DOGAN KAYA Exclusive: British entrepreneur talks Romet Group, Brexit and Future Plans

Dogan Kaya is a British entrepreneur most known for heading up restaurant and hospitality group Romet Group, their brands include Pivaz restaurants, Venerdi Restaurant and Cod & Co in hackney to name a few. We sat down with him to find out more.

Q. Dogan, thank you for talking to us, where did the journey start for you?
Dogan: My pleasure, when I first came to the UK which feels like many moons ago I always knew I would end up in some sort of business. I started off working in a restaurant and worked my way to manager, and a year or so after this I left to start with Venerdi in Hackney.

Q. What are some of the challenges involved in opening a restaurant?
Dogan: Well there are so many upfront costs, you have to pay for the store, furnishings and any refurbishments you want to do, cutlery and cookery and the initial food and drink stock you need to be able to launch, you also need to get licensing and hygiene regulated by the local council. So it can all quite quickly add up.

Q. How did Romet Group come around?
Dogan: In 2016 I teamed up with a group of investors and at this point I already had Pivaz in Hackney, I then worked with them to develop and grow the Pivaz concept in Epping and Brentwood. The idea was to create high-end eateries with authentic food but Instagram friendly dining. After this we then launched Apricot Foods and we had a few other takeaways in our holdings, so we decided to launch Romet Group to fuel this expansion.

Q. What future plans do you have and what threats do you face?
Dogan: Our immediate plan is to get to new eateries open by Q2 of 2020, we are looking at various sites in London as want to improve our coverage in the city.

The obvious threat we face is Brexit, no one knows how thing will pan out, I have investors on the fence about coming onboard on these new projects and all this becomes a real issue if we look at the fact that businesses like mine are heavily reliant on there being confidence from the general public to go out and spend.

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