The fast food restaurant chain M-Eat by Khabib closed six outlets that were launched only in 2022. Information about them disappeared from the websites of the shopping and entertainment complexes and gastromarkets in which they were located. From the food mall “Depo” near the station. The Belorusskaya M-Eat by Khabib metro station moved out in December 2022, and from the Schelkovsky center about six months ago, employees of the contact centers of these facilities told Vedomosti.
An industry Telegram channel covering the openings and closings of restaurants in Moscow claims that the restaurants in the Federation Tower in the Moscow City business center and at the railway station in Mytishchi have also stopped working. Requests sent to M-Eat by Khabib, as well as to the CEO of the network, Ksenia Babiy, remained unanswered. Representatives of the shopping and entertainment centers themselves did not respond either. The Crocus Group declined to comment.
The launch of the network became known in January 2022. At that time, a source close to the company assured that the company developing this business, M-it Group Franchising LLC, was associated with the Russian UFC mixed martial arts champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. This was confirmed by a friend of the athlete himself. His photo is also on the M-Eat by Khabib page on one of the social networks. But, according to SPARK-Interfax, the 100% owner of M-it Franchise Group is businessman Vladimir Khoroshilov. It was not possible to contact him. Nurmagomedov did not answer the call of the Vedomosti correspondent.
M-Eat by Khabib had big plans. The company planned to launch 15 establishments in Moscow by May 2022, as well as to sell a franchise to use the brand to other market players. Due to this scheme, she expected by the end of 2023 to bring the network to 150 points in five more countries – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Investments in the opening of one institution were estimated at 2–3 million rubles.
Now M-Eat by Khabib has only one restaurant left – in the City of Capitals tower in the Moscow City business center. Last December, she also announced the launch of the first point in Kazakhstan.
Related: Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is launching a chain of fast food restaurants
Experts attribute the closure of restaurants to high competition in the fast food segment. In Russia, it is now economically easier to open a restaurant than a fast food outlet, since small businesses simply cannot compete with large federal chains, says Sergei Mironov, Ombudsman for the Moscow restaurant market and owner of the Meat & Fish chain. This is what one of the retail real estate consultants says. He recalls that the food courts of all major shopping and entertainment centers in both the capital and other cities of the country mainly feature such well-known chains as Tasty – and the point, Teremok, KFC, Burger King and so on. They form the main traffic. The authority of a media personality is no longer enough to develop such a project, Mironov continues. In addition, according to him, M-Eat by Khabib could also have incorrectly built a financial model and operational processes. The closure of points can also be associated with the wrong choice of partners or concept, says Igor Bukharov, president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers.
Nurmagomedov is a former UFC lightweight champion. He ended his sports career in October 2020 after defeating American fighter Justin Gaethje. According to the