Introducing the Kebab Alliance
The local kebab restaurant is a feature of nearly every community in our country, and more than 36% of the UK public have eaten a kebab in the last month.
But more than just a popular food, kebabs are an enduring symbol of British entrepreneurship and diversity, and an increasingly important part of the UK economy.
There are more than 17,000 kebab establishments in the UK, employing over 200,000 people and contributing £2.8 billion to the economy each year.
Through investment, jobs and, most of all, delicious food, the kebab restaurant has become a cornerstone of the Great British high street and an important contributor to our local economy.
Our success and challenges are a barometer of the strength of the high street, our concerns a window into the situation faced by retailers and small businesses up and down the country.
The Kebab Alliance is the voice of our industry, promoting our members’ interests, driving standards and raising awareness of the important economic and cultural role of kebabs in the UK. The role of the Alliance will be to change traditional and stereotypical perceptions of kebabs and ensure a regulatory landscape that supports a thriving industry whilst also protecting the consumer.
The Kebab Alliance's mission
The Kebab Alliance exists to support our members and to promote and protect the UK kebab industry, its supply chain and customers. Our Charter sets out the five pillars that we campaign and speak out on:
The kebab is a method of cooking food on a skewer, as kebabs are grilled and not fried, they are a healthier alternative than many other dishes.
The majority of kebab restaurants are small businesses employing less than ten people, we need a fair regulatory framework and a level tax playing field to ensure our members can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to contribute to the economy.
Our members hold themselves to the highest standards, sourcing the best ingredients and maintaining the highest standards for their premises and staff. We campaign for ethical sourcing, environmental standards and ethical business practices across the sector.
Like many sectors, the kebab industry relies on just-in-time supply chains and access to quality ingredients from around the world. Restricted access to markets and constraints in the supply chain have a significant impact on our members’ ability to trade.
Kebab cooking dates back millennia and the history, skills and cultural importance of kebabs must be preserved for future generations.
Chairman and Director
Ibrahim Dogus is a businessman and entrepreneur owning and running three small businesses and several social enterprises, employing over 50 people in the UK.
He grew up in London and from the age of 15, he started working as a waiter, going on to work as an assistant manager at a restaurant, a community outreach worker, and later a publisher. At the age of 23, he set up his own business.
As a community activist in the UK for many years, Ibrahim supported communities originating from Turkey and neighbouring countries. He was Chair of a national Kurdish/Turkish charity; the founder and publisher of the Lambeth Life newspaper, the founder and director of the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS); and founder of the Kurdish-Turkish community newspaper, Telgraf, London Kurdish Films Festival and SME4Labour. He also set up and is the director of the Centre for Kurdish Progress and the British Kebab Awards.
Ibrahim has worked for Haringey Council, promoting community and cultural interests, within their Library Services department. He has been a member of Independent Advisory Group (IAG) for Hackney Police and a member of the Equalities Commission for the GLA during Ken Livingstone’s London mayoralty. He has been elected as a Labour councillor for Bishop’s Ward in Lambeth and served as the Mayor of the Borough. Ibrahim is also the chair of British Takeaway Campaign.
UK Off Premise & E-Comm Director, Unilever
Horacio is Customer Director in the Away-from-Home Team at Unilever. He has worked for Unilever for the last 19 years in a variety of roles covering Finance, Customer Development and Channel Marketing. During this period Horacio has developed a significant international experience in supporting operators of the Hospitality industry across different European markets such as the UK, France and Portugal.
Head of UK Strategic Partnerships, Unilever
Gurpreet is spear heading the field and strategic partners for the ‘NOW movement’, which is a dynamic start up within Unilever focusing on online delivery.
Gurpreet brings extensive FMCG experience having been part of multinational corporations. He has covered many leadership roles in his career which have been leveraged to drive digital transformation and innovation with new related business models at Unilever.
UK Marketing Director, Just Eat
Matt Bushby joined Just Eat in 2016 and as UK Marketing Director is responsible for all marketing channels in Just Eat’s biggest market, driving growth, customer acquisition and brand affinity. He is a member of the leadership team who have continued to drive Just Eat’s growth in the UK and across its 23 global markets to become the biggest food delivery business in the world outside of China.
Prior to joining Just Eat, Matt held senior marketing positions at companies including ITV and DC Thomson, promoting high growth and profitable online businesses across a number of industries and international territories. Matt is also a member of the ISBA Executive Committee.
Marketing Director, McCain
Mark Hodge has been with McCain for 16 years, and as Marketing Director he is responsible for building strong brands and products that delight consumers and help our customers grow across McCain Foodservice Solutions and Retail business.
Mark’s extensive experience and passion for brand building have helped establish McCain as a supplier of choice in the industry.
CEO, Kismet Kebabs
Amird joined Kismet Kebabs Ltd early 2016 as Operations Director. By implementing innovative ideas and tackling challenging problems Amird has more than doubled the turnover of the company and manufacturing in excess of 200 tonnes per week of various kebab products shipping not only all over UK but to international customers.
Amird has vast knowledge and over 20 years’ experience in consumer goods, pharmaceutical and food industry having worked with top corporate companies like P&G, AB Foods & Tate & Lyle Sugars. Amird holds a masters honours degree and chartered in chemical & process engineering. Amird is one of the initial founders of Kebab Alliance and with his broad capabilities within food safety & quality management, he is an asset as a board member.
Owner, Ataly's Kebabs
Resul Atalay is the owner of award-winning Atalay’s Kebab Van in Thame. He has been in the trade since 1988 and always endeavours to give back to the local community by providing honest food and excellent customer service. He is also a commentator on trade-related issues on many regional and national media outlets.
Owner, Master Kebabs
Ismail Aydin has been involved directly in the kebab industry for almost 35 years. He has owned and run many kebab takeaways and have served a huge community of customers over the years. Ismail has huge respect for this industry and believe hard work and passion opens all doors.
CEO, Savoy Catering Supplies and Founder of the Ulus Group
Haydar Ulus is a serial entrepreneur and a Certified Accountant, have taken over the family business upon graduating from City University – Cass Business School and going on to found Ulus Group, a multi-facet professional services provider at the international level.
Haydar has interests in a variety of sectors, such as property development, financial technology (SWIPPR) and has recently acquired an established 35-year-old FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) business with strong links to the kebab industry, Savoy Catering Supplies.
Executive Chef at Skewd Kitchen
Maz Demir is the Executive Chef and owner at the award-winning Skewd Kitchen in Cockfosters, London.
Max founded Skewd in 2013 with the desire to bring his ‘Anatolian with Attitude’ philosophy to the restaurant. Skewd offers fine Turkish- Mediterranean dining with an avant-garde edge provided by seasonal ingredients.
That approach has paid off with Maz being recognised at the British Kebab Awards as ‘Chef Of The Year’ in 2017 & 2018, ‘Young Chef of the Year’ in 2015 and ‘Restauranteur of the Year’ in 2014, with Skewd Kitchen winning the prestigious ‘Fine Dining Award’ in 2019.
Director of TFC Holdings
Ercan Ucur was born in Turkey then came to London in 1986, and has been in business ever since.
Ercan is the Founder and Director of TFC Holdings, the UK’s biggest importers of Turkish food and drinks, which employs more than 500 people across its wholesale, retail and property businesses.