Macaroni Grill Restaurant, latest franchise of Tarfeeh, opens in Riyadh

Updated 26 December 2014

Macaroni Grill Restaurant, latest franchise of Tarfeeh, opens in Riyadh

Romano’s Macaroni Grill, a leading US restaurant brand within the Italian casual dining segment, officially opened its first restaurant in Riyadh.
The restaurant is already the talk of the town because of its authentic and sumptuous Italian taste and very welcoming atmosphere combined with excellent service.
Tarfeeh, a Sedco Holding company, is the franchisee of Macaroni Grill in Saudi Arabia, and also owns franchises of other famous restaurant chains like Applebee’s, Ocean Basket and China Gate in the country.
Tarfeeh with its impressive expansion strategy has witnessed commendable growth over the past few years, continues to scale new heights and is a dynamic company in Sedco’s strong and versatile portfolio of operating companies.
These are exciting times for us as both Macaroni Grill and Tarfeeh represent an outstanding partnership to introduce the new brand across Saudi Arabia and provide an outstanding dining experience in the Italian restaurant segment, said Anees Moumina, CEO of SEDCO Holding Group.
Macaroni Grill restaurant chain was founded in 1988 and is based in Houston, Texas with additional locations in the United States and other countries.
Blending on 20 years of tradition with innovative Italian cooking, Macaroni Grill provides a rich dining experience matched with an authentic Italian menu.
The high quality authentic Italian ingredients showcase the restaurant’s heritage, while the open kitchen, brick ovens and festive atmosphere bring energy to every meal.
From bronze-cut Italian pastas with seasonal ingredients to grilled steak, seafood, hand stretched pizzas and flatbreads, and decadent desserts; a visit to Macaroni Grill is truly an affordable indulgence. It also offers children’s menu.
Waleed bin Mahfouz, chairman of Tarfeeh, said: “I am confident that with the opening of Macaroni Grill in Saudi Arabia, we are looking forward to bringing a whole new dining experience in the Italian restaurant category.”
The chairman said: “We will grow the brand successfully and expand in all the important regions in the country. This will also create job opportunities for Saudi youths in this exciting and growing industry. We are very keen on hiring Saudis in the chain and provide them opportunity to build a career in the hospitality sector.”
Macaroni Grill restaurant is expanding its footprint across the Middle East with plans to further expand in the region.
Ahmed Marashde, CEO of Tarfeeh, said: “As the economy and in particular the restaurant business continues to grow tremendously in Saudi Arabia, Macaroni Grill sees more expansion opportunities and our Company will make sure that the brand grows successfully across all major provinces and cities of the country.”
Macaroni Grill currently operates more than 200 restaurants across nine countries outside the United States including, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan, Japan and the Middle East (Egypt, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain).

MYNM welcomes new MINI Hatch & Convertible

Updated 12 April 2021

MYNM welcomes new MINI Hatch & Convertible

Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors (MYNM) Company, the official BMW Group importer in Saudi Arabia, has announced the arrival of the new MINI three-door and five-door Hatch and the MINI Convertible. 

The original models in the small car premium segment are moving to the next stage of their evolution. With an intensive makeover for the MINI three-door, MINI five-door and MINI Convertible, BMW Group has confirmed the position of the three models as premium providers of driving fun, expressive design and individual style.

Clear exterior design accents give the new models a purist appearance that emphasizes the hallmark design features. In addition, the innovative multitone roof creates unique individualization opportunities. In the interior, the extensively redesigned cockpit underlines the premium character of the MINI three-door, the MINI five-door and the MINI Convertible. 

Attractive additions to the range of standard and optional equipment, new exterior paint finishes, light-alloy wheels, interior and seating surfaces as well as innovative technology in the areas of chassis, driver assistance systems, operation and connectivity round off the latest update for the BMW Group’s small car models.

A new exterior design language now puts the unmistakable appearance of the MINI in a decidedly purist light. Above all, the enhanced aesthetics ensure that the central design features of the MINI become even more apparent and modern by means of reduction. 

Contrasting colors for the roof and exterior mirror caps are among the most striking design features that have made MINI a pioneer when it comes to customization. In addition to the Jet Black, Aspen White and Melting Silver paintwork, as well as Chili Red for the MINI John Cooper Works, an innovative and globally unique variant of the roof paint finish is offered for the MINI three-door and the MINI five-door. 

The redesigned interior of the MINI three-door, MINI five-door and MINI Convertible is sophisticated, modern and of particularly high quality. 

New to the range are sports seats in the Light Chequered color variant, which complement the Zesty Yellow exterior paint finish. The familiar Black Pearl fabric quality is given a new, expressive check look in hallmark British MINI style. The seams at the transition to the black imitation leather of the seat bolsters feature a color scheme that matches the fabric of the seat surfaces.

The premium look of the hallmark central instrument has also been optimized. An 8.8-inch color touchscreen display, touch-sensitive favorite buttons and Piano Black high-gloss surfaces are now standard features. 

