Picture taken from ZWZ Facebook Page
I was surprised to read on Gino’s blog yesterday that the newly open Zaatar wou Zeit in Hamra does not service pork or alcohol. The reason was not explained to him in the branch but ZWZ justified this ban by linking it to “leasing conditions”.
Here’s what Gino wrote:
I sat down, ordered a ham and cheese mankooshe. The waiter suggested cheese and turkey, so I asked if they were out of ham or something, he ensured me that that specific branch does not serve pork. I ordered something else “halal” and then asked for an Almaza, he said alcohol was not served at that branch either. [Full Post]
And how the Zaatar W Zeit Team explained it:
We are very fond of Hamra and we love to be part of its full-of-life streets. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to open there and let our customers enjoy the experience we have to offer. However, we had to do some amendments on our menu in order to still be able to cater to our loyal fans, while respecting the leasing conditions.
Adaptability and respect of others’ opinions are an integral part of the ZWZ culture. Our objective is to reach all customers in all regions while serving safe and delicious food.
Finally, we’d love to see you all in our other close branches, such as Bliss, Gemmayze or Sodeco, where you can enjoy our full menu, no exception whatsoever!
Have a great day ahead.
Zaatar W Zeit Team. [Source]
Now this may seem reasonable if this was a franchise but Zaatar W Zeit clearly stated that all ZWZ stores in Lebanon are owned by one company and thus aren’t franchised. If that’s the case, the question that comes to mind is whether it is legal to set leasing conditions of this type on a restaurant. Can’t they point out that there’s pork in some items (like they do now with the little piglet) and let customers decide if they want it or not? Where’s the harm in that?
Last but not least, the branch is not that far away from a street filled with pubs and bars that obviously serve alcohol and people who go there are the most likely to be visiting the ZWZ branch after a long drinking night, add to that LAU students so I am not sure who they are trying to reach with this ban.
If I were ZWZ, I would have simply picked another spot in Hamra.
Picture taken by myself via Instagram: One of ZWZ’s best sandwiches, Ham & Cheese and no it’s not the same if you replace the ham with turkey.
Najib ya najib!!! It’s out of their hands. That area SADAT TO KORAYTEM is under specific laws because it is affiliated with a certain party. HAMRA is different ( the parallel streets on the inside) but STarting that exact location, including entire Koraytem area, these are the rules. Stop giving them a hard time… understand…educate people on the reasons behind this instead of attacking them. Really this is disappointing coming from influencers. You out of everyone should be informed and do some research on how this has happened before writing anything based on scrapes of information.
Like I said, if the conditions are illegal or set by someone else, let them open elsewhere without this headache. Simple.
Nobody attacked anybody, he was simply explaining why… you should be informed too and not make up facts… it’s not about the area cause the restaurants around it all serve alcohol and there was even a pub next to it, it’s about the lease itself.
Where did I state someone attacked another? I read leasing conditions and I asked if it’s legal and if yes, then why didn’t they choose another spot? Where’s the harm in that?
Oh yeah i knew that, and i’ll explain why, the family that built the building (Maktabi family) in which ZwZ is currently located in are muslims and even before finishing the building they specified that they wouldn’t lease to any restaurant that would serve alcohol or pork. But i think it’s great that even though they put this condition ZwZ still opened… (i know these facts because my dad has a brokers/insurance company and he’s been working with them for a while now and even insured this project. i over heard him talking about this when they first started construction.)
There’s no harm in that and I respect their wish but are they allowed legally to set such conditions on a restaurant? If yes then I believe ZWZ should have picked another spot.
Oh heik i don’t know, i don’t know if it’s legal or not… but if ZwZ doesn’t mind then why should we?
Because as customers, we should expect the same menu in all branches no? Specially when it’s not a franchise.
Pain D’or for example does not put alcohol in its baba au rhum in all its branches even in Christian areas or areas where alcohol is not an issue but I don’t mind it cause it’s the same everywhere.
Yeah true… but they have (or had i dont know if they fixed it) some branches where you can’t order the fries with cheddar and fried stuff… so they sometimes they do alter their menu… dono man… weird country..
I actually think you make sense Najib. I didn’t see anything confrontational in what you wrote, you simply said that for a chain to be consistent a better choice of location would have been more appropriate. Everyone is over-reading or reading between the lines. You’re doing a great job, I know I rarely post here but it does not mean I am not appreciative of your blog.
