Table of Contents

The Gastroflüsterer: Social Media Phenomenon and Restaurant Owner with a Mission

Kemal Üres is a successful hospitality entrepreneur in Germany with a huge online following. 

As the Gastroflüsterer, he has a total of nearly 720,000 followers on social media. His fascinating videos get millions of views in German-speaking countries. 

Gastroflüsterer is translated as ‘hospitality whisperer’. Through his alter ego, Kemal Üres helps other hospitality entrepreneurs. On the one hand, he assists them on social media with practical tips, inspiration, and targeted advice on doing business successfully in a competitive market, and on the other hand, he jumps on the barricades to fight for the industry with thoughtful opinions and robust arguments.

For example: 

The Gastroflüsterer’s videos get millions of views from restaurant professionals in Germany.

Business Facts about Kemal Üres 

  • Daily You: His catering operation serves 5000 healthy meals per day.
  • Eatpowerful: His delivery service for healthy meals.
  • La Paz: Kemal’s popular tapas restaurant in Hamburg.
  • The Gastroflüsterer: Kemal Üres’ social media channels with 718.561 followers.
  • Gastro Business School: These are his workshops on process efficiency, business strategy and menu optimisation for restaurant managers. 

5 Insights from the Gastroflüsterer for Foodservice Operators

Kemal Üres’ media channels are a treasure trove of invaluable tips and advice for restaurant professionals. Five tips are particularly close to his heart. Kemal believes they are fundamental to achieving lasting success in the food service and restaurant industry.

Here they are: 

  • Continuous Learning: “Embrace continuous learning to stay ahead in our fast-evolving industry.” 
  • Build a Community: “Leverage digital platforms and social media not just for marketing, but to build a loyal community around your brand.” 
  • Employee training: “Investing in your team’s training is investing in your restaurant’s future.”
  • Innovate: “Adaptation and innovation are your best tools against market shifts.” 
  • Show your craft: “Communicate the craftsmanship behind your menu to highlight its value. This will attract customers who value quality meals and are willing to pay the appropriate price.”

Exclusive Interview with Kemal Üres

Kemal Üres - The Gastroflüsterer
Kemal Üres masterfully combines online and offline success.

Kemal has been very generous with his time and insights. In our interview, he discusses his journey to online and offline success, including the low points and what he learned from them. He gives his views on the state of the German foodservice industry and reveals the secret to gaining a huge online following. 

On your website, you talk about your journey as an entrepreneur. Can you describe two key challenges you had to overcome? 

The gastronomy industry is not easy, and making money in it is challenging. You must go full throttle from the start to avoid relying on investors and banks. Retaining employees, finding customers, and generating positive cash flow are challenges. 

I spent 20 years laying the groundwork just to start reaping the benefits. It was an exceptionally demanding journey, heavily influenced by the local ecosystem. Many guests are unwilling to spend much money on food in Germany because we don’t have that kind of culture here. However, I’m seeing a shift these days. 

Despite the challenges of reducing costs, it was also crucial to implement innovative ideas at the same time. The difficulty here was that I could not afford to make mistakes because my own money was at stake. 

In short, there are challenges every day. Two major hurdles stand out: First, hiring and keeping skilled, driven staff. Second, securing investments and building a solid financial base without being overtaken by competitors.

What have you learnt from these challenges?

I have learned a great deal, and it has shaped me into the person I am today. Part of Gastroflüsterer’s success stems from Daily You. I had to step out of my comfort zone to develop the company further. I have learned how to deal with people, especially empathy and appreciation. It wasn’t always easy and still is a daily practice. But despite the ups and downs, I knew exactly what I wanted. Overcoming challenges is an important process and part of learning as a leader.

Your catering operation, Daily You, is a popular brand in Hamburg. What is the concept about? 

In 2009, I developed a concept aimed at business professionals who often faced long waits for their meals during office and lunch hours. To address this, I conducted a survey to pinpoint the main issues. The findings highlighted the need for a quick, varied, widely accessible, and digitally available solution. Based on these findings, I developed a concept specifically for this demographic. My strategy involved decentralised production and direct delivery to various locations to save costs on kitchens and chefs. 

My strategy involved decentralised production and direct delivery to cut costs.

Although achieving a breakthrough took time, we now serve nearly 5,000 people daily. We were pioneers in the ‘meals on wheels’ service. Continuing and refining the concept has undoubtedly paid off, as we now service 20 company canteens and secured certifications from the EU and the DGE (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung, which translates to the German Nutrition Society).

What does Daily You mean to you personally?

‘Daily You’ stands for enjoying high-quality meals daily to increase your well-being and have the necessary energy to tackle the day successfully. This led to the founding of the sub-brand, enabling office employees to place orders on the fly. Both companies reflect my commitment to offering healthy nutrition at an optimal price-performance ratio. The accessibility and affordability of healthy nutrition should not be a privilege but a reality for everyone.

How would you describe your role in the company? 

I consider myself a visionary, deeply committed to continuously developing my concept. My passion does not primarily lie in the day-to-day operations, which often involve refining minute but crucial details. Instead, I focus on enhancing the overarching vision and identifying exceptionally qualified talents. My goal is to advance the industry and improve its image. Therefore, I regularly participate in meetings, embracing my role as Gastroflüsterer —a commitment that has become my life’s mission.

When did you realise that you were on the right track with the Daily You concept? 

I realised quite late that the concept was successful, as it turned out, we were ahead of the market. During COVID-19, our customer base increased significantly because of our countercyclical investments (editor’s note: investments during an economic downturn that are expected to pay off when the economy recovers and vice versa). 

Many companies recognise their employees as their most valuable assets. When COVID restrictions ended, they wanted to entice them to return to the office by providing appealing food options, among other incentives. This gave momentum to Daily You. We focus on maintaining this momentum with great care, paying particular attention not to make any mistakes.

