New York City

Refugee Staffed Startup Quickly Doubles Sales

New York Startup, Eat Offbeat, Doubled Sales After “Muslim Ban”

Eat-Offbeat-New-York-Daily-News Refugee Staffed Startup Quickly Doubles Sales

Eat Offbeat doubles sales since Trump’s executive order January 27, 2017 photo: New York Daily News

When President Trump issued an order blocking refugees and travelers from seven muslim countries, on January 27th it was met with huge opposition. We’ve seen countless tech stories chronicling the tech and startup reaction to the executive order.

We reported on Modjoul employee Nazannin Zinouri, who wasn’t allowed to return home after visiting her family in Tehran. We’ve even seen how the tech community plans to walk out on Pi Di in protest of the President’s order.

Now some good news.

Fast Company reported on their CoExist blog about New York startup Eat Offbeat.

Eat Offbeat isn’t your ordinary food delivery startup. By design, they employee talented refugee chefs from across the globe. These chefs prepare their own favorite dishes to share with the Eat Offbeat customers. Often times they’re dishes that you can’t find in any of the 24,000 restaurants in New York City.

From Iraqi dishes like Potato Kibbeh and Baba Ghannoush to Syrian dishes like Chicken Shawarma and Hashwe, Eat Offbeat customers can get their fill of authentic international cuisine delivered to their home or office.

While the company does well because of their niche offerings they’ve seen a huge surge in business since Trump’s failing executive order.

“It all started last weekend after the executive order,” says Manal Kahi, CEO and co-founder of Eat Offbeat, herself an immigrant from Lebanon told Fast Company. “By Monday or Tuesday we started getting overwhelming messages—emails from people saying how can we support you, we’ve read about what you do, and we want to find a way to help.”

The company launched a little over a year ago and with great response. On February 3rd things were different. All fourteen of the companies chefs were called into work, some of them only part time employees. They also had to do some quick hiring of delivery drivers and had to turn to friends and family.

People from all over the city were calling Eat Offbeat to see what they could do to help support the business.

While just about all of her employees, herself included, were affected by Trump’s orders, Kahi was able to find the silver lining.

“That weekend, as a person, I felt vulnerable. As a company, we felt vulnerable. But then we looked around and we thought, what can we do about this situation? All we can do is keep doing what we’re doing, and keep doing it even better than we were doing it. That’s providing excellent food, and proving the value that refugees are bringing to New York.” she said.

Check out Eat Offbeat here.