Owner Keith Beydoun plans to represent all small businesses who face the difficulties of finding employees and the impact of regulation during the pandemic, all the way to Tallahassee.
by: Tristen Perez
A new family-owned restaurant offering specialty burgers, including vegetarian and no-carb options, has just opened in Palm Coast. Keith Beydoun, the owner of new restaurant Burger Bros, in part with his family, has created the establishment after the pandemic resulted in his prior business, La Shawarma, closing down at the end of 2020.
The family had unfortunate timing with the pandemic, opening La Shawarma Mediterranean in early 2020, right before COVID was becoming large-scale in the U.S. and resulting in heavy regulation and lockdowns. “The healthiest food on the planet,” as the establishment was referred to, was able to survive the majority of the year, but ultimately the family decided they would need to pursue a different business venture with higher demand.
Beydoun said he needed to offer food at a lower, more accessible price point, and recognized that there was a real opportunity to deliver specialty burgers in Palm Coast.
The family transformed the space quickly; Beydoun said that there really wasn’t an option to wait longer, with recurring expenses still coming in every month.
“The bills keep coming,” he said.
He also elaborated on the downstream effect of closing down. The family only uses local vendors, so the idea of waiting would not only negatively impact their financial situation but take away from revenue of many Palm Coast businesses. He not only works here, but also lives here in the city and is very sympathetic to the difficulties the community businesses have experienced.
Burger Bros is fully ready to open (presently open for limited hours) with the exception of having a full staff. Beydoun has detailed the difficulties of finding employees and the impact of regulation during the pandemic on small businesses on 94.3 and 100.7 radio stations. He also has had conversations with Gov. Ron DeSantis and the health department on the difficulties for small businesses to attract new employees when the current unemployment benefits are more enticing.
“Why work when you make more money sitting at home unemployed?” Beydoun said. “They apply, get paid to apply, and don’t want the job.”
He also remarked on the minimum wage, saying that he wanted to avoid passing the increase through the business and into prices, another reason why a specialty burger establishment at a lower price point would be a better option in the current environment than a Mediterranean restaurant.
Burger Bros has been exercising all hiring platforms, such as Monster and Indeed, to build the staff but still has had enormous difficulty hiring people. Beydoun said he plans to take these issues, representing all small businesses who may face these same challenges, all the way to Tallahassee.
Currently, Burger Bros has three locations in progress, and the plan is to reach 30 locations across Florida in the next five years. They offer gourmet, 100% chuck, never-frozen beef. The open location in Palm Coast is located on 1475 Palm Coast Parkway in the Publix plaza, and more information can be found at https://www.burgerbrospc.com/. As for La Shawarma Mediterranean, the family intends to ideally bring the restaurant back at a future date.