German Doner Kebab hires new UK Managing Director
German Doner Kebab has appointed Sofia Dimen as its new Managing Director for the UK to build on its ambitious growth plans.
Sofia is the Founder of Basepoint Consulting and former Senior Commercial Consultant at OXYGY Ltd, a Bird & Bird International Law Firm, where she has worked with a range of top brands across the food and beverage sector including Greggs, Pret A Manger, Halo Burger, Daimon Brewery, Wagamama, amongst others.
Sofia has worked with many of the major high street brands to improve the understanding of the franchisee and franchisor relationship through behaviours and processes as well as auditing departments and boosting profitability from multinational PLCs to private equity and founder start-ups.
Sofia replaces Daniel Bunce who was recently promoted to GDK International Global COO role to spearhead the brand’s international growth plans.
Her appointment follows a busy 2021 where the GDK opened 39 new restaurants throughout the UK, with plans to open a further 78 restaurants this year.
The past year also saw the brand deliver a significant rise in UK total sales, up 75 percent from the previous 12 months, with same-store sales for 2021 also up 27 percent on 2020.
Now employing over 3500 people in its restaurants throughout the country, the brand boasts a development pipeline of 350 franchise units over the next seven years.
Further growth is also set to be announced for Ireland and Spain in Europe.
“I am excited to be joining German Doner Kebab and stepping into the role of MD,” said Sofia Dimen.
“GDK has undergone monumental growth in the UK over the past year and I am looking forward to developing our growth plans and bringing our fresh and exciting offering to the Gen Z and Millennial audience throughout the UK.”
Imran Sayeed, Group CEO, said: “Sofia brings new expertise and talent to our leadership team and we are thrilled to welcome her into the GDK family as we build our brand awareness and bring an offering that is truly connecting with the Gen Z and Millennial audience.
“I fully expect Sofia to not only be influential in helping us meet our ambitions of opening 78 restaurants in 2022, but truly driving the growth of our footprint in the next few years as we aim to reach 350 stores.
“We are growing at a great pace and in her new role, Sofia will also be leveraging her significant experience to support operations, marketing and developing franchise business relationships. As well as influencing growth and establishing German Doner Kebab as one the fastest-growing fast-casual brands in the UK.
“Her experience within the retail and hospitality sectors will be invaluable from an operations and franchise relationship perspective as we bring greater momentum to our growth ambitions in the UK.”