A small restaurant chain in Canada invests all of its profits in bitcoin. It Has Returned 460% On Its Investment And Triples Its Locations During Pandemic | Currency News | Financial and business news

Tahinis co-founder Aly Hamam (right) shows a bitcoin cash machine in one of his restaurants.
  • Tahinis is a family-owned restaurant chain that invests all of its profits in bitcoin, a strategy that “worked like a charm” as it grew.
  • Tahinis co-founders say they have increased 460% from the investment first made in August 2020 to shield profits from surging inflation.
  • The Canadian company says it has helped other small businesses adopt a “standard bitcoin” strategy.

Tahinis is a family-owned restaurant chain that, with its Middle Eastern cuisine, gives this advice to small business owners around the world: invest in bitcoin.

Tahinis is touted as the world’s first restaurant chain to invest 100% of its cash reserves in cryptocurrency. Its founders, brothers Aly and Omar Hamam, said exposure to bitcoin has been key to fostering its expansion in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring inflation that has driven up the prices of ingredients including they need shawarma and other dishes. The company based in London, Ontario, Canada, first invested in bitcoin in August 2020.

“We’re at 460% of our initial investment so far and we haven’t stopped there,” Aly, Tahinis’ chief marketing officer, told Insider in a recent interview. “We will continue to sweep away excess bitcoin profits. We even bought the [April 2021 price] up, then we rolled it all the way to the bottom, and we kept buying month after month after month. So it worked like a charm for us, ”he said.

Bitcoin in August 2020 was trading at less than $ 12,000. It was around $ 58,075 on Friday after last week’s record above $ 69,000.

Tahinis follows a so-called “standard bitcoin strategy” where it operates in fiat currency, or Canadian dollars, and then invests all of its profits in bitcoin, a move Aly said was similar to MicroStrategy’s.

The data analytics company uses excess cash to buy what it sees as a “reliable store of value.” MicroStrategy recently held 114,042 bitcoins, valued at around $ 6.8 billion on Thursday. Aly ignored bitcoin for a while after one of her financial idols – Warren Buffett – called it “squared rat poison” in 2018.

Tahinis keeps working capital in cash for a few months, and then the profit, part of her cash, is sent in bitcoin. Private company Tahinis could not disclose how much bitcoin it holds on its balance sheet, but said sales at its restaurants now exceeded $ 8 million in the past year.

The business in 2021 will expand to nine locations from eight and is on track in 2022 to have a total of 29 restaurants. Aly said Tahinis has worked with dozens of small businesses around the world integrating them into a standard Bitcoin strategy.

“The main problem we have right now is that the dollars are devaluing,” Aly said. “Central banks will say inflation is only 5%. But it really depends on what you want to buy. Poultry is up 45%, beef is up 25%, imported products and spices are up 65%, oils are up 110%, “since March 2020, when the pandemic was accelerating, he said. “So it made sense to put our money in [bitcoin] and that will exceed any inflation rates we see for the next decade. ”

The Hamams are sensitive to the devaluation of the currency after seeing their parents’ wealth and savings affected by a 65% drop in the Egyptian pound against the US dollar between 2012 and 2017. The brothers were in Tahrir Square in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprising that led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak.

“We faced riot police, we were hit by tear gas,” Aly said. “We came to Canada the following year with a reinvigorated hope to start our new life here,” which led to Tahinis. The Hamams had previously obtained dual citizenship thanks to their father who obtained a doctorate. in Canada and then worked as a math teacher in Saudi Arabia.

Tahinis installed bitcoin machines in each restaurant to encourage employees and customers to buy the cryptocurrency. He doesn’t take bitcoin for food payments in part because accounting and tax reporting is much easier to use in fiat currency and he wants to promote bitcoin holding.

Tahinis began to recover from the pandemic in May 2020 after an 80% drop in sales and forced layoffs. In addition to bitcoin, having a quick-service restaurant model rather than an in-person restaurant model requiring more square meters to operate has helped.

“We had more people signing up for franchises after COVID than before COVID,” Omar Hamam, CEO of Tahinis, told Insider.

“We have a full marketing team working every day to deliver content to make people laugh,” and see Tahinis’ food on TikTok and Instagram, Omar said, “and the fact that we have our own channel business. ‘sourcing helps a lot. So we really approached the business in all its aspects. ”


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