If Mohammed and Peyman Parham Al Awadhi – the energetic founders of fast-food chain Wild Peeta – have their way, the traditional shawarma will soon rival pizza as the world’s favourite snack. As they prepare to take the fledgling brand worldwide, the duo reveal how they intend to use pop art and social media to promote Emirati values and bring international cultures closer together
‘We joke that Wild Peeta’s timeline is in internet years, not human years. We’ve evolved in three months what traditional businesses do in a year. We plan to have outlets in New York, London, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Mumbai, Shanghai, Sao Paolo and many other global cities. We hope to open our first international outlet in 2014’
‘Government entities already promote Emirati heritage so we decided to focus on Emirati youth. We display UAE pop art in our outlets and on the internet. The language used is “Khaleeji” written in “Arabinglish” internet-speak (or phonetically). We aim to get non-Emiratis curious about typical Emirati phrases like “Kash5a” (Very cute, amazing!), so creating an opportunity to bring international cultures closer together’
‘A new generation of Emiratis are unafraid to follow their dream and to do whatever it takes to achieve it. We’re just being ourselves. We’re hands-on, so never think twice about rolling up our kandora sleeves and mopping or making shawarmas’
‘We aim to make the shawarma as popular as the hamburger, pizza, spaghetti or sushi. If raw fish can be a global phenomena, so can our Fusion Shawarmas!’
‘Using social networking sites as a platform for ‘participation marketing’ encourages transparency, making you feel naked and exposed. But we would rather know what our consumers think than live in our own brand-utopia’
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