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Franchise Talk: 3 Secrets to Khaleb’s Staying Power in the Food Industry


Khaleb Shawarma started as a humble family business in 2003

As seen on Entrepreneur.com.ph:

In the competitive world of the food industry, very few food businesses can claim they have lasted more than 10 years. Khaleb, a homegrown shawarma brand, is one of those outliers. In fact, Khaleb outlived most of its contemporaries that came out of the woodwork when the “shawarma craze” hit the nation a few years back.

“Before shawarma even became a ‘craze’ in the local food scene, we were already in business,” shares Ma. Marlene B. Varquez, president and CEO of Khaleb Shawarma, Inc.

Khaleb started out as a humble family business back in 2003, initially operating within an apartment compound in Quezon City. “We primarily set up the business to gather additional income to fund our college education,” recalls Beejay D. Burog, the company’s chairman and general manager.

When Khaleb was founded, Varquez and Burog were still studying at the University of the Philippines Diliman. “When we were starting out, most of the financial and operational support for the business came from both our mother and grandmother,” recalls Varquez.

But Khaleb has come a long way from its humble beginnings 15 years ago. From its first branch in Manila, Khaleb has since grown to over 100 branches nationwide, becoming a common fixture in major malls, supermarkets, and even transport terminals.

“We want to offer Filipinos a flavorful and satisfying shawarma experience that they can afford—that has never changed for the past 15 years,” adds Varquez. What’s the secret to Khaleb’s continued success? Read on to find out.

1. Playing to win

Even if the business started out as a “side hustle” for both Varquez and Burog, they knew that they had a strong business concept that can be further developed and expanded.

“For us, Khaleb is more than just a ‘spur-of-the-moment’ kind of investment. We are in this for the long haul, and we want to be the best in the segment,” adds Burog.