Food is an important part of what unites people together. More than that, passed down through generations, the food we eat becomes expressions of a shared cultural identity. For people all around the world living hectic lives, food brings us back home. It can take us back to a time of comfort and ease like gatherings around the table to share a meal with family and friends. Memories of a simple meal can resonate with people for the rest of their lives.
For immigrants, this has never been more true. People looking for a better life in a new country and even those fleeing their homes because of war, food becomes an anchor, a tradition that carries a sense of pride and home wherever they go. The food we eat is so much more than just a celebration of culture or identity. In fact, a simple dish can help keep the personal and shared stories, memories and traditions of people all over the world alive.
This is exactly what Gaza based Abdallah Jarghoun had in mind when he started work on Mughtarib Food. Mughtarib, the Arabic word for expatriate embodies the essence of the startup which is all about empowering Arab expats living abroad. Founded in mid-2018, Mughtarib Food is a mobile application that allows Arab expats living in foreign countries to order Halal and traditional food.
Jarghoun explains that for busy expats living in Europe there aren’t many restaurants that offer traditionally Arab dishes. This is where Mughtarib Food steps in. With the application, customers can order from a variety of traditional dishes through the ease of their mobile devices.
For potential chefs, joining Mughtarib Food is simple. All you have to do is make an account and fill out an online application. Upon approval, chefs can get started, update their profiles and upload descriptions of their offered dishes. Chef profiles will then appear for customers within 20 kilometers of the stated address.
Mughtarib Food is targeting expats in Europe, with an initial focus on Germany, Austria, Holland, and Belgium. Jarghoun further breaks this down to market size projections, with potential customers in Germany reaching 1m at 1.2% of the population; 47k, 0.5% in Austria; 75k, 1.1% in Holland; and 1.4m, 12.7% respectively.
To put this in perspective, since their launch Mughtarib Food has grown to include 800 active chefs, 1700 returning customers, and over 140 orders. In terms of a business model, Mughtarib Food sells monthly subscriptions to members and a percentage of commissions per order. The startup also reaches out to vendors for sponsorships and advertisements.
In 2020, Jarghoun estimates that Mughtarib food will grow to include 4k chefs, 11k customers and deliver over 30k orders, in targeted countries. In order to scale and make these projections a reality, Jarghoun is looking to secure $100k USD in investments, and connect with potential partners that know their markets.
The Mughtarib team includes a group of talented Palestinians. Heading the team is Co-founder and CEO Abdallah Jarghoun; on marketing is Mahmoud Abu Abed and Samah Hamouda with over 5 years’ experience, respectively. On the development front is IOS programmer with over 8 years of experience is Israa Jundia; and Android Programmer Mohammed Al-Anqar with 6 years in the field. Rounding off the team is Shorouk Al-Khudari Head of Design with 5 years’ experience.
The impact of Mughtarib Food lies in its ability to share the wealth of stories and cultures emerging from the Arab world through traditional cuisines. The potential to create a countless number of employment opportunities for expatriates living abroad by sharing a small part of their cultural heritage cannot be overstated and helps keep the sense of home alive for thousands.
To learn more about Mughtarib Food visit: https://mughtaribapp.com
For Facebook users: @mughtaribfood
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