News | New Board of Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes and Nightclubs





 The new board of Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes and Nightclubs was elected on Wednesday, October 22nd 2014 in Hotel Le Gray and is constituted of:


Tony Ramy has been working in the hospitality sector for as long as he can remember. His family founded Al Sultan Brahim in 1961 and so, as a teenager, he did a full rotation at the restaurant, got a taste for the industry and became immersed in it. In 1995, he earned a business degree (licence en gestion des entreprises) from Université Saint Joseph and soon after he became part of the management team of Al Sultan Brahim & Al Diwan Beirut group of restaurants, where he oversaw the successful expansion of the restaurants in Lebanon and in the region. His flair for the business and for recognizing emerging trends led him to launch new and unique concepts in the hospitality sector in Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE as well as in the USA. Such concepts include Al Falamanki, BO18, Trainstation as well as Mama Pita. Today, over one thousand persons are employed across Tony’s group of restaurants. In 2009, he joined the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night-Clubs & Pastries in Lebanon, serving as General Secretary and spearheading many of the achievements accomplished by the Syndicate since. Tony’s keen business senses, attention to details and forward thinking have made him a successful figure in the hospitality sector in Lebanon and abroad.



Khaled Nazzha, Holder of a bachelor degree in Business, founder of Blue Note Restaurant (featured in Newsweek perfect 100 and the Guardian) in 1987 in Lebanon after a long careerin the aviation Industry in Switzerland. I spent the last 15 years as the Vice President of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants and Cafés in Lebanon, I currently represent the Syndicate on the advisory committee in the Ministry of Tourism. ! I participated in many conferences in Lebanon and abroad concerning the tourism sector in Lebanon. I’m also Chairman of the International Relations Committee of the Federation of restaurants in Eurasia, and a board member of the foundation of the interior and a partner in many Lebanese touristic foundations. ! Currently, I am a partner in many tourism related establishment in Lebanon, which employs around 120 employees in the Food and Beverage industry.



Ziad Kamel is the CEO & Co-Founder of The Alleyway Group (Couqley Restaurants, The Angry Monkey Bars, The Tanning Salon) and the Treasurer of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs and Pastries in Lebanon (2010-2014). Ziad has 5 years of experience as a Communication Supervisor in Leo Burnet Beirut, obtained a BA in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut and a Master’s of Science Degree in Marketing Management from the University of Surrey, UK. Ziad began his career in Beirut in 2003 with global advertising agency giant Leo Burnet, and in parallel, created & organized large events at the famous Sursock Palace in Achrafieh. In 2005, Kamel cofounded ‘The Alleyway Group’ with Patrick Cochrane and went on to develop, launch and

manage F&B concepts in Lebanon. Kamel’s first outlet was Gauche Caviar which opened in Beirut in 2006 and following its success, the full renovation of ‘The Alleyway’ was continued and completed in 2009 with the launch of several concepts. Today, The Alleyway hosts a popular French Bistro named Couqley, a bar called The Angry Monkey (which was re-born from Gauche Caviar & Cloud 9), and a Tanning Salon. In 2013, Ziad’s company launched the second branch of Couqley in Blueberry Square on the main highway in Dbayeh, Lebanon. Projects in the pipeline include the renovation & launch of the new Angry Monkey in Beirut and expanding Couqley and The Angry Monkey to the UAE and other cities across the Middle East.

In 2012, Ziad was invited to be a Judge & Mentor for season two of a Business TV Show called Ideaz Prize on MTV Lebanon, an entrepreneurial competition with prize money and guaranteed investors for winning ideas. Fully embracing social media and the digital revolution, Ziad was invited to be a judge for Lebanon’s first Social Media Awards in 2013 which allowed the Lebanese online community to nominate, vote for and award the bloggers, journalists, content creators, community managers, public personas, users of social media and celebrities for their efforts in communication and online creation. Ziad is a public speaker at universities, institutions and industry events like ArabNet’s annual summit in Beirut, widely acknowledged as the largest digital gathering in the MENA region, with a track record of bringing globally-renowned speakers to discuss the latest topics in the field, as well as successfully connecting entrepreneurs and startups with funding. Ziad currently lives between Beirut & Dubai growing and managing his F&B projects in both cities.



