesting Facts About Shawarma Shack
With over 700 branches nationwide, Shawarma Shack is one of the biggest shawarma brands in the country. Its infamous “Buy 1 Take 1” offers starting at P89 captured the hearts of everyday consumers and the brand has become a favorite go-to for delicious shawarma wraps and meals.
Since its establishment in 2015, the “First and Original B1T1 Shawarma in the Philippines” has been making waves in the F&B and franchising industries. No wonder that in just eight years, Shawarma Shack has grown to become a nationwide food franchise sensation, known for its simple operations and setup, strong brand recognition and marketing, and active franchise support.
A Shawarma Shack mall outlet
In November 2022, Asia Leaders Awards recognized Shawarma Shack as the “Franchise Company of the Year” for the Local Category. Francorp also recognized the company with the “One to Many Millennial Club” Award.
If you are a fan of Shawarma Shack products, an aspiring franchisee, or already a part of its growing franchise network, here are some interesting facts about the brand and its history.
5 Interesting Facts About Shawarma Shack
1| The idea was borne out of love for shawarma
During his school days, CEO and president Walther Buenavista says that, right after classes, he would always buy shawarma on his way home. “So, the idea of Shawarma Shack really came from my fondness of shawarma. When I was still a student, it became my dream and goal to have my own shawarma store. I believe it all started from there.”
Commuity outreach program
2| The Buy 1 Take 1 promo was unintentionally pushed just to sell out their initial stocks
Buenavista says that when they first started selling shawarma at a night market in Tutuban, Divisoria, they just wanted to sell all their initial stocks. This is why they posted the B1T1 promo in their stall.
“Our customers loved the promo because it’s affordable and they said it’s worth it,” he says. “Soon, it became known by people who haven’t yet tried our shawarma and it became a hit so we made the B1T1 promo our regular offering until we opened a branch in a well-known mall. From there, our branches grew exponentially.”
3| They got rejected multiple times by a mainstream mall when they were starting out
When asked what the breakthrough moment for their business was, he shares that before they opened their first outlet in a Caloocan mall, they got rejected 13 times by another mall. But it became a learning, empowering experience for the company. After conquering that challenge, Shawarma Shack began to expand to other malls and locations rapidly.
“Today, we are present in all key cities in the country,” he says.
4| Budget and partnership were their concern, especially in the beginning
Like any other homegrown business, Shawarma Shack also struggled in the beginning. Starting out as a humble food stall in Tutuban Night Market, Shawarma Shack also tried to partner with universities in their events.
“We wrote to around 1,000 university organizations to propose a partnership with us, but only 10 wrote back. Still, we were very grateful.
“When we were first trying to open a branch in a mall, we were very worried if we had the budget for it and if any of the malls we applied to would accept us,” Buenavista explains.
Looking at Shawarma Shack now, the birthing pains must have been all worth it.
A Shawarma Shack kiosk
5| The company actively conducts relief operations and livelihood projects to help the communities they belong to
“Our achievement doesn’t really lie on the profit we make, but on the people and communities we are able to help,” the CEO says. “As a thank you to all who support our brand, we regularly conduct relief operations and we make sure to be there to help whenever we feel that we are needed.”
Shawarma Shack is also active in making sure that they help improve the livelihood in communities they belong to.
“We do our part in national development by creating more jobs and opportunities for our fellowmen,” Buenavista adds.
These nuggets based on real-life experiences, birthing pains, and hardships of Shawarma Shack is only proof of the fact that, before you become great, you have to learn and go through a lot. Now, Shawarma Shack is one of the franchise giants in the country, with a solid foundation and a great track record of helping its franchisees run a successful business of their own.
Sam Christopher Lim is the CEO of Francorp Philippines; Co-author of 12 Strategies for Franchising; President of U-Franchise Sales & Management; Chairman for ASEAN Integration of the Philippine Franchise Association; and Chairman for ActionCOACH Philippines.