“I just didn’t want to give up to be honest."
A restaurant owner created a unique dining concept, dubbed ‘modern fast food’, that has saved his struggling business, even attracting TikTokers.
Arfan Hussain, aged 31 came up with his ‘modern fast food’ concept to save his business during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He now serves fine-dining fast food at My Spice and Grill in Kirkstall Road, Leeds.
Arfan has dubbed the cuisine at his restaurant ‘modern fast food’ after struggling to attract customers to his former standard Indian restaurant.
Arfan has worked in the restaurant industry since he was 16 and My Spice and Grill has been growing in popularity ever since it relaunched in February 2021, attracting students and TikTokers.
The restaurant owner, who lives in Bradford, said:
“I just didn’t want to give up to be honest.
“I tried whatever I could last year but one day I felt like giving up, it wasn’t working.
“Then while I was driving from the restaurant to Bradford alone, I was just thinking ‘No, that’s not my nature – I shouldn’t give up!’
“I’ve known this trade for so many years. Why shouldn’t try something different? I know this, so let’s try it.”
Arfan first opened his restaurant in December 2019 but it struggled to attract customers and the pandemic only made matters worse.
He then closed the business in October 2020 and created a whole new menu to match the concept.
Diners can choose from a range of “high quality” fast food dishes like kebabs, burgers, vegan meals and even Turkish baklava for dessert.
To go with his new menu, Arfan installed a new open kitchen where chefs can be seen shaving away at the meat on the rotisserie wheel and baking Arfan’s special bread that is used for the wraps.
Ever since My Spice and Grill reopened, he’s run it like the other restaurants he’s managed even though the food is less sophisticated, complete with table service.
He told Leeds Live:
“All my life I’ve worked in fine-dining restaurants, so we like to give a fine-dining experience.”
“I like to have a chit-chat with customers and tell them what we do and what’s best we do.
“We can advise people on what to have.
“University students and even people from outside Leeds have come. I had some TikTokers coming over, making TikTok videos.”