Global Restaurant Investment Forum

24 June 2020 | GRIF Marketplace - Our virtual meeting space

24 June 2020 | GRIF Marketplace - Our virtual meeting space

Speaker Profile

Walid Hajj

Executive Chairman, Cravia Group

Walid Hajj is the founder and Chairman of Cravia Group.  

Walid has helped drive the business of the Dubai-Based restaurant company from its humble beginnings in 2001. Today, Cravia is one of the leading organizations in its field in the region, with its presence that now extended to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, as well as across the UAE.  

Responsible for providing strategic direction for the company’s portfolio that includes more than 90 restaurants and a team of about 3,000 people, Walid’s overarching role encompasses business planning, organizational excellence and the long –term development objectives for six brands under the Cravia umbrella; Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Zaatar w Zeit, The Steak Bar, Carvel Ice Cream and the company’s most recent franchise acquisition, Five Guys Burgers and Fries. In 2016, Walid completed a transaction whereby Fajr Capital, a large Private Equity firm, acquired a majority stake in Cravia.  

Prior to establishing Cravia, Walid was Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble for two years and Vice President of Operations for his family business, United Group, in Saudi Arabia.  

Walid holds a BS Degree in Industrial Management from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (1991) and an MBA from Harvard University (1995). He is married with three Children.