Your posts on social media are hugely successful. What can entrepreneurs learn from your marketing strategy? 

To be successful on social media, one must master the three Cs. The first is Content, which should be tailored to the target audience and add value. It is important to consider what the target audience wants to see. The second C is Community. Interaction with subscribers is paramount here. Active engagement is crucial through interaction or presence on subscribers’ channels. Finally, the most important C is Consistency. Stay consistent! Regularly feeding the algorithm should not be forgotten. This is a point where most people fail. 

Can you describe the state of the German food service industry? 

The industry’s current state is poor. Unfortunately, we lost 30,000 establishments during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The current state is poor, but the market will reshape itself.

An estimated additional 30,000 are likely to follow in the next two to three years, but thereafter, the market will reshape and redistribute itself. For this reason, the market must collapse in on itself so that a peak can follow the trough.

What are the pain points in the industry? How can they be addressed? 

Cost management is a primary focus. Among other reasons, guests are often hesitant to pay because they are unaware of the value chain behind their meals. 

Cost management is a primary focus.

Germany needs to learn that good food is labour-intensive and involves many hands. This should be appropriately paid and rewarded. This is an important point that needs to be communicated to the guest. This is currently happening in the market. 

Additionally, the industry should be attractive to young people, which is definitely a task for the Gastroflüsterer. The industry’s inherent appeal should be actively promoted.

Are restaurateurs ready to face challenges and seize opportunities? 

Restaurateurs want to face the challenges, but we don’t have a strong development and learning culture in Germany. In gastronomy, learning mainly happens through operational mistakes, which unfortunately often come with financial losses and existential worries. Yet, there’s a growing willingness among restaurateurs to embrace change and education. 

This is why I founded the Gastro Business School. Our goal is to create the largest educational platform for the D-A-CH region. This includes workshops and digital products to illustrate to restaurateurs that continuous development is necessary. Since there are few opportunities to obtain this specific knowledge online, we aim to support restaurateurs in successfully addressing the challenges. We provide nationwide training on contribution margin calculation to ensure their success.

What opportunities do you see for the industry?

I anticipate promising opportunities in the next two years. Despite the initial challenges mentioned, numerous opportunities will arise for an improved food service sector marked by skilled professionals and more appreciative customers. The willingness to pay an appropriate price for a high-quality product will herald a positive time for us.

What are the most significant trends in the German restaurant market? 

Systematisation has also reached individual restaurateurs. However, marrying system efficiency with passion is easier said than done. It is a real challenge. Success lies with those who combine a focus on high-quality products with the support of robust, dedicated teams, particularly through tough times. 

Systematisation has reached individual restaurateurs.

In this model, the product takes a backseat while the teams take centre stage. The process always starts from the inside out, allowing for the reinvention of trends or the amplification of existing ones. Yet, without strong fundamentals, there’s a risk of failure when adopting trends.

How has the profile of a typical restaurant entrepreneur in Germany changed over the years?

The average restaurant operator used to be self-employed, running his or her own place. There are likely fewer of these entrepreneurs. Systematic food service establishments currently account for 20-30% of the total, while individual operations account for 70%. In the USA, the ratio is exactly the opposite, and this is expected to continue in the future. This is, of course, regrettable, but unfortunately, it’s how it is. Additionally, the introduction of a 19% value-added tax has accelerated this transition. We fought the increase in VAT, unfortunately, without success.

What aspect of restaurant management do you find most challenging?  

Employee training in restaurants is often neglected. Employee training is of great importance as it helps people establish routines. 

Employee training is very important as it helps people establish routines. 

Digital training options are now available and should be utilised by smaller and medium-sized restaurants. This can help reduce operational error.

What skills do aspiring successful restaurant entrepreneurs need today?

The ability to introduce social media profitably and not neglect employee training should definitely be added to the skill set. Social media has significantly increased competition, making it more challenging to innovate and stand out from the rest. Unfortunately, many restaurant owners have not yet understood this. 

What differences do you notice when comparing the current food service industry to when you started 25 years ago?

Gastronomy has become hype; people take pictures of their food and enjoy good restaurants. It has become a lifestyle, which I really like because nothing like it existed in my time. You are what you eat, which is great because it opens up great opportunities for restaurateurs.

You use your experience to mentor restaurant entrepreneurs.

Thanks to my knowledge of food service, I have been able to help thousands of people advance in gastronomy. I have been doing this for several years through my social media channels. Large companies and corporations are now also approaching me to benefit from my knowledge. Through the Gastro Business School workshops, our contribution margin calculation, and proper waste management, we increase the margin by at least 5%.

Conclusion: Our Talk with The Gastroflüsterer

Kemal Üres’ journey and insights remind us that success in today’s food service landscape requires a blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern savvy. 

It’s about more than just great food; it’s about embracing technology, nurturing talent, and communicating your passion. 

Employee retention, cost management, and a solid marketing strategy are key to surviving in the highly competitive industry. While this might seem obvious to some, the truth is that for decades the restaurant industry’s mantra has been revenue, revenue, revenue. This hyperfocus on revenue growth has pushed other business fundamentals into the background. 

As Kemal says, “The future is bright for restaurateurs willing to adapt, learn, and connect.” 

Apicbase helps large-scale restaurants and food service operations gain full control over food costs and outlet performance

The food service industry is transforming, but Kemal’s story shows the power of innovation, education, and the enduring appeal of quality dining experiences.

Learn more about the state of the industry👇

2024 Restaurant Industry Report

2024 Restaurant Industry Report

Read how successful restaurant leaders are tackling challenges in the foodservice industry.

👉 No form, no fuss. You get instant access.

Similar articles

Take control of ops,
keep costs down & quality up