By Fahad Amer
Meet Hasan Binali, owner of long-standing local gem: Darin Seafood.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in the restaurant business?
My partner and I decided to open Darin Seafood because there were only two seafood restaurants in Khobar in 1991 and they felt much too expensive for us. We named it that because we’re from Darin Island, famous for being a pearl-diving island in the past and as a fisherman’s wharf nowadays.
What is your vision for your business?
Our vision is to serve our customers delicious dishes that cater to a wide range of appetites. We’re thinking of expanding our business by opening smaller branches throughout Sharqiya.
What has been your greatest professional success? Biggest setback?
Our success is that we have been running our business for the past 24 years. The only setback was in building up the right, qualified staff, which proved difficult but ultimately rewarding.
What’s your secret to keeping customers coming in?
You have to always listen to your customers and respect their views. Some of our best ideas came as suggestions from our customers or staff.
What advice can you give to those who would like to open a restaurant of their own?
Open a restaurant that you would like to eat in. Stay away from simply copying others. Sure, you can grab ideas from others, but then build it your way. You have to love that restaurant in order to give it what it deserves of you.
How’s the restaurant market?
The restaurant business is tough, especially when it comes to staffing. There are also a lot of regulations and requirements from various bodies that make running a business a lot more difficult than in other areas.
What are the three most important things to get your business up and running?
To have a well-maintained business, follow these three ideals:
Be truthful and respect your customers.
Don’t cut corners when it comes to quality.
Be fair with your staff and treat them right.
Location: Prince Turki St., Khobar / Khaeej Rd., Dammam