Why should we mind? on the contrary WE should mind, we are the consumer… we drive the business. I am just replying to this part, i’m not getting into the whole is it legal to set restrictions to the lease. And yes they should have picked another spot 🙂
I completely agree they should’ve just opened elsewhere. i think 90% if not more of the people who will go eat at zwz hamra are the pub crowd and college students so this doesnt make sense.
bala me7en, w eza baddak pork w alcohol nzal 3a bliss.. kella 5 minutes masheh. it’s not like fi alf ma7al bi hamra street to have a pick. try finding a place to rent then speak. after all, you are a customer, and customers go inside a place and choose from what’s available on the menu. you don’t go into a restaurant and demand something. so , again , bala me7en
Like I said on twitter, I am not boycotting or attacking ZWZ wou ma khass el me7en. After I saw their reply, I questioned this marketing strategy they adopted to open in a hot spot with conditions imposed on them. U told me there’s no other place, I don’t know about that to be honest but it’s a bit weird for them to open in such a place when their clientele are usually people who go to pubs and drink.
We both know how ZWZ flourished and that barely anyone goes there for breakfast and that they have no competitors. If they open in a small spot like the one they have in Kaslik or Sodeco people will still go there.
It’s just a thought I shared and it’s no big deal to me but in my opinion a marketing mistake. I am not telling them what to do but I think I am free to speak my mind.
This is another Jad.. but I can assure you there are no spaces in Hamra.. that local/mall is the next upcoming location in HAMRA. ZwZ simply didn’t want to miss out on this AAA location. It really is not a strategy, rather they don’t want to miss a golden opportunity.
Yes you are free to speak your mind, We are all free.. but I wouldn’t view this as a strategy by ZwZ or any other brand in that local.. It simply is the next block in Hamra and the owners wants his condition met, we need to respect that.
TRUST me I am sure ZwZ wanted a local where Alcohol and Ham are allowed, but they have to deal with what they get.. AAA locations don’t come by everyday. It’s this simple.
Like I said, they are free to do whatever they want. I am not judging them or attacking them. I am just wondering if picking this location is worth those compromises. If they think it is, then good for them 🙂
Again they don’t have a competition in my opinion so wherever they open people will go to them and that’s coming from a very loyal fan.
People are wrong when they say Zaatar w Zeit has no competition… DEAD wrong. I work as a consultant in the Food and beverage industry and I can assure you they have competition, maybe it’s not huge competition but it’s big enough to worry them. The fact that they chose this location despite the rules of no alcohol, no pork, speaks volumes as to how they view their competition. Remember Leil o Nhar is right next to them, and can be considered competition?
Iza kella 5 min away then why did they open in Hamra
keno ma nmahano Zbounet el Hamra w nezlo 3a Bliss!
I’m free to eat drink whatever i want! They are free not to serve it (in all the shops and not only one!)
This is wrong ZwZ should fix it
jad it is not a question of mehen.It is rather a question of principles and nobody should be allowed to impose their beliefs on others.i would defenitly boycott any company that tries to limit my freedom to decide or impose their choice on me.Being a christian, alchohol is even a part of our ritual and is being used during the celebration of the mass,and what is a no no for some is just normal for others ,so …
I agree with the question, is the lease legal ?
Religious beliefs shouldn’t be forced on any one society.
If you don’t like pork or harm because your religion doesnt allow you to consume it, then don’t. However, don’t force people to ban it based on your own religious beliefs.
This is a public restaurant, not a religious place of prayer.
The lease is legal. This is not the first or the last building that imposed such leases and they have legally every right to do so. This is a public restaurant indeed but it chose to open in a building that has one of these leases. That’s the mistake of zwz not the landlords. Buildings owned by churches and Dar el fatwa also have these kind of
Leases and also building owned by religious people. It’s completely normal, it legally happens anywhere, no one is forcing any religious belief on anyone but it’s Zwz who put themselves in such a bad situation
Ahh… the illusion of choice… “They should have opened elsewhere”..
You think ZWZ has the upper hand here? This is a PRIME retail zone and ZWZ most likely doesn’t have any other options with such specifications..
The more power a landlord has, the more rules he can set (and as far as the law is concerned, the landlord can dictate whatever terms he wants in the contract. He can even prevent the lessor from selling ice cream if he so wishes),
The situation is actually the other way around: If ZWZ doesn’t like the rules, they should move over because there’s a line of businesses behind it waiting to take its place..
I would have agreed with u but Zwz has no real competitor in the lebanese market and wherever it opens and no matter how small it is people will go there. Zwz kaslik was and still is one of the most frequented branches even though its at the worst location in kaslik.
Thank u for the clarification in regards to the land lord. I have a question here if tipsy people go there and make noise he s gonna ask zwz to kick them out as well?