Aref Saade has been involved in the restaurant business since 1985, whilst based in Saudi Arabia. It was in Saudi Arabia that he began supplying specialist staff and authentic Japanese and Chinese ingredients. ! Aref began a strategic partnership with Mabuhay, a reputable recruitment agency, and supplied chefs to 12 countries in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. His experience extends to the Far East (mainly the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan) and he has been working closely with chefs specialized in Chinese and Japanese cuisine for many years. In 1992 he began a consultancy business with offices in Beirut under the name ‘Tropical Bamboo’, ‘Hatchin’ in Manila and ‘Infinity’ in Japan. The award winning Shogun Lounge – Japanese and Chinese restaurant was opened by Aref in Beirut in 1998. The entire concept and diverse menu was created and continually evolved by Saade, gaining enormous recognition and popularity across the region. In 2009, it all came to light with a personal achievement at the Grumpy Gourmet event, with Aref Saade being awarded “Best Restaurateur of the Year”.

He has also been actively involved in the operation and supply of more than 42 restaurants (Shogun, Fuji, ZN, Nippon to name a few). The scope of involvement includes planning, supply, concept creation and operational systems and procedures.  



Adham Beainy born in Beirut, Lebanon on the 27th of September 1979 studied at International College and University La Sagesse obtaining a Bachelors in Law. Adham is experienced through working in different sectors such as: nightlife operations, beverage consultancy, menu creations, events andmedia. Adham was a partner in several businesses; Escobar, Nai and White House, Cplus Services & Cleaning Company, the managing partner of Factors Events Company, General Manager of Fashion TV Arabia.

Owner of Cincin in Lebanon and UAE beverage supply and a services company, partner in Sky Bar Beirut. Managing partner in B018, partner in Falamanki Beirut, managing partner in Beans bar, partner in Mama Pita Mediterranean Grill in Texas USA, managing partner in Trainstation. Starting a new project in Dbayeh with an area of 25,000m2. All of the above experience gathered through those years helped Adham become an active Syndicate board member since 2010.



The main talent behind CLASSIC Burger Joint, Donald Batal, is an entrepreneur and restaurant management professional with over 18 years of experience in business development, management and implementing strategic initiatives in the hospitality sector. Over the years Donald has led, mentored, and inspired hundreds of restaurant employees. With his distinctive hands-on style and approach, Donald successfully brought to life complex high-volume restaurants, transforming innovative ideas into good business, and addressing the needs of chains and single restaurants (from conceptualization to menu, operations and beyond).

Donald’s true passion for restaurants, frequent travel and insight into food are a powerful combination and a significant asset to any project. His strengths are rooted in his ability to direct teams while focusing on systems that deliver profitability. A veteran management consultant, Donald’s vital services and expertise are sought after by key decision-makers ranging from independent restaurateurs to hoteliers and corporate CEO’s. Applying his unique first-hand knowledge in developing practical, client-focused business solutions, Donald’s expertise includes operation’s analysis, internal controls and management development. His on-the-ground exposure has sharpened his keen sense for guest service, notable concepts, exceptional operations, bottom-line success and the development of industry talent.

Raised in an ambiance full of restaurant passion and interested in the fast-paced hospitality world since he was a school student, Donald jump started his career at an early age, working at a Scouts run kiosk and even creating his own restaurant concept, while still in his first year at university.

In 1998, Donald joined Roadster before it officially opened, actively contributing to the establishment of this chain. Up until 2005 he focused his energies on managing branches of Roadster dinner and later assisted in the creation and set up of Deek Duke, all the while driving sales, streamlining operations, handling high-profile events and improving client satisfaction. A team-player with the versatility, aptitude, creativity and flexibility to take on any new process, program, or task with a solid ‘can-do’ spirit and determination, Donald also worked as a freelance consultant during this time, sharing his insider professional expertise with others. From 2005-2009, Donald joined the largest F&B firm in Lebanon, Boubess Group. Developing new restaurant brands and upgrading existing ones, he worked as a project development manager with a double role as an operation manager. During his five years at Boubess group, Donald helped open 10 new concepts.

Armed with his extensive exposure and entrepreneurial drive, Donald Batal established Ministry of Food sal, the company that owns and operates CLASSIC Burger joint and TOMATOMATIC Pizza. CLASSIC Burger Joint was the first proper burger joint to open in Lebanon and in less than six months became the most-booked burger specialist in Beirut with hundreds of media mentions.

