Creating experiences around authentic flavors and distinctive tastes
With a mission to deliver authentic flavors and distinctive tastes from around the world, Universal Food Company (UFC) has established itself since 2004 as a leading innovator and operator of international and homegrown dining experiences as well as central kitchen facilities that cater for gourmet food lines.
Over the years, the Company continued to grow with an unchanged philosophy that places quality, authenticity, hospitality and innovation at the heart of the services and products offered to clients. Its success reflects in its growing portfolio of brands, branches, and client-base beyond the borders of UFC’s country of operations, Kuwait.
Today, UFC is recognized for its expanding portfolio of restaurants, as the partner of choice for leading franchising concepts, as well as a gourmet confectioner and food caterer. Its business convictions? A passion for quality foods, great locations, exceptional service, and human integrity in every step of its expanding journey.
The journey continues with the commitment to upholding the highest standards of quality in every aspect of operations supported by a growing team of professionals, and a vision to enrich the Company’s portfolio with new dining experiences and catering capabilities, as well as expand geographically.
Homegrown Dining Experiences
From the success of its first dining experience, Life with Cacao, UFC has propelled its expansion in the world of high-end dining with original concepts that all have innovative cuisines, top-notch ingredients, and delectable flavors in common.
Meet our Brands: Life with Cacao, Select, Kotton Café, Pep
International Franchising Concepts
With year-on-year success in managing the Zaatar w Zeit franchise in Kuwait since 2004, UFC acquired the franchise of the London-based and most Instagrammable café, EL&N, and its immediate success led to the opening of a second location within a year.
Brands: EL&N, Zaatar w Zeit
To support the operations of the dining business lines, UFC operates two central kitchens, both fully supplied with the best-in-class equipment to ensure quality and consistency in the foods delivered to clients.
Capabilities: Two central kitchens, fully equipped, covering 1,000 square meters each.
UFC IN NUMBERS
Homegrown Dining Experiences
Life with Cacao, Select, Kotton Café, Pep
EL&N and Zaatar w Zeit
Over 1,000 square meters each
In high traffic malls and exclusive areas
Gourmet Food Brands
Kotton and gourmet catering
…and expanding Kuwait, KSA, Oman, and Egypt
Passionate and innovative culture
UFC is a subsidiary of Intishar Holding.
Expanding one flavorful dining experience at a time
The story of UFC begins with the acquisition of the franchise of the authentic Lebanese urban eatery concept, Zaatar w Zeit. The success of the first branch in Kuwait led to the opening of a second brand in less than a year, and more followed in the coming years.
The Company aimed at introducing a variety of tastes from around the world while also developing dining concepts that would be known for their innovative and quality cuisine… locally and internationally.
This is when the first dining experience came to life. Life with Cacao took Kuwait by storm in 2010 and was very quickly a favorite destination for friends and families all week long. Life with Cacao went from a flagship restaurant at the largest mall in the Middle East to several ones located in various high-end spots in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar, to continue serving great dishes to clients of all segments.
With its expanding central kitchen capabilities, UFC launched Kotton, a bakery serving all-time favorites, essentially Japanese cheesecake with flavors inspired from the East to the West.
Short after, several new concepts were introduced. Select opened its first high-dining restaurant in the most visited luxury mall in Kuwait in 2021, serving dishes inspired from Mediterranean cuisines and using local ingredients to preserve the authentic flavors of these dishes.
In the same year, UFC marked a new milestone showcasing its capabilities in delivering world-class dining experiences with the acquisition of the franchise rights of the London-based and most Instagrammable café, EL&N. The success of the first EL&N restaurant at the largest mall in Kuwait led to immediate works on opening a second location, this time in the leading luxury mall in Kuwait. The success of operating EL&N in Kuwait is another testament to the capabilities of UFC, from menu development, quality assurance, kitchen operations, hospitality services, and marketing.
A bold expansion strategy in a commitment to our vision
Committing to its vision to creating distinct and flavorful dining experiences, UFC is moving forward on a bold expansion strategy that will enable the Company to innovate new dining and food experiences and introduce new cuisines and flavors to its portfolio, as well as expand with existing brands.
The pipeline is exciting. From bakeries and confectionaries to franchises and supplying new product lines, the growth is promising.
Supported by expanded Kitchen Facilities with the opening of a new central kitchen of over 1,000 square meters in 2022, UFC is growing its kitchen abilities to serve its various restaurants as well as expand into catering services. The expansion in its central kitchens enables the Company to have complete quality control over all the ingredients and products that it uses, ultimately ensuring clients are served with the same flavors they’ve come to be accustomed with.
Internationally, Life with Cacao continues to gain popularity for its unique proposition and innovative menu. UFC continues to study expansion opportunities for the homegrown dining experience beyond the Middle East region.
Our Mission / Vision / Values
By investing in the right team that has a solid understanding of what it takes to innovate flavors that satisfy our guests’ senses in every visit, we strive to realize our goal, which is driven by our unwavering passion for real foods and dedication to using real ingredients.
We strive to uphold our promise to create distinct and flavorful dining experiences based on quality, authenticity, hospitality, and innovation, while also conducting our business responsibly and establishing high standards of teamwork, partnership, integrity, and commitment.
Quality, Integrity, Innovation, Teamwork
Our philosophy is founded on four integral pillars
We are first and foremost united by a passion for good food. It is our driver day in and day out in innovating dishes and food products, finding real ingredients that make a difference in quality, and achieving a common objective of creating flavorful dining experiences that satisfy our guests’ senses.
We know that our businesses have a direct impact on our society. We have therefore committed to sustainable development, transparency, and fair sourcing through the activities carried out daily, at our headquarters and in our restaurants.
Our success is built on the people within. We ensure respect and equal opportunities for all because we know very well that teams that are given knowledge and skill training, as well as motivation and opportunities to grow are the sole drivers of business success and guest satisfaction.
Guest satisfaction is our priority. Every day, we work together to offer them the most memorable experience possible through dishes that tackle their senses, a quality that speaks for itself, and a hospitality that is unforgettable.
Our Commitment to Quality
Quality first. Quality ingredients, quality in preparing, and quality in service
At UFC, our quality assurance follows the best in practice regulations and applications, including those mandated by the food safety management system, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
Our quality promise affirms that we source our raw ingredients from the best suppliers, while our food items are homemade with care to ensure they remain fresh during the processing phase.
Quality in service starts from the development of our dining experiences. Our teams are trained to ensure they deliver the experience we want our guests to enjoy. We empower every member of our team to enable them to be part of the process of quality.
Our guests are at the center of every experience we create
With the majority of our restaurants located in Kuwait, our guests are locals of every age, background, and culture, and that applies to our guests at Life with Cacao in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar. We are also happy to see friends and families spend their most memorable times together dining with us.
With a team of over 500 employees, we pride ourselves for being one of the fastest growing innovators and operators of dining experiences in Kuwait.
But that is not all what differentiates us. Over the years, UFC has nurtured a positive workplace where every employee is empowered. The result is a strong team that is driven and competitive, successfully overlooking all restaurants, central kitchen facilities, catering, and delivery services. The result is also a high employee retention and a strong teamwork led by an inspiring leadership that enables creativity and expression.