“We continue to be the glowing global brand of Turkey”From the Simit Sarayı website
Simit Sarayı is a chain of fast-food franchise bakeries, which is rapidly expanding across Europe and the Middle East. Having begun in 2002 in Istanbul, it opened its first European franchise in 2010. The company reportedly wants to be the next McDonalds.
Simit Sarayı told Hurriyet in 2010 that it plans to sell 70 percent Turkish products and 30 percent local products in its operations outside Turkey.
In 2016, Abdullah Kavukçu, CEO of Simit Sarayı and owner of the Kavukçu Group of companies, attended the Republic Day reception at Erdoğan’s Presidential Palace in Ankara.
Simit Sarayı is a flagship brand for Turkey, proved by the fact that its Piccadilly Circus branch was opened by Turkish AKP Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım in 2017. As part of the same Prime Ministerial visit, Kavukçu attended the opening ceremoy of a London based Turkish Investment Bank, known as the Dome Group. Also present at the ceremony were the Turkish Prime Minister, as well as Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chair Mehdi Eker, AKP Deputy Group Chair Mustafa Elitaş and Turkey’s London Ambassador Abdurrahman Bilgiç.
In 2017, Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister said, amidst worries about the impending Turkish economic crash, that Simit Sarayı was one of two Turkish companies whose deals “will bring $1 billion of global capital into Turkey”. This shows that the revenue generated by Simit Sarayı supports the Turkish state through generating tax revenues. It also shows that the AKP and Simit Sarayı’s executives are pretty close.
In 2015, Abdullah Kavukçu, CEO of Simit Sarayı and owner of the Kavukçu Group of companies, told AKP mouthpiece Daily Sabah that ‘Turkey’s upcoming elections’, which the AKP won, would ‘bring good outcomes in terms of the economy, although elections generally scare off investors’.
President Erdoğan even personally visited Simit Sarayı’s new store in Belgrade along with the Turkish Foreign Minister and several other ministers.
The company is currently privately owned. However, there are rumours that Simit Sarayı is planning to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange. It has big expansion plans in the UK. There are currently 22 stores in London, but the company is in negotiations to buy another 85 UK stores.
A list of its locations can be found here.
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Basic company information
Global Presence: Simit Sarayı has a presence in 22 countries including the US, England (London), Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Serbia, Germany, Iraq, Lebanon, UAE, Bahrain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.
Type of business: Private company. Chain of fast-food franchise bakeries
Export Revenue: $150 million
People: Abdullah Kavukçu (Chairman and CEO), Dr. Abdul Majeed Alhokair (Board member).