Restaurants make $6.5 billion a year, market keeps expanding

Restaurants make $6.5 billion a year, market keeps expanding

Ceyhun Kuburlu ISTANBUL / Hürriyet
Restaurants make $6.5 billion a year, market keeps expanding

Lacivert, a Boshporus-side restaurant in Istanbul, was recently acquired by D.ream, a new player in the restaurant business.

Turkey’s restaurant sector reached a volume of $6.5 billion liras last year, and continues to grow rapidly, according to the chief executive of a large new player in the business.

“It is necessary to invest in an institutionalized way in high-quality restaurants in Turkey,” said Levent Veziroğlu, chief executive of Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management (D.ream). “We are planning to invest abroad with the brands that we partner with,” he told Daily Hürriyet in a recent interview.

D.ream, a subsidiary of Doğuş Holding, has purchased 51 percent stakes in the Nusret, Lacivert and Kiva restaurants since April.

Istanbul dominates market

There are around 30,000 restaurant firms in Turkey, half of which are active in Istanbul, Veziroğlu noted. Istanbul restaurants generate some $3.5 billion a year. “However, we foresee rapid growth in this sector. The growth will accelerate with new restaurants and investments.”

D.ream plans to invest some $50 million into the sector by the end of this year, via the eight brands it controls. “All of these brands will be leaders in their sectors. We will be running 22 restaurants under these eight brands.”

New York, London and Dubai are among the large cities D.ream is seeking investment access to starting in 2013. “We will also open restaurants serving Turkish cuisine in these locations.”