If it is clearly stated in the contract that the lessor’s responsibility includes driving out noisy and tipsy clients then yes..
+1 but what worries me is if we have more landlords with the same mentality of this one than we’re out of luck… or forced to stay sober lol
This is not the first time this happens, The same thing happened in Spinneys-Jnah. The first couple of years they opened, they were not allowed to sell Alcohol nor Pork because of regulations set by their Kuwaiti landlord.
Straight up fucked up. Do not impose your “restrictions” on others. Period. And that applies to wherever this mysterious restriction came from; the landlord, his cousin, the skies, etc. Each chooses what he/she wants. If u don’t want it, don’t pick it. Simple. But for fucks sake, we need to stop imposing our shit on others and expecting others to play by what we think is right. To each his fuckin’ own already!
I think I love you.
Do not come open in a place with restrictions. Simple. Landlords have every right to impose whatever they want on others. Zwz don’t like it they can go open elsewhere. Others shouldn’t play If they dont like what is imposed 🙂 go blame zwz for opening in a “restricted” place and learn how to respect others “restrictions” because they have 100% every legal rights to do it 🙂
So In Lebanon there is no law that protects the tenants from discriminatory or lease.. any term lease can be legal?
Slowly ,it will become like Iran,maybe even an Islamic Revolution ,that was their plan from the start ,sorry i’m neing so negative but it’s true
It is a shame to impose such restrictions on the clients basic tastes and choices !!!!!
If somebody has sensitivity against alcohol or ham simply he doesn’t order them!the owner is indirectly harming the image of his city as an open cosmopolitan place where East and West meets without clashes!!
Maya: what do you mean by “slowly it will become like Iran” why would you indirectly have to include politics in this? What you just said doesn’t make any sense, and I’m sorry to say it is just plain stupid from you. Why didn’t you say that it is slowly becoming like Saudi Arabia and the salafieh influence? This issue of not serving pork or alcohol has nothing to do with March 14 or March 8, Mr. Itani explained it that the landlord within his rights put this condition because of his religion, which we should respect. So please Maya stop being so narrow minded and stupid.
lol dude i think your the one who just turned it political by getting all worked up at the word iran and than talking about 14 and 8. Just chill man have some coffee ull feel better.
Sorry but was I talking to you Marc? Who stepped on your tail? I suggest you mind your own business and go have your milk and your morning nap
what the hell is a morning nap 😛
If you don’t want people commenting on your comments, don’t go writing in public forums.
This specific retail space (6 in total, on one plot) in Hamra is owned by the Maktabi family and it has been in development for almost 2 years. Since day one, the Maktabi family where adamant on defining strict parameters for what is allowed to be sold on their rented property. There was a lineup of more than 50 concepts that approached the landlord but decided not to pursue their projects because of this condition. ZwZ, as HD&B and other F&B outlets that opened there, must have studied the market and decided that their target market in that area will tolerate the absence of alcohol and ham from their menu. Mind you, these outlets are strategically located in the middle between 2 universities :AUB & LAU.
This is has nothing to do with the area nor any political party or situation: in fact, the maktabi family also owns a plot in Ashrafieh facing Sofil and many restaurant owners approached them to rent it out but they were faced with the same condition…the plot ended up being rented to standard charter bank.
I agree that freedom of choice should be respected at all time, and this includes of course that of the landlord.
KC I agree with you, people are way too harsh on ZwZ for this. It was not their decision but it was imposed on them by the landlord.
Another example of this:
Google in China. Was google going to really miss the opportunity of being in China despite the censorship rules????? NO they took their product and adapted it
I think it is disappointing to see that places in Lebanon are still banning alcohol and ham
Dont fucking open your restaurant if you are planning on banning these products
Seriously if a clients come in and gets annoyed coz theres ham and beer in there let him find himself another fucking restaurant
WHERE ARE WE FUCCKING GOING PPL
LETS HAVE ALL GIRLS eating kafta to wear a veil
FUCKING stop it with your religious shit
REALLY give us a break
I think that it is quite retarded to still have to be concerned of this shit when opening a business in leb
It’s not only in Lebanon. You deal with a lot of cultural stuff when going to other countries.
McDonalds in India doesn’t serve Beef! Get over it…
It’s trivial and it’s cultural. there is nothing we can do about it
we are on the right track to liberate hamra and later lebanon and the whole arab world from alcohol and pigs.