Now, and after 2 and a half years, CBJ has 8 branches and 140 proud team members on board. Knowing that the restaurant scene is constantly on the move, Donald always travels to the US and Europe to get a proper taste of the latest trends while exploring new hospitality concepts. By keeping informed and combining hands-on practical know-how with theoretical strategies, he has developed a keen sense of identifying consumer needs and preferences and judging which concepts will work best



Started a career in Banking, after completion of a double Major Bachelor in Science degree and completion of Masters in Business/Executive MBA courses. Ventured in the food and Beverage Business in 2000, a hobby which quickly turned into Victory with a

number of Success Stories such as opening of “Tribecca” Coffee and bagels, Pinocchio, “The Beirut Cellar”, Fiona’s, “ Shoots “ as well as consultancy for Internationally renowned companies such as Starwood, and more recently the Beirut Hospitality Company (BHC), a Solidere venture. During that time she conceived, developed and managed new concepts including Café M, Relais Foch and GRID Coffee, as well as a1,200m2 central production kitchen and catering business . !Married to Dr. Ziad Noun and Mother of Gabriella and Sophia, she is now devoted to a full time regional business, creating, owning, developing and managing food And Beverage concepts with three new brands opening in the Gulf region and two new projects for Lebanon towards the end of 2014. A very active advocate on promoting Women in entrepreneurship and Women economic empowerment, Promotes many CSR endeavors, initiated and supported ,many programs to assist the most vulnerable. Member of The Lebanese League for Women In Business, LLWB. Participated in many regional events on promoting Women in Business and was nominated to attend the top leadership programs Internationally. Winner of many awards , amongst which the Best Woman Achiever in Hospitality in 2010.



Mustafa El Samad, owner and manager of La Plaka Resto – Café since 2009, and Samad Tours agency in Tripoli, holder of an MBA degree in business administration from the Lebanese American University, an instructor at the University of Balamand, Business Faculty, Tourism and Hotel Management school, his biggest passion was directed towards hospitality in both the tourism and the F&B domain, the dedication he holds for his home town has led him to be one of the prominent business owners and encouraged the development of a new concept in his city. His motivation and optimism, along with a diverse experience made him an effective personnel manager with a high level of empathy and a direct approach to discipline. “Hajj Ali” and “Set El Kel”, Mustafa’s newest projects to be introduced soon will surely represent the passion he holds for this industry.



Tony Habre received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the American University of Beirut in2000. Just a year later, Tony immediately ventured into the nightlife industry with the launch of the much-buzzed about club, Pulse, located in Downtown Beirut. Soon afterwards, Tony established Addmind, a concept creation and food & beverage management agency. In late 2004, Tony took his first daring step into the food & beverage industry with the opening of House of Salad, a top-of-the-line restaurant aimed at serving fresh & high quality ingredients. Between the years 2004 and 2005, Tony obtained the Italian coffeehouse chain, Pascucci Caffé and proceeded to launch in locations all over Lebanon such as Achrafieh, Verdun and Kaslik. The end

of 2005 saw Tony take over and supervise the management and operations of the highly popular and chic nightclub, L-Bar, located in the happening Sodeco district. With its plush New York style interior, skilled staff and addictive cocktails, L-Bar became the talk of the town and propelled Tony’s name, reputation and hard-earned efforts throughout Lebanon. Tony’s entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit led him to bravely venture again in Lebanon’s nightlife industry by launching White in 2006, initially located on the rooftop of the iconic An- Nahar building in Downtown Beirut. Simultaneously, Add-mind’s upcoming concept tackled a different niche of fun-seekers with the launch of the laid-back yet elegant lounge & bar, Gem, situated in the active area of Gemmayzeh. White’s stunning views and infectious music were a huge hit and in 2011, in order to accommodate to more party-goers, was transferred to the rooftop of an infrastructure building in Dora’s sea side road. For the winter season, an indoor equivalent of White, MAD, was introduced. In 2009 and 2010, following the successes of both Gem and White, three concepts were born: Rococo, Brut and Iris. An-Nahar’s rooftop venue was transformed to Iris, the perfect go-to lounge to cool during Beirut’s hot summer months whereas Monot was introduced to both Rococo, the vintage-style gastro bar and Brut, the metropolitan-like nightclub.

The years 2012 and 2013, Addmind launched multiple concepts and venues: Urban, a hotel lodge in Faqra, perfect for getaways during the winter season, Caprice, a restaurant and lounge in Jal El Dib that hosts eclectic and authentic theme nights throughout the week and relaxing beach resorts Iris Beach Club in Damour and Bonita Bay in Batroun.


