Growing fast-casual chain plans string of kitchen projects as it chases American dream

German Doner Kebab

German Doner Kebab, the global fast-casual restaurant chain revolutionizing the kebab, is set to open its first restaurant in the United States at American Dream, the entertainment and retail center in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Opening in August, the new location of GDK brings the fresh, high-quality taste that has made GDK the world’s most exciting kebab brand to American Dream.

Freshly prepared in front of customers, its kebabs are made using premium, lean, tender meats and fresh, local vegetables, served in handmade, toasted breads with unique signature sauces.

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“The US offers a huge opportunity for GDK, and we are excited to be opening our first US restaurant at American Dream,” said Nigel Belton, managing director of German Doner Kebab North America.

“German Doner Kebab is exciting consumers across Europe and Canada, offering a fast-casual concept that is responding to the needs of Generation Z. We are now recognized as a top fast-casual brand of the future, and we are looking forward to bringing this German Doner Kebab experience to people visiting American Dream.”

The American Dream location of GDK is an important step in an ambitious growth plan throughout the US and Canada. The brand successfully launched two restaurants in Canada in Ottawa and Surrey in 2020 and recently opened a flagship restaurant in downtown Toronto.

Plans are now in place to open 100 new restaurants in Canada over the next 10 years, and the development pipeline also includes key US locations spanning New York City, New Jersey and Houston.

The opening of German Doner Kebab’s first US location is in partnership with franchisee Yunus Shahul, who brings significant experience in the restaurant industry.

The New York native operates two Saravana Bhavan Indian restaurants and a growing Cousins Maine Lobster portfolio throughout New York and Connecticut.

“I am extremely excited to pursue a dream of mine, which is joining the GDK family as I have a personal love for the doner kebab,” said Shahul. “I have no doubt that German Doner Kebab is going to be a huge hit, and I’m extremely excited to be opening the first restaurant in the US. American Dream gives us an iconic launchpad for the brand and we are very much looking forward to bringing a fresh, fast-casual offering to people visiting the complex.”

“Yunus is the perfect partner for us and brings a great track record in the fast-casual space that will be invaluable as we launch German Doner Kebab to US consumers,” said Belton.

German Doner Kebab’s first location opened in Berlin in 1989, and today has over 70 restaurants across the globe.

Its North American expansion is a piece of GDK’s global growth plan that also includes the UK, Sweden and the Middle East, with over 700 franchises already signed-up to its global growth strategy.

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Andrew Seymour

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