Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 21.01.2018 | Name days: Agne, Agnese, Agnija

Periodical kebab booms in Latvia

(+1 rating, 1 votes)

In times of crisis people mostly try not to spend more than two lats on dinner, thus fast food restaurants and special offers are especially demanded at the moment, Kebabs par latu (Kebab for a lat) owner Mārtiņš Šmits told the business news portal BNN.

Martins Smits

Latvians tend to panic. They like launching businesses periodically and slightly hysterically. It all started with goods from Poland, cars from Germany, followed with the real estate boom… Now is the time for kebabs. People prefer simple things during the recession – bread and entertainment, which is why I sell kebabs and beer. Similalry, there is a ping pong table in the basement, where people can burn the calories they have just taken in.

Why have there appeared so many kebab cafes in Latvia?

There is a market leader operating for ten years already. And some 5-6 companies that are in the market for several years. Some of them belong to Latvians, the rest – to Turks, Egyptians and Lebanese.

Why exactly now? People travelled to Berlin and tasted kebabs also in 2005.

Kebab Fix has been operating for years already. The greatest challenge lies in raw material – bread and meat. So far no one is offering ready made kebab meat in Latvia. I called Ķekavas putnu fabrika (Ķekavas bird factory) and they were honest about it, simply saying that they are not interested in this and I should purchase the products from Poland. I buy pita bread from an Egyptian who owns a bakery in Latvia. Turkish doner kebab bread can be found only in Poland and Germany. Thus, starting up such a business requires a certain know-how and contacts.

Turkkebab’s owner once told in an interview that Turks are quite crazy, which is why they are not afraid to launch a business, despite crisis. What do you think about this?

Just recently I met a Turkish guy who has opened a strip club in Riga. I totally agree with the Turkkebab’s owner.

How will the crisis affect the kebab sector?

On the one hand labour force costs are lower, on the other hand – the purchasing capacity has dropped. Consequently, also the average sum of a purchase. People consider more, whether they really need to take that coffee or drink it at work for free. However, this applies to all the sector in general.

What is absolutely necessary to conquer the kebab market?

A lot of meat in yours kebabs [laughing]. Public catering is a very sensitive sector. People go somewhere else, if they do not like something or the food is not delicious.

How do you fight the competition? What is your unique sales point?

Our kebabs make you addicted. In a positive sense.

What is your assessment of the quality of kebab cafes in Latvia? Sometimes people say theses cafes lack quality products and do not brag about impeccable service either.

I agree, Latvians are bad waiters. They cannot wait for calling it a day, moreover with a grumpy face. Moreover, mostly they lack common sense on things we usually take for granted.

Do you lack qualified work force?

This work is usually done by young people – students and pupils. The salaries are not big, so their attitudes towards duties vary.

Your cafe was opened in November. What is the profitability of it? When do you plan to break even?

The turnover is considerable. Profitability sets in from the hundredth customer. However, this zero line tends to fluctuate, but along with higher temperatures, the turnover will surge as well. We will also offer kebab delivery by bicycle.

What have been the greatest challenges in developing the business? You did have to close down one of the cafes.

We had certain disagreements with the partner. I still own a half of that company that I am most likely to sell.

Is the state supporting businessmen enough?

Micro-enterprise programme does help to save at the expense of taxes. Of course, some countries do not tax new businesses at all, which is something Latvia cannot afford given the economic conditions.

What are your future plans?

When the activities of the company are stable, I would like to go and check what is going on in China.

Leave a reply

  1. Bil says:

    If the production is of good quality, why not, it is a great business idea.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. One says:

    At least its kebab..not hamburger…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Week in Lithuania. Fake news on Lithuanian Defence Minister planted on news portal

The Tv3. lt news website was hacked on Thursday, January 18 - a fake news story about Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis was posted claiming that Karoblis allegedly harassed Ridas Jasiulionis, a journalist at the Žinių Radijas radio station, and admitted being gay.

BNN summary of the week: final report on Oligarchs case and ordered attacks on e-health

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Attack; Growth; Decline; Opinion; and Study.

Economist: the most important reform has to happen in people’s heads

«Of all the clever things taught to us in school about psychology, one thing that has stuck with me over the years is the idea of internal/external control point. There are people who believe they make their own fate. There are also people who believe our fate depends on external powers. I suspect people in Latvia explain successes and failures with external factors much more than people in Switzerland or any other country that has enjoyed its freedom longer than Latvia,» comments Luminor Bank’s economist Pēteris Strautiņš.

Minister promises bigger wages for working people and support for country’s industry

«Latvian Economy Ministry’s priorities for 2018 include increasing wages for working people and providing support to the country’s industry. For Latvia’s centenary year, every resident should have the right to experience the increase of the personal and state welfare,» promises Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Latvenergo: electricity price has declined 30% in the past three years

Average electricity price in Latvia has declined in recent years. The average price of electricity has declined by 30% at Nord Pool exchange between 2014 and 2017, allowing end user costs to decline, says Latvenergo.

Alcohol sellers in Estonia to be checked by little «police»

To find shop assistants illegally selling alcohol or tobacco to minors, Estonian police introduces the method of sending minors as police aides to retail shops to try to purchase the products banned to them.

