Every week, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha, from fashion and beauty to food and dining, health, education, and more!
This week, another rising startup business made our list but this time it's from the restaurant and cafe sector- Flat 77 Cafe. It's the newest place in town where anyone can go to relax and chill. Flat 77 Cafe is literally your home away from home. Its home-style approach from its exteriors, to its furnishings, impressive interior design to its home-cooked menu, say it all. It's an ideal place to rest and eat because it offers all-day breakfast, light bites, desserts, coffee, juices, and beverages.
To complement all these, different board games are played here to promote interaction among customers. The main objective is to bond, relax while the customer enjoys their food and drinks just like in the comfort of their homes.
Flat 77 Cafe started in a sweet story of the two sisters, Sara & Maha Al Fardan who moved to London in 2014. They entered an unfurnished apartment on Baker street and made it their own. They would call it Flat 77. It was open to everyone, especially to their friends whenever they were in the area. It became a place for celebrating special events such as Eids and birthdays. Their friends would always come over, they would cook and bake together. They would also have painting sessions together on a weekly basis just for fun. It was a place everyone called home. The family would visit and stay at Flat 77 too.
In the 3 years, they grew to have so many memories with each other as well as close friends and family. If you know, you know and only a few people know. They loved this place so much they wanted to share their experience with the society in Doha. They wanted them to feel comfortable in a home away from home and that’s why they created Flat 77 Cafe.
To date, Flat 77 Cafe has been operating only since May this year. They opened during Ramadan. It has been a long journey for them. They have been working on this startup business since September 2017, and finally, their patience paid off. The long wait was worth it as people appreciated their new home concept when they opened it to the public.
It's plain and simple, Flat 77 Cafe wants to create a place where you could literally feel like home – which includes enjoying time with friends, playing board games, watching a movie or tv show with families or simply having good conversations and all the while having great home-cooked meals.
What makes Flat 77 Cafe different is the vibe and atmosphere you experience once you entered their cafe. According to Moe Al Shareef, the Operations Manager, their primary goal is to bring families and friends closer together.
Al Shareef: "We have designed it in a way to make you feel as if you are in a home. We included a couch with a TV that plays Netflix all day long. We also have a private media room that you can reserve to enjoy a good movie, tv-show or video games with a bigger group of friends or families. Customers can freely choose what they want to watch.
Various board games are also encouraged in the cafe. This traditional way of bonding says Shareef is one of the most effective ways of interacting and communicating among their customers. In addition, the games make their clients more comfortable and satisfied.
Finally, the food and desserts they serve are all created based on what the two sisters love for food. Nearly every item on the menu is home recipe and every item has a sentimental story behind it!
This tasty club sandwich is among the favourites of their loyal costumers at Flat 77 Cafe. It has grilled chicken, cheese, lettuce & tomatoes. It consists of 4 pieces with fries on the side. It is best enjoyed with their special sweet and spicy sauce to dip it in for only QR 42.
This is also another bestseller. It consists of three cookies with milk on the side. Some of their avid costumers ask for the chocolate sauce to be drizzled on top. This sumptuous snack will only cost you QR 26.
ILQ Team: How was the response like from your customers so far?
Al Shareef: So far, the response has been positive! People like the food and the vibe in the space. We have been receiving a lot of support on social media because our customers constantly share photos of the place and the food! However, we are continuously trying to improve and cater to our customers’ needs, whatever it may be.
ILQ Team: "Do you think start-ups like yours are beneficial to Qatar's economic growth?"
Al Shareef: "Yes, we think it is very beneficial as we support local suppliers as well as startups and entrepreneurs. Some of the board games we have are from a local entrepreneur, some art pieces are by local artists, we have upcoming events for local entrepreneurs and creatives. This space was made to attract the creative and innovative minds and we think it is doing just that."
ILQ Team: "What is your advice for young entrepreneurs who are interested in establishing startups of their own?"
Al Shareef: "If you are passionate about something go for it. It is not an easy journey and it does not contain simple procedures, but if you’re willing to push through till the end then you really should do it. Also, we would say don’t concentrate much on what is already available in Doha, try to build up a new concept that Doha does not have instead of offering something similar."
The startup business scene in Qatar is well and alive. As long as there are brilliant minds willing to take risks for their dream businesses, bigger and bolder concepts will keep on flourishing. Like Flat 77 Cafe, their simple concept of bringing people together made a mark among those who believe that yes, it is possible.
A home away from home is what we all wanted, we want to belong to something. Flat 77 Cafe has achieved success by keeping their clients closer together in a moment, in a space and a place, that they can call their own home.
Telephone: (+974) 33848637
Location: Ground Floor, The Residence Tower, West Bay, Doha, Qatar
Follow the latest trend now! Bring your friends and families together and enjoy bonding moments as you eat your home-cooked food just like in the comfort of your own homes. Visit Flat 77 Cafe anytime soon and savor this memorable experience with your loved ones. For your comments and suggestions, you can write it below. Please like and share- it keeps as going!
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