Mark Notkin, BMW Group managing director at MYNM, said: “The new MINI Hatch and Convertible are first and foremost authentic MINIs that have gained even further in personality and substance. They have been refined to emphasize all those things that make MINI what it is: Quality, modernity and identity.” 

“With individual style and personality at the forefront of the MINI brand, these new models offer an enhanced level of customization. With their improved design and power we are confident that MINI lovers in the Kingdom will welcome the latest editions to the MINI collection with open arms.”

Alturki Holding launches program to train 6,000 employees

Updated 31 March 2021

Alturki Holding launches program to train 6,000 employees

Alturki Holding, a Saudi investment and development holding company, has launched a comprehensive training and development program to address the current and future training needs of its more than 6,000 employees within the company and across its group of companies. The program — “Hemmah” — also aims to attract and retain the Kingdom’s best local talent. 

President and CEO of Alturki Holding Rami Alturki said: “As Alturki builds on its legacy of sustainability, we remain steadfast in our commitment to contributing to the success of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Hemmah underscores the importance we place on investing in our people and in shaping a workplace culture that, with learning and development at its core, will positively impact our employees, our businesses and support socioeconomic progress in the community, industry and in our nation.”

Hemmah, which means resilience or strength through adversity, has four core sub programs: Qaddah, Khabeer, Tuwaiq and Tamakan. 

Qaddah is designed to prepare high-performing employees to assume leadership positions in the company and further enhance the skills of the company’s current leadership team. Khabeer aims to enhance and upgrade core skills and improve organizational efficiency through development opportunities and skills development, while Tuwaiq is designed to attract and retain highly talented Saudis and provide them with opportunities to develop and grow within the group of companies. Tamakan is designed to ensure that every Alturki employee is empowered with the basic competencies necessary to not only maximize their efficiency but to allow them to reach their full career potential.

The program is being led by Alanoud Al-Semaeil, support services manager at Alturki Holding, and supported by Tom Raftery, a senior HR consultant, who brings nearly 40 years of experience in senior line HR. They will provide all employees, regardless of their nationality, a comprehensive range of training and development opportunities to help them grow and take on more responsibilities. 

Al-Semaeil said: “Hemmah is designed to address the development needs of all of our employees and to shape a corporate culture of continuous learning. Towards this goal, Hemmah is designed to bring the full potential of our team to life by providing every employee with more opportunities to grow their skills and capabilities and acquire new knowledge.” 

CEO Alturki added: “Our employees are the reason we have sustained our business for over 40 years and they are the key to our future success. Learning and development has always been important to Alturki but in today’s digital economy, where knowledge becomes outdated very quickly, it is vital to business success. In order to address the need to constantly adapt, we are making continuous learning and development the standard at Alturki, providing each and every team member with ongoing opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the digital age.”

Championing inclusivity and diversity at PepsiCo

Updated 20 March 2021

Championing inclusivity and diversity at PepsiCo

  • PepsiCo is committed to Vision 2030’s women’s empowerment agenda and supporting transformational projects
  • Tamakani is a dedicated PepsiCo program to support, guide and inspire women in the workplace

PepsiCo. has always been a champion of women in the workplace. Established in the Kingdom more than 60 years ago, the company is committed to ensuring it provides inclusive workplaces, enabling women to work and advance while still respecting local customs.

The company has been at the forefront of encouraging and promoting women to reach their full potential, in line with the Vision 2030’s women’s empowerment agenda and its Tamakani program.
The driving force behind these transformational projects is Tamer Mosalam, vice president and general manager of Gulf and Levant foods business unit, PepsiCo. Middle East and Africa.

When appointed in 2019, Mosalam pledged to focus on programs emphasizing diversity and inclusion, in line with the aims of Vision 2030.

Today, PepsiCo. employs 177 women across managerial and engineering roles, including a dedicated Pink Production Line staffed entirely by women.
“PepsiCo. is proud to support women in the workplace as a dedicated equal opportunity employer through initiatives such as our highly successful Tamakani program,” Mosalam said.

“Fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity is essential to growth and progress and at PepsiCo, we recognize this responsibility.”
“Tamakani is a product of that vision and I am incredibly proud of what our flagship program has achieved since it was launched last year. It is a unique platform creating opportunities and guidance for women with promising capabilities, identifying their aspirations, and supporting them to realize their full potential,” he added.
Tamakani focuses on five key areas: Supporting women with their work-life balance, career growth, overcoming challenges, assigning mentors, and engaging people as champions to support women as co-workers and family members.
“This year, we also launched a sustainability-focused challenge through Tamakani, aimed at encouraging and promoting female entrepreneurship. The initiative, run in partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab and INJAZ Saudi Arabia, offered 500 female students from four Saudi universities the opportunity to present business ideas aimed at creating a more sustainable planet. I was delighted to recently award team ‘Virdis’ from Imam Abdulrahaman bin Faisal University with the winning prize for their inspiring project aimed at delivering a sustainable food system,” Mosalam said.
Tamakani is the latest initiative from PepsiCo. to promote women in the workplace. In 2018, it ran a driving course for 45 female employees to prepare them for the issuance of driving licenses in Saudi Arabia.

