Kuwait’s BilBayt.com captures casual catering trend

Kuwait's Bil Bayt online catering
Kuwait's Bil Bayt online catering | pixelforthought.com

The first online catering platform in the GCC launched in Kuwait early this year. BilBayt.com simplifies the process for customers looking to cater their next event or gathering with well-known casual dining establishments.

“We picked it up as a trend,” said Ahmed Salamah, Marketing Manager one of the three founders of Bil Bayt. “The restaurant industry in Kuwait is very saturated, and you have to continue to figure out new revenue streams. This popped up.”

The restaurant industry in Kuwait has a growth rate of 10 percent per year. Over a thousand new concepts open every year in the small Gulf nation. To retain growth, businesses have introduced catering to their line of services. Franchises like Johnny Rockets have developed menus for stations to serve weddings and parties. But, says Salamah, that’s not where the money is.

“Here in Kuwait and the GCC in general when you think casual catering a lot of our orders are for the diwanya family gatherings which are weekly, and gatherings for girls,” he said.

For co-founder and Business Developer Latifa Benessa, and a host to many such weekly gatherings, setting up catering had always been a hassle. Language barriers and a wide range of offerings made phone calls to the restaurants difficult and cumbersome, and left customers playing it safe. To solve this issue the team of three Kuwaitis created Bil Bayt.

“Imagine calling up a caterer or restaurant and asking what the menu is,” said co founder Ali Al-Awadi, Bil Bayt COO. “Some of the restaurants have 30 items on their menu. Now, imagine there is a language barrier, and on the phone. This eliminates all of that.”

Users input the date of the event, expected guests and the location. They then choose from a list of local and franchise restaurants. The system keeps an automated updated record on every restaurant’s schedule and menu offerings. They also include a checklist of requirements for setup, including electricity, special needs and physical space.

The site, only fully launched in March 2015 now has contracts with almost 30 restaurants, some which never offered catering before Bil Bayt. Behind the screen the team offers consulting services for menu creation the development of a catering concept. It’s this personal commitment, Al-Awadi says, that has strengthened their business.

“We usually start with the owner who directs us to the person in charge of catering who directs us to marketing,” said Al-Awadi. ‘So we have to balance all these people. It’s good because we have a personal relationship with them. They know that we are on the ground and doing the work ourselves.”