Throughout his career, Tony boldly set his sights beyond Lebanon’s borders, starting off in 2008 and 2009 with the restaurant and nightclub Eight in Abu Dhabi and Amman (Jordan) and in Syria with Dome, a restaurant and nightclub and O, a rooftop nightclub. 2013 has been an ambitious and pivotal year for Addmind with its aim to increase their already impressive portfolio throughout the United Arab Emirates. The launch of The White Room in the summer of 2013 at Al Murooj Rotana’s ballroom marked Addmind and Tony’s first steps in presenting a promising presence in the region. Right on time for the highly-anticipated race week in Yas Island, the upscale Iris Yas Island was unveiled, delivering three incredible nights of non-stop entertainment and exceptional views. Following suite, Iris Dubai, located on the twenty-seventh floor of The Oberoi Hotel, was introduced as an open-air retreat for those breathtaking sunset views & city lights. Taking over Meydan’s Grandstand Rooftop, WHITE Dubai is known as Dubai’s very first outdoor rooftop nightclub in all of Dubai. What’s in store next for Tony and Addmind?



As the Chief Executive Office/Owner of “The Peninsula Company SAL”, Walid is a dynamic, results-oriented leader with a strong track record of performance in turnaround and high-paced organizations. Utilize keen analysis and insights and team approach to drive organizational improvements and implementation of best practices. Superior interpersonal skills, capable of resolving multiple and complex (sales, talent management, F&B, financial, operational) issues

and motivating staff to peak performance. Walid has an Associates Of Science Degree In Hospitality Management from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne “Switzerland” (HES Program: Hautes Etude Spécialisées en Hôtellerie et Restauration)

Some of Walid’s experience includes:

¥ General Manager / Owner Synchro Management CORLEONE TRATTORIA

¥ General Manager Arabia For Real Estate Management

¥ Property Management 5585 Achrafieh The Property consists of 16 office units of 175 sqm each issued currently on lease to 8 lessees under long term lease agreements. Operation includes managing and maintaining the

Property and dealing with tenants.

¥ Food & Beverage Coordinator Hotel Al Bustan

¥ Food & Beverage Coordinator Le Vendome Inter- Continental Beirut

¥ Assistant Kitchen “Executive Chef” Caviar House Geneva Noga Hilton Geneva, Le Gabriel Hotel Beirut

L’ Auberge Du Chalet à Gobet President Wilson Hotel Geneve Lausanne Palace

¥ Baroudi & operated by Synchro Management. The brand managed an Italian Trattoria located in Gemmayzeh Lebanon, serving 150 customers daily in a 45 pax venue. Corleone Trattoria later merged with The Peninsula Restaurant & Garden.

¥ Managing & Operating a furnished apartment property consisting of 28 two and three bedrooms apartments in Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon.

¥ Managing & Operating the Food & Beverage department at Hotel Al Bustan Beit Mery, as well as managing the banqueting department consisting of weddings going up to 750 pax

¥ Responsible of all administration works in the F&B department, dealing with suppliers, attending and preparing F&B Meetings and daily briefings. Liaison between the outlet managers & hotel management

¥ Syndicate Of Owners Of Restaurants, Cafes, Night Clubs, & Pastries In Lebanon Member of The Board of Directors 2010-2014



Mireille Hayek, or “Em Sherif” is well known among the Lebanese and Arab society for her passion for cooking, her dedication to her restaurant & the satisfaction of her clientele. She takes traditional Arabic recipes and adds her special touch to make them unique and memorable. Mireille Hayek represents the passionate, talented, perseverant, detailed oriented woman who spends most of her time in the restaurant leading the whole show. She is not just involved in the cooking process but everywhere else. She oversees everything from “what dishes are being served, to the staff serving”, making sure her customers are happy and leave wanting to come back for more. Her personality warms the room and she is present every night to monitor the kitchens and socialize with her loyal clientele. She is behind the scenes of this restaurant working extremely hard to maintain an exceptional experience for her guests characterized by its homey atmosphere where invitees are offered whatever is cooked daily and according to seasonal changes. She is always up to date with food trends, and constantly reviewing and fine tuning her recipes using her refined palette. A remarkable woman, with a remarkable restaurant. “I feel at home when I’m cooking, I feel good. I believe everyone deserves to taste good food” she says.