There’s only one way to eat falafels, gyros, and baklava from The Falafel Guys: the delivery-only restaurant is available through UberEats. Starting this fall, brothers Rawad and Kareem Al-awar opened the venture on a whim, and it’s been going strong so far.
“We always knew we wanted to open a restaurant,” Rawad Al-awar said, “but we didn’t really know how, and we definitely didn’t have the money.” The pedicabbing brothers picked up a customer who sang the praises of working with UberEats, and that sparked an idea.
They reached out to someone at UberEats, because they thought it was something as simple as cooking in their homes for deliveries, but a representative nixed that apartment kitchen idea. “I don’t think the dude thought we were serious,” Rawad said.
Emboldened with the expectation that UberEats would include The Falafel Guys, they quickly acquired the right permits and leased a kitchen space, It was a quick turnaround — they had the idea in the middle of fall, spent October getting their paperwork all straightened out, and found themselves on the UberEats lineup the very first week of November. It all worked out in the brothers’ favor.
To create their menu, the Lebanese brothers drew on family recipes (their father and uncle ran a food trailer). “The only stuff we didn’t really know how to make was the falafel, the garlic sauce, hummus,” Rawad said. Their sister came from Houston to teach them how to make everything. Now the menu includes dishes like falafels, chicken, steak, served with rice, salads, and pitas, with hummus and baklava.
The Al-awars appreciate running a “very lean” business. “We know what’s important to delivery customers,” Rawad said, “which is quality and speed, and when we can focus on what’s important to delivery-only customers, then you can deliver a lot more value.”
The brothers like to add personal notes with every delivery. They like to “get in there and still create some sort of personal relationship with the customers,” Kareem explained.
While the Al-awars don’t have any immediate plans to expand into physical restaurants and the such, they’ve thought about replicating their model across the country, because “it was too easy,” Rawad explained.