Ahuva Turgeman: Innovating the food chain

Ahuva Turgeman (photo credit: Shlomit Vizner)
Ahuva Turgeman
(photo credit: Shlomit Vizner)

Ahuva Turgeman, 60, married to Arye, with three children and three grandchildren. She  is the CEO and owner of the BBB Hamburger Corporation. 

Whatis your family background? 

I was born in 1963. My parents wanted to fulfill the Zionist dream, so they left their village  of Zarktan in Morocco and moved to Israel. They raised 10 children, of which I am the fifth. 

How did you get into the food industry?

My brother Meir founded the Yotvata Ba’Ir chain. When he opened a large restaurant on the Tel Aviv Promenade, he asked me to join, In 1992, I started working at the chain as a branch manager. I worked at Yotvata Ba’Ir until 2005. I performed a variety of positions, up to the position of CEO. Between 2005-2008, I opened a cafe in Bitan Aharon. 

In 2008, I received an offer from the owners of BBB, a small chain that had four restaurants at the time, and I became CEO of the chain. Over the years, I have been involved in the day-to-day management, a full transition to franchise management and development, marketing, culinary development, procurement matters and defining and building procedures and standards, up to the present day.

What brands does the BBB Group have?

The BBB Group manages the BBB, Burgerim, Moses and Moses Shop brands, using the franchising method.

Over the years, the BBB network was developed, branches were launched all over the country and we reached about 30 restaurants. In 2015 we acquired the kosher Burgerim chain. We made significant changes in it.Today, the chain has 55 branches.

In 2017, we purchased Moses. Then we launched a new chain - Moses Shop, which was adapted to the new generation of restaurants - small branches that emphasize deliveries and takeaway, while adhering to a limited menu and use of high-quality ingredients. 

In recent months, we developed a new brand called BBB By The Way: branches located throughout the country in different formats: restaurants, stands, food trucks at gas stations.

The BBB Group has about 100 restaurants and branches and employs about 2,500 people.

How do you bring innovation to a retail chain?

One of the values leading the group's vision is innovation. The Israeli consumer is a sophisticated consumer. They seek and embrace innovation and progress. They like quality food, know how to appreciate value for money, and enjoy being up-to-date. With that insight, we do everything to continue to innovate and excite.

Beyond that, we emphasize addressing all our target audiences. Last year, we launched a gluten-free menu. We also noticed that veganism isn’t just a passing fad but a real trend,  so we increased the inventory of vegetarian and vegan dishes. At the same time, we entered into a collaboration with a start-up called SavorEat, which offers a robot chef that prepares a vegan patty according to the customer's liking.

What are The group’s social activities?

The BBB Group promotes social and corporate responsibility on several levels:

Ecology - stopping the use of placemats, switching to digital menus, reducing the use of straws and disposable utensils.

We cooperate with Tamir - the recycling corporation. Some of the restaurants separate waste and send all the plastic and metal packaging for recycling.

BBB also partners with Make-A-Wish, which fulfills wishes for children facing life-threatening illnesses. As part of the activity, the Wish Dish is promoted in the chain’s restaurants in which a portion of the proceeds from the sale of top dishes from the menu are donated to the organization. 

The group also collaborates with the Wishing Well, which encourages Israelis to do volunteer work to help improve society. For these activities, the volunteers receive benefits that they can use at the chain's restaurants.

This article was written in cooperation with Ahuva Turgeman