About The Sheik Restaurant and Franchise

For more than 40 years, The Sheik has served the best breakfast in town and the freshest deli-sliced meats and cheese in our pitas (or “sacks,” as we call them). We’re know far and wide for our amazing grilled steaks and sausage and we’re the home of the original Cherry Limeade.

Family owned and operated, The Sheik has been a success from the very beginning and we’ve quickly expanded to multiple units across Jacksonville, Florida. Today, The Sheik is expanding rapidly from its North Florida base, bringing Camel Riders and Steaks-in-a-Sack across the Southeast.

The Sheik History

In 1972, brothers Samir “Sam” and Munir “Mike Senior” Salameh, along with their wives Suad “Sue” and Basima, opened the first Sheik restaurant on the corner of 18th Street and Main Street in Jacksonville, Florida. That restaurant still operates today. From the very beginning the brothers knew that the keys to any successful restaurant are great service and great food.

It’s a family thing

Through the years, the chain has grown from one location to multiple locations across the Jacksonville area — all owned and operated by family members. During that time period, The Sheik became known for selling the best “Steak in a Sack” or steak pita and for its “Camel Rider,” or deli meat pita. The chain also originated the “Cherry Lime,” The Sheik’s version of a black cherry and lime soft drink. All three items have gone on to become ubiquitous throughout the South and synonymous with the Jacksonville dining scene — even garnering an article in The New York Times.

Rave reviews keep us going

Since the opening of that first location, the Salamehs have worked closely with relatives and a carefully selected team of restaurant professionals in the development of their restaurant concept. They’ve based their business on the principles of providing the customer with the highest quality, fresh ingredients, and fast, efficient service, at an affordable price, all in a clean family environment. As a result, The Sheik has always received rave reviews and is ready for the next forty years or so.

What makes The Sheik special?

According to the National Restaurant Association, total restaurant sales the United States last year topped $683.4 billion. Even in a troubled economy, restaurant sales as a whole grew by 3.6%. Americans continue to dine out at a growing rate and more and more of them are choosing to eat breakfast on the run. The USDA says that only 59% of us eat breakfast at home.

The Sheik is uniquely positioned to capture this growing trend. The Sheik serves three day parts including breakfast, lunch and dinner, and most units feature a drive-thru window for service on the run. Breakfast is a big part of The Sheik’s sales, unlike many other “sandwich competitors” in the market.

Are you ready for The Sheik?

We’re looking for like-minded professionals to own and operate single and multi-unit locations. If you’ve got a passion for food, service and a rich history, we’d love for you to get in touch to learn more about The Sheik.

Click here to learn more about The Sheik and request your free franchise kit!

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