By MV Media, MuslimVillage.com
Australian Halal burger chain Dougies Grill keeps going from success to success. With 4 new stores opening in the last 12 months and plans to expand nationally and internationally, Dougies is set to conquer more than just your taste buds.
According to the owner Ali Daghram, Dougies Grill is not just another burger joint. It is a unique fresh concept that brings together the very best of authentic Mediterranean cuisine and the taste of Portuguese style chicken with an Australian touch to deliver a culinary experience he believes produces some of the best burgers in the world.
This fusion of tastes, gives customers a choice from a vast menu of burgers, wraps and charcoal chicken dishes, which are all grilled or char-grilled and made fresh to order. All the meats used are halal hand slaughtered including the gourmet burgers which includes chicken, camel, grain fed wagyu beef and rib eye fillet steak. Accompaniments such as salads, shish kebabs, kaftas and falafels make up the unique menu mix.
They say that overnight success really takes about 10 years of perfecting ones talents and lots of blood, sweat and tears. Dougies is a text book example of what a strong determination to succeed can achieve.
In 2001 Ali, who’s nickname at school was Dougie, wanted to leave the finance industry and needed a change in his life. With a great passion for food and help from his mother, in 2001 Ali bought an existing chicken business and started his journey in the food industry and the business world of food.
After years of hard work and a lot of late nights, Ali came up with of his own unique dinning concept and “Dougie’s Grill” was born in 2005. His commitment to supply the customers with only the best tasting burgers has seen Dougie’s be awarded and recognised as one of the Top 10 Burgers in Sydney as judged by the mass circulation The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
We caught up with Ali “Dougie” Daghram to ask him a few questions about the success of Dougie’s and business in general.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
Insha’Allah our aim is to be the leading national, and maybe one day international, 100% Halal hand slaughtered food Franchise. As we grow we will also love to increase our work with the local communities and mirror the Auburn Franchise which is 50% owned by a Muslim organisation were the profits are used for Dua. We hope to have one off these type of stores in every state in Australia within 5 years.
Q. Tell us what you think the difference is between Halal hand slaughtered and halal machine slaughtered meat.
A large portion of my customers only eat 100% halal hand slaughtered products. I am no scholar so I will not talk about the Islamic reasoning behind us only using hand slaughter. But it’s a personal choice that I believe is the right choice and its extremely hard to find eateries out there that can accommodate to those that want to eat strictly halal hand slaughtered food.
Q. What’s in your famous Douggies sauce?
God love her, my mum was one day playing around and mixing a number of sauces together and adding different herbs and peppers trying to perfect our own brand of sauce, and this is how the Dougies Sauce was born. Some of it was hard work, but a lot of it was luck. I might be the face of Dougies but my mum is the backbone and the heart of the business. Without her involvement, especially early on, there would be no Dougies today. After Allah I owe it all to her.
Q. What’s your top selling burger?
The Aussie and Dougie Burgers are our top selling burgers as they are very good value burgers. We use only fresh ingredeints and our Burgers/wraps are grilled not fried and cooked to order. Our suppliers deliver to us fresh on a daily basis. In saying that when we introduced our gourmet burger range about a year ago, now the Dougie Delux and the Wagyu beef have become extremely good sellers.
Q. What’s the most you have seen a single person eat?
Well the current record is held by a young man nicknamed “megahead”. The guy was a machine. He ate four Monster Dougie Burgers, large chips, a 1.25L bottle of soft drink and can of soft drink. It’s not normal. Whoever breaks his record can get his meal for free and a $50 voucher on top!
Q. What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own restaurant or business in general?
The number one piece of advice I have is honesty. People work hard to make a dollar these days so it’s the business owners responsibility to give customers what they pay for. Always give them a good quality product with a smile on your face and no matter what, do not sacrifice on quality and service. But I honestly think the most important advice I could give is be honest in what you sell.