It’s a great time to be a foodie in the Middle East. Local food scenes are beginning to come into their own, bringing with them delicious meals that are sure to delight any palate. However, the Arab food and beverage industry encompasses far more than just restaurants. The region’s flourishing entrepreneurial climate has set the stage for many successful startups.
Where some are creating foods for local consumers, others are helping their clients discover new places to eat and expand their culinary horizons. With the recent introduction of the Middle East’s first food accelerator, Savour, the region will only continue to see more groundbreaking ideas from food-focused startups in the future.
Here are some of the best startups for food lovers in the Middle East today:
Akelni provides Egyptians with an avenue through which they can order their favorite meals and find new eateries. Available online and through a mobile app, the service allows users to locate restaurants in their area by specifying their city or region. Akelni provides them with a list of all eateries that deliver food and the menu items available. This convenient format allows users to order food quickly and even to discover new restaurants in their area. Users can also recommend their favorite restaurants for inclusion on the app and site.
When ordering via Akelni, users can pay up front with credit card or cash on delivery. With over 30,000 meals to choose from, the app makes dining out more convenient for hungry locals.
Serving 10 cities across Egypt, Breadfast is an online platform through which people can buy fresh-baked goods with no hassle. Instead of having to buy bakery items ahead of time and freeze and defrost them as needed, users can simply place their order and have their favorite breads, muffins, and pastries delivered to their doorstep.
Breadfast accepts orders until 10 p.m. the night before delivery. All its products are baked fresh every night. The next day, the company delivers each customer’s order right to their front door at the time specified in their order. From internationally popular items such as croissants and baguettes to regional favorites like feteer meshaltet and baladi bread, Breadfast offers a wide array of delicious baked goods.
Headquartered in Bahrain, Eat has quickly become one of the biggest platforms for restaurant reservations in the Middle East. To date, the startup has helped over 2 million diners book tables at more than 800 restaurants across the region.
Eat specializes in fine dining and partners with a multitude of restaurants to provide users with truly unique experiences. Users can search for eateries by city and view the available seating in real time. As they make their selections, Eat confirms their reservations immediately.
The team behind Baristas’ Corner set out to create a higher caliber of coffee shop for Dubai residents. Catering to both casual coffee drinkers and connoisseurs alike, the startup offers what its founders refer to as the ever-elusive “consistently exceptional cup of coffee.” Moreover, Baristas’ Corner captures the unique atmosphere of the traditional coffeehouse, providing a place for people to hang out as well as work.
Baristas’ Corner purchases its coffee from sustainable growers around the globe and creates its own unique blends. Its baristas follow specific steps when preparing each brew, thereby ensuring consistency in every cup. In addition, Baristas’ Corner offers services to businesses in the coffee industry. From barista training to machine servicing, these solutions help fledgling coffee shops thrive.
An easy-to-use food delivery app, Elmenus allows users to search for foods by restaurant or type of cuisine. It doesn’t matter if they are looking for tried-and-true favorites, crave a certain dish, or want to branch out and try something new. On Elmenus, users can quickly find dine-out and delivery options in their neighborhood.
Users can place and pay for delivery orders online, then track their orders right to their door. In addition, those who want to dine out can peruse menus from local restaurants, to help them decide where and what they should eat.
A graduate of Savour’s accelerator program, mix&muesli is providing healthy, delicious breakfast food options to those in the UAE and beyond. The startup’s founders developed the concept for their business after struggling to find the perfect muesli in shops. Since they couldn’t find an option that was exactly right, they decided to create a website that would allow people to order customized muesli mixes.
Customers first select a base from various grain options, then choose from a range of fruits and nuts to create their personalized muesli mix. The startup uses natural, chemical-free ingredients, so customers are able to enjoy a healthier alternative to most muesli products. Whether they create their own muesli or choose from one of mix&muesli’s pre-made mixes, customers can have their orders shipped to them.