The company has also opened a nursery in its Riyadh office to support women returning to the workplace.

PepsiCo. is also set to recruit more than 70 women in its Dammam plant after meeting the Ministry of Labor’s requirements on women’s safety in the workplace.

The new intake will enable increased production with the addition of two more shifts.
Mosalam is committed to driving positive social impact and building on PepsiCo’s recent successes, ensuring a bright future for Saudi women.

“The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is committed to realizing female potential and we’re delighted to be a part of this journey as we further our commitment to supporting equal opportunities for every member of society,” he added.

British Embassy hosts roundtable on climate change

Updated 17 March 2021

British Embassy hosts roundtable on climate change

Climate change is the biggest and most urgent challenge of our time. During a live forum hosted on Monday by the British Embassy in Riyadh, experts from the private and public sectors and civil society discussed the challenge, strategies and actions that need to be taken, with a particular focus on plastic consumption and waste.

The virtual roundtable, “Reusing and recycling: The effects of plastic in nature. Ahead of COP26, can we encourage a fundamental change in attitudes?” was held as part of the British Embassy’s #TogetherForOurPlanet campaign. 

The campaign is building awareness about climate change and the urgent need for action in the run-up to COP26 (the UN’s 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention), which will bring together world leaders, delegates, climate experts and negotiators to agree on coordinated action to tackle climate change. 

British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Crompton opened the roundtable. He commended the leadership Saudi Arabia demonstrated on climate and environment issues during the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20 last year. 

He said: “We are dependent upon each other and the sum of our collective actions as we seek to tackle huge, global challenges. Saudi leadership on climate and environment is key to building awareness and momentum globally on this critical issue as we accelerate progress toward achieving our global climate commitments.”

The virtual roundtable was moderated by COP26 Regional Ambassador for MENA Janet Rogan. She said that 2021 is a pivotal year for climate change action, noting the significance of the COP26, which will be convened in Glasgow in November. 

“Our lands and oceans are under threat from climate change, but can also contribute to the solution. And we cannot meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement or adapt to the effects of climate change without restoring, protecting and enhancing nature,” Rogan added.

The six speakers that joined the roundtable included: Professor Carlos M. Duarte, Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; Ahmed Samir Elbermbali, managing director of the MENA Clean Energy Business Council; Helen Olds, principal of the British International School Riyadh; Caspar Herzberg, president, Middle East and Africa at Schneider Electric; Mouna A. Eusman, MDP, co-founder of Naqaa Sustainability Solutions and a circular economy expert; and Taha Boksmati, founder of Hejaz Ploggers and operational excellence manager at National Center for Environmental Compliance.

Sanad, La Vache qui rit bring laughter to children

Updated 01 March 2021

Sanad, La Vache qui rit bring laughter to children

Saudi-based nonprofit Sanad Children’s Cancer Support Association has partnered with La Vache qui rit or The Laughing Cow, a brand of processed cheese, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, to bring laughter to those who need it the most.

The nonprofit association provides services to children with tumors across the Kingdom, supports children’s centers with the medical equipment they need, and provides social, residential, educational and recreational services for patients and their families — citizens and residents — in need. In addition, the center also focuses on funding research and studies in the field of childhood cancer.

Running for one month starting Feb. 15, La Vache qui rit has introduced a dedicated web-application where consumers can register and “laugh to donate.” Showcasing the uniqueness and power of each person’s laughter, the initiative will turn every laugh recorded into a monetary donation toward the Sanad Children’s Cancer Support Association.

A simple click on is all that is required to record the laughter through the device’s microphone; each laugh recorded will boost contributions toward children in need. Donations generated through the online platform will be utilized toward the association’s “Make a Wish” program. This program focuses on making children’s wishes come true — ranging from toys such as blocks and puzzles, to gadgets such as gaming consoles and smartphones, to large-scale activities such as a curated personalized art gallery.

“We believe that our partnership with La Vache qui rit for the Golden February campaign and supporting children with cancer is a noble cause, and we proudly celebrate it this year with International Childhood Cancer Day,” said Reem Alhegelan, general manager at Sanad.

“The monetary contribution will be toward the ‘Make a Wish’ program that fulfills children’s wishes. We believe that making their wishes come true during the difficult times they are going through, will help improve their lives and maintain their psychological balance during intensive treatments. This year’s slogan “Gold at heart,” is for all the pure hearts who are willing to contribute to our fruitful journey.”

Garo Matossian, general manager, Bel Group Middle East, manufacturer of La Vache qui rit, said: “We are joining forces with Sanad Children’s Cancer Support Association on our 100-year anniversary to make a difference in the lives of young children diagnosed with cancer. At La Vache qui rit, we believe that laughter is our most precious gift and our core mission is to inspire people to choose to laugh at life and garner the strength to face life’s difficulties every day. We want to give the Saudi community an opportunity to transform their laughter, or the laughter of their loved ones, into a good deed that can help those in need of optimism. La Vache qui rit has been in the homes of Saudi families for a very long time, and it is of utmost importance to us to ensure a healthier, happier society for generations to come.”