Restaurant Road Trip: Part 3 – Middle East
World Famous Potato Rolls
Martin’s founder, Lloyd Martin, used to say “If you don’t call yourself famous, who will?” At the time, this statement was humorous since Martin’s was just a local brand sold in grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Nowadays, Martin’s® has grown exponentially and our products are being used in restaurants and food service institutions around the world. We are now proud to say that our potato rolls are quite famous, indeed!
Today, the international food service business is actually the fastest-growing segment for Martin’s. Since 2011 when the first international Shake Shack opened at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, our international food service growth has been astounding. You can now find Martin’s Potato Rolls being used in over 20 different countries (not including the US), throughout hundreds of restaurants.
The largest region (by far) for our international food service expansion is the Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, etc.) The western “burger craze” of America has made its way overseas and with it comes many restaurants’ requests for the “Martin’s Bun” to accompany their menu items. Through partnerships with third-party exporters and distributors, Martin’s has been able to offer our products to numerous restaurants throughout this region.
Due to this significant growth in the Middle East, a few members of Martin’s executive team visited for a week in April 2018. Dennis Wenrick (VP Sales and Marketing), Scott Heintzelman (VP Finance and Administration), and Terry Lushbaugh (Food Service Sales Manager) spent some time in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Qatar meeting with our business partners and frequenting many of the restaurants that use Martin’s products.
Check out the below timeline of their trip to see some of the restaurants where you can find Martin’s Potato Rolls in the Middle East!
Stop #1 – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Shake Shack – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The team’s first stop was the Shake Shack in Riyadh, for some delicious burgers on Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls! This location in Localizer Mall is one of more than 35 Shake Shacks in the Middle East.
Facebook: Shake Shack – Localizer Mall
SALT – Khobar, Saudi Arabia
SALT restaurant is becoming quite popular in Saudi Arabia and they are planning to open several more locations in KSA in the near future. During their visit, the Martin’s team got to try their delicious burgers and spend some time with the restaurant’s General Manager who is a big fan of our rolls!
SALT is a food truck-style restaurant that serves a variety of items including wagyu beef burger sliders, French fries topped with various toppings, and fried chicken breaded with spicy Cheetos!
I’m Hungry Burger – Jedda, Saudi Arabia
While our team didn’t get a chance to visit this restaurant, another notable mention is I’m Hungry Burger in Jedda. This fast-growing chain currently has 5 locations with plans to open many more locations in KSA in the future.
Stop #2 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Shake Shack – Dubai, UAE
This Shake Shack, located in the famous Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, was their first location outside the US (and therefore the first place we ever shipped our potato rolls!)
Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue – Dubai, UAE
This barbecue restaurant is growing rapidly in the region. Our team had a chance to visit during lunchtime and try some barbecue smoked brisket served on Martin’s 4-Inch Potato Rolls, which they said was some of the best they had ever eaten! They also had a chance to speak with the owner who was happy for the visit.
Mighty Quinn’s has two restaurant locations in Dubai along with more in New York, New Jersey, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Their menu includes a variety of barbecued meats including chicken, brisket, and ribs that arrive on a platter with an assortment of add-ons, as well as various sides and appetizers. Inside the restaurant, you’ll find modern-rustic décor with wood and brick accents, along with a sign displaying their motto: “Cooking the old school way with wood and time.”
The Hot Dog Stand – Dubai, UAE
Located in the Mall of the Emirates food court in Dubai, The Hot Dog Stand serves up delicious burgers and hotdogs on Martin’s Potato Rolls. The team stopped there for lunch and thought the food was outstanding!
Stop #3 – Qatar
Top Burger – Doha, Qatar
This burger restaurant in Doha currently has three locations with more planned for this year. They are growing rapidly due, in part, to their awesome burgers! Their menu has several different burger and fry options to choose from, all of which are delicious!
Burger Guys – Doha, Qatar
With seven locations currently and many more planned, this burger restaurant is becoming very popular! They recently opened a location in KSA and are planning to open one in India as well. The Martin’s team met with the owner who is very grateful to be able to use Martin’s rolls for his restaurants. In fact, Burger Guys was the first restaurant outside of Shake Shack to use our rolls in Qatar!
In addition to many burger and fried chicken sandwich options, Burger Guys also serves items like grilled shrimp, salads, and fries topped with unique toppings.
Mini Burger – Doha, Qatar
This restaurant currently has two locations, the second of which only recently opened. The team stopped by for some yummy burgers on Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls and also spoke to Manager, Saeed.
They serve several different burger options along with salad, fries, and chicken strips or shrimp topped with dynamite sauce!
Rare Burger – Doha, Qatar
This popular burger chain has three locations and is growing rapidly in Doha. Our team stopped by for a (3rd) lunch and spent some time with their team who said they love our rolls! At Rare Burger, you can order regular, chicken, or wagyu burgers with toppings like mushrooms, smoked bacon and BBQ sauce, jalapenos with spicy sauce, or even pomegranate seeds!
A Quick Summary
In the short week spent in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), our team soon learned just how popular Martin’s Potato Rolls are amongst the growing burger restaurants in the region. They were amazed at just how many restaurants are using our rolls there. In fact, on one occasion, they drove by a small strip mall in which five out of six burger restaurants were all using Martin’s rolls!
Many chefs and restaurant owners are looking to Martin’s as the must-have roll and “standard of excellence” when it comes to burger ingredients. We are truly honored to be able to support so many restaurants both internationally and domestically and are humbled by this rapidly growing segment of our business.
To learn more about Martin’s Food Service, visit https://foodservice.potatorolls.com.
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