EY study: cyber security has become a priority to banks this year

Over the course of the year, priorities of banks around the world have switched from reputation and risk management to data security matters, as concluded in the latest EY Global Banking Outlook 2018.

Political association: UGF and Harmony are covering up state capture

«Parliamentary investigation of Oligarchs case has shown what is what in the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia. Green farmers are in full harmony, covering up Aivars Lembergs and the fact of state capture. They and Inguna Sudraba have made the parliamentary investigation into a farce. Unfortunately, the power in those people’s hands is no farce – rather misfortune for all of Latvia. I hope citizens will take all that into account when they go voting,» says leader of Kustība Par! Daniels Pavļuts.

Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel plan lacks ambition, says «Angry Birds» game maker

While Finland and Estonia work on plans of an under-sea tunnel from Tallinn to Helsinki, the construction of which could start in the 2030s, a Finnish businessman, previously involved in development of Angy Birds video game, has presented plans to finish the massive construction project in 2024 already.

Experts: healthcare financing law will deny healthcare to the least protected

In a discussion regarding healthcare, experts said that Latvian President Raimonds Vējoņis’ proposed Healthcare Financing Law is economically unjustified and ineffective. The document lacks principles of a socially responsible state, because healthcare is becoming less accessible, which will likely worsen public health indexes, says Kustība Par! political party.

Branded «aggressor state», Russia says Ukraine buries Minsk peace agreements

As the Donbas War continues, the parliament of Ukraine has passed the so-called Donbas reintegration bill after three days of debates defining territories controlled by pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country as temporarily occupied by Russia.

Weather to remain winter-like in Latvia during the weekend and next week

On Friday and Saturday, no major increase of snow is expected. Air temperature will increase slightly, but colder masses of air will slow into the country on Sunday, as reported by Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Winter storm in Netherlands and Germany turns tragic

A powerful winter storm in western and central Europe has claimed the lives of eight people.

Lithuanian bishops: skipping fasting on February 16 this year is not a sin

In an unprecedented move, the Conference of Lithuanian Bishops, the governing body of the Lithuanian Catholic Church, said that meat dishes okay for the people of faith on February 16, which marks the 100-year anniversary of Lithuania's statehood and the Lent Friday, which is traditionally a day of fasting for religious Catholic people.

Coincidence? Votes from Harmony and UGF ensure Sudraba remains the head of Oligarchs case committee

On Thursday, 18 January, the majority of Saeima members voted against the proposal to dismiss Inguna Sudraba from the post of the head of parliamentary investigative committee in charge of the review of the infamous Oligarchs case.

Kaljulaid criticised over involvement of acclaimed, but unrestrained director in centennial reception

As Estonia readies for the presidential reception to honour the 100th anniversary of Estonia, its President Kersti Kaljulaid is being criticised in an open letter for trusting Tallinn’s NO99 theatre, whose director physically assaulted a female colleague.

22.1% of Latvia’s residents subjected to risk of poverty

In 2017, 425 thousand persons or 22.1 % of Latvia population were at risk of poverty in 2016 – 0.3 percentage points less than in 2015. Equivalent income of this part of the population were below 330 euros monthly.

LAAC: Latvia’s milk market can be sorted out by joining forces in exports

Latvian Association of Agricultural Cooperatives (LAAC) has received support and praise for the public discussion regarding rapid milk procurement price changes, which is something that has recently affected the majority of agricultural cooperatives. This has helped cooperatives band together in order to sort out the milk market. This idea came from the example set by grain producer cooperatives, which did the same thing fifteen years ago, as reported by the association’s representatives.

Forevers announces its decision to exit from Latvian Federation of Food Companies

Forevers meat processing company has decided to exit from Latvian Federation of Food Companies (LFFC). The contract between two parties will be terminated in January.

Saeima’s Oligarchs case investigative committee hastily approves final report

In spite of objections, grammatical errors, criticisms about lacking effort, as well as Inguna Sudraba’s unfit status to lead the committee, members decided to move the meeting from 11:00 to 08:00 and approve the final report in a rushed vote.

Removal of 1 and 2 euro cent coins from circulation suggested by Bank of Estonia

Estonian central bank is willing to follow the eurozone trend of limiting the circulation of euro 1-cent and 2-cent coins and in time to remove them entirely from circulation in the Baltic country. attacks on e-health system and LETA were likely ordered

Attacks on e-health system and LETA agency were likely ordered, said deputy manager Varis Teivāns in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

As Catalan parliament reconvenes, it elects pro-independence speaker

The Catalan regional parliament has in its first sitting since its ousting and snap December election elected a separatist-minded politician as its Chairman, which indicates that the attempts to break the region away from Spain would continue.

Latvia’s National Armed forces receive new Harris tactical radio equipment

In 2017, Latvia received tactical military radios worth USD 10.5 million from American Harris Corporation. Procurement of radio equipment will further improve command function and help develop a lasting communication system with other NATO member states, as reported by Latvian Defence Ministry.

MEP: Europe continues strengthening its energy independence

«The European Parliament has voiced strong support towards Europe’s energy independence and moving its energy policy away from Russia’s monopoly by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy resources,» said MEP Krišjānis Kariņš after the vote on Clean Energy Act’s first reading in Strasbourg.

Most read

Most commented

Would you be ready to boycott something in your life?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive

Category feed: Feed: