Detour Concepts is reinventing hospitality through its unique boutique concepts and unmatched care for its people, guests and staff.

In today’s Local Deep Dive with OTG, we’ll be taking a look at Detour Concepts, a food company, with owner Yaser Khalaf. Local Deep Dive with OTG is a weekly look into the lives and businesses of iconic local brands. In this series, we’ll try and outline the trends, best practices, and recommendations of industry insiders, trendsetters, and leaders.


Tells us about your business.
Khalaf Group manages different companies throughout Detour Restaurant Concepts, which owns restaurants like Baboush, Souk, Shawarma Bar, and countless more across the nation. Additionally, we manage and consult National Food Hall Solutions which operates a diverse set of Food Halls such as Crave Food Hall on Purdue Campus and Junction Food & Drink located in Denver, Colorado. Finally, our third branch of management consists of a lending firm that provides funding for small businesses including restaurants, hotels, and much more.

How long have you been in business?
Just about 30 years, I opened my first business when I was just 18 years old. Throughout my career, I’ve been able to branch out into various aspects of casual and fine dining restaurants, which has enabled me to harness my skills to create unique concepts throughout the country.

How many locations and staff do you have? 
We manage around 15 restaurants, 4 food halls, along with other consulting projects nationally. With the addition of our lending firm and some real estate ventures, we consist of approximately 500 dedicated & passionate employees.

What makes your business unique?
Our uniqueness comes from our passion to bring joy to every guest & employee that crosses path with our distinctive and hospitable businesses.

How did you get your idea or concept?
As a child, I was always passionate and creative. I am always thinking of ways to innovate my businesses in order to offer the best product possible.

What do customers enjoy the most about your business?

I believe true enjoyment comes from our remarkable atmosphere filled with warm & welcoming staff, with a passion to serve others. With the addition of a unique product that allows for memorable moments for all our guests.
I have always wanted to provide the best experience for my guests, and I truly believe that we’ve been able to bring these ideals to fruition at Detour Concepts.

What’s your most popular product, service, and or item, and when is the busiest time of the week usually?
In recent months, our most popular services include managing and consulting various Food Halls & Restaurants throughout the nation.

How do most customers discover you?
We attract a majority of our customers through a set amount of referrals and recommendations. Social media has also played a huge role in allowing customers to connect directly with our businesses.

All of our Dallas-based business partners have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. While there is little any individual company can do to remove the challenging implications of the pandemic on their business, there is a lot that an individual company can do to sustain operations and continue to survive and thrive through this season.

The OTG team wants to thank Detour Concepts for their transparency and engagement. We asked about how COVID-19 has impacted their business and what they are doing as a result. Yaser talked a bit about how Detour is combating the challenges of COVID-19.


How has COVID-19 affected your business? 
It has significantly impacted our business. We had to shut down a lot of our operation, laid off most of our staff and employees. Lost hundreds of thousands in revenue on a weekly basis.

What changes have you made to your business in response to COVID-19?
We have been following CDC and government guidelines, implementing PPE, and being patient and strong.



How has your physical to the digital portion of your business changed? Have you seen a significant increase in deliveries and or certain products being consumed? 
There has been a lot of curbside pickup and delivery on the restaurant side.

Has COVID-19 affected your marketing & advertising strategy? If yes, what new ways are you reaching locals now?
We focus on communicating which businesses are open and what we can provide to our customers. We are prioritizing the cleanliness and sanitization of our restaurants as well.

This concludes our weekly Local Deep Dive with OTG featuring this week’s guest Yaser Khalaf of Detour Concepts. We hope that you enjoyed this interview and can apply some of these insights to your own business. Be sure to keep track of our Local Deep Dive Series for more industry insights, recommendations, and best practices weekly with local businesses and their owners.