With 18 years’ experience as a trader at Berlin’s weekly markets, Remzi Kaplan saw a gap in the market for döner kebab and in 1990, together with his brother, he established a small production company in the city. Before long, he was supplying the whole of Berlin, followed by Germany and then Europe. “We became renowned for the quality of our products,” he says.
Today, Kap-Lan is one of the leading European suppliers of kebab and fast food products in Europe. “In recent years, the market in Europe has grown tremendously, above all in Germany and Central Europe,” Mr. Kaplan continues. “Many people love döner, and it is affordable for almost everyone.”
Kap-Lan specializes in kebab skewers of 5 to 150 kg, in chicken, döner and Kap-Lan kebab varieties, which are fast-frozen and have a shelf life of up to a year. For Mr. Kaplan, quality and taste are everything. “Our secret spice mixture is the key to the wonderful taste of our kebab,” he reveals. “The quality is also crucial. In Germany there are döner kebab and rotating skewer regulations, all of which we fulfil.”
In addition to its own takeaway outlets, Kap-Lan supplies fast-food chains, all of which the company regularly and strictly controls to ensure quality standards; Kap-Lan ceases to supply any that fall short. “For me, the end consumer is the key to our success,” underlines Mr. Kaplan. “That means that quality has to be our priority.”
While Germany is still the company’s largest market, consumers across Europe and even as far afield as Dubai and other Middle Eastern countries now enjoy Kap-Lan’s fast food products.
Mr. Kaplan has been joined in the business by his daughter, who leads the production company, and his son, who is responsible for exports. Mr. Kaplan himself focuses on the sales side of the business. “Family is hugely important to me,” he says. “We have all remained grounded, and the whole family supports us.”
2019 has seen the opening of a new 1,800 m² facility, and new technology is also planned. “Next year is our 30 year jubilee,” says Mr. Kaplan. “We are planning a huge celebration, which will be attended by the German President. As far as the future is concerned, I have achieved all my own goals. Now it’s about the vision of my children. I trust them wholeheartedly, and I am absolutely certain that at some point, they will become the number one supplier in Europe.”