Alcohol is staying
but are u leaving somewhere?
and we are on the wrong track to liberate lebanon and the whole world from retarded ppl like u
please find yourself a cliff and jump
Samer ,Iran or KSA ,whatever ,slowly this open minded country in the Arab world will be worse then Iran ,that’s what they want ,that’s why once i commented as Leb wouldve been nothing if they weren’t Christians ,culturally ,i mean open mindedly ,but the more fanatics you have especially from one side ,the more itll become closed minded and the more freedoms will be abolished and mind you don’t attack me now ,i’m not narrow minded ,im telling the truth
Maya this has nothing to do with attacking you or anyone else. This has everything to do with triviality as Nadine Mazloum on LBCI said.. Why is this important? Why is it that ZwZ gets trashed, but not another brand who doesn’t serve Alcohol either. We are 18 sects in Lebanon, we have all lived through the worst times. Isn’t time we left all our bitterness towards each other at home. Nadine Labaki’s film is Hala la Wein is a good example of what good can come from such trivial matters.
If HAMRA came out and banned alcohol I could understand the frustration and hatred being shown on these blogs. But this is a simple landlord from the Maktabi family who just doesn’t want Alcohol. let’s respect them. let’s respect ZwZ decision to open in Hamra and let’s all continue going to Ferdinand’s right next door for a beer and a pulled pork sandwich. And for those who are against, you can go to Malak al Batata… IGNORE THESE Trivial matters please
Let us all focus on how to get electricity to this country instead.. it’s 2013 and I still get 4 hours a day only….
Another thing it’s all Hezballah’s plan ,yes there are other fanatics too ,but this is what Iran wants ,and it’s all being Done ,who do you think bombs alcohol shops in the South ,They have more power than ever ,stop living in denial
No Jad,these are small steps in banning alcohol and ham ,which in the future may become bigger steps and towards Lebanon being a closed minded’s land ,which is becoming ,that’s what i meant ,what they want is being Done
Maya I would agree if it was Hamra that banned the alcohol. But that is not the case. It is a simple landlord who doesn’t want alcohol on his property. IT IS HIS RIGHT. Is he not allowed freedom? or is just us?
Yes ur right ,Jad hope they agree to give you electricity first ,and then banning sects ,because really Leb doesn’t work only as laique ,it’s a shame being devided in between 18 sects
It is not a shame to be divided in 18 sects, it is a privilege. Lebanon would not be the same without my Muslim friends, my Christian friends and my Druze Friends.. Now is the time we need to all leave these trivial matters behind
It would be a privilege if they all got along – as it stands, it’s just another reason the whole country is still in the Dark Ages.
The electricity situation hasn’t changed since the 50’s and it sure as hell won’t change now – endemic corruption, self-aggrandizement and a frankly feudal system won’t allow any grassroots change.
I couldn’t care less about whether they serve pork or alcohol or not. I’ll go somewhere else to have them.
What I would like is to be able to walk down a street without stepping in dog turds, be able to stop at a red light without starting a fight with someone who doesn’t like it and be able to have an opinion that matters. Not much possibility of that happening so far.
Implementation of small things such as these is the way to go – until we get out of the “me first” mentality nothing will ever change, no matter how badly you want it.
So if ZWZ want to change their menu to suit their business plan, does it merit the most comments ever?
Desmond you made my day… You hit the nail on the head. Owners can do what they please that is their freedom…
All haters and politicize-rs! Stop accusing Najib, Marc, Maya, and the likes of anything.
To begin with, Najib was simply wondering if having conditions like these in a lease is legal or not “the question that comes to mind is whether it is legal to set leasing conditions of this type”… Deal with it…
If we want to live together in Lebanon, regardless of religion, then such conditions must be illegal everywhere, be it Hamra, Cola, Barbir or Da7ieh! Otherwise and if you don’t accept this, then dividing Lebanon is the only solution!
Nobody is doing any hating or accusing, calm down.
The title of the post is the sensationalist “No alcohol or pork at ZWZ Hamra” not “Ethics, religion and legality in Hamra real estate”.
It is inviting debate. That is the beauty of this blog.
I think anywhere in the world a landlord can set rules such as he sees fit as long as they are not infringing on anyone’s rights. He doesn’t want pork or alcohol on his premises for religious reasons then he’s legally entitled to. Someone else won’t rent you an apartment if you have a dog, others don’t want kids. It’s all relative.
You cannot place conditions such as “no one who prays differently to me” or “no one who is a different colour than me” or “no one who doesn’t speak like me” or even “no uglies”. Apart from that, knock yourself out.
If he did the same thing in Gemmayzeh, say, he might not find as many restaurants wanting to open in his building.
People see things differently, doesn’t mean they are “haters” or “politicizers”.
Actually, here’s the difference, in civilized countries, ones religion does not allow him/her to discriminate against the tenant/buyer because of the owner’s/landlord religious preference. I say preference because religion is a choice.
But I guess in Lebanon there is not such thing.. so if a landlord says he will only rent to tenants that will employ women who do not wear a head scarf because it is the against the landlord’s religion (lets say the landlord started a religion that bans women from wearing headscarfs) is this perfectly legal ?
Maybe the landlord should be free to practice his own religion in private but keep it out of the public sector.
But this is Lebanon and those pushing for a secular state in Lebanon should realize that Lebanon is located in the middle east where religion and government are one and they do not allow tolerance/freedoms for those that have a different state of mind and beliefs.
Exactly Fadi,sorry Jad i’m still not convinced ,hence what i was saying these are small steps for Iranization of Leb,good luck living among the closed minded ,if this were an open minded country ,the tenant wouldn’t have to imply religion /politics to ban alcohol,if this tenant doesn’t want and another one and another one and another one ,so God help you ,next thing we know well have completely veiled women on the streets ……
Lol poor girl
And i’m not proud of coming froma country divided between 18 fanatic sects ….
regardless the conditions of the lease or ZWZ’s plan or whatever, as long as it was based on religious considersations is bad enough. Whether I eat pork or drink alocohol is irrelevant. the mere fact to have smthg imposed, especially that it is not their policy in other branches is annoying. if it was the whole company’s policy, it might be ok, but to limit it to one area, that’s discriminating even if there is the bliss’ branch.
so now before going out, and if that idea becomes applicable elswhere, we must start planning to which branch we can go just depending on the menu served on religious considerations????
when restaurants’ chain like mcdonalds or else open in a new country, they might do customization or adaptation to the country’s need but not regions’ need :S
if it happened in another country, i might understand it as respecting religious freedom, but when it happens in a fanatic country like ours, it only serves to strenghten this fanatism.
Wrong, McDonalds doesn’t serve beef in India because many indians worship cows
I understand restriction on alcohol to some extent if tenants want peace of mind at nights as sometimes some crackbrained get drunk, but the freedom to eat or not pork meat is absurd!Is it dictatorship?
You have the right to eat what ever you want, no one is telling you what you can and can’t eat. in the same sens you can’t force ZWZ to serve you ham if it’s against their policy or building policy for that specific branch. there’s heaps of other shops that serve ham on the same street.
where did you get this dictatorship idea and how is that even relevent ?
The fact that we are having this discussion is the problem itself. The fact says that there is a majority in this country who believes in Islam as a religion. Muslims are not supposed to eat pork or drink alcohol. Of course some of them do eat pork and drink alcohol, but that is another discussion. No muslims have ever objected to the fact that pork and Alcohol are on the menu of the vast majority of restaurants in Lebanon. There is no clear indicator that pork has been used or if the meat was Halal or not, and again no Muslim objected.
The problem now is that you are objecting the fact that a muslim landlord imposed what he believes in on his property and you are saying that this is about the Freedom of Speech. I agree, as a Muslim living in this country maybe it’s time I imposed some rules to protect my beliefs like indicating if the restaurant serves Halal food or not, if the pork was cooked in the same containers or on the same surface as the other meat did, if the meat used is halal or not, and if alcohol was used in preparing the meal or not. Unless these restaurants were built for Christians only, and Muslims were not allowed inside, maybe we should also indicate that.
I don’t know why some people are getting so butt-hurt from ZWA policy of not serving alcohol or ham. it’s their right to serve what ever the fuck they want, who are we to complain or to ask them to open elsewhere ?
on the other hand, it’s the landlord’s right to put what ever terms and conditions and the leaser has to follow no matter what. if you go to any country in europe or america when you fill up an application form to lease an appartment they ask you wether you’re a smoker or if you have pets or if you have young kids. and the landlord has the right to reject any aplication based on anything he dislikes in the tenant. I don’t know why some of you are even questioning wether it’s legal or not..of cours it’s legal.
on a side note, this post is screaming secterianism. it’s got it written all over it. shame on you
I think this is called overreacting. if ZwZ didn’t like the leasing terms, they could have easily walked out. They didn’t, so what’s the problem?
I’d get wasted in a pub in Hamra then go eat a zaatar man2couche from there. Big deal!
Anyway guys, this is not something that should happen in our “””FREE “””” country….As much as someone has to respect the fact that people wants to eat “halal” and not to drink alcohol as a religious conviction, as much , we have to respect also the fact that another person wants to eat ” NoN Halal ” products and to drink beer. ZWZ in hamra is not respecting that…and that’s A Pitty….At least they should leave the customer to decide..!!!! That’s a terrible weaknes ….POOR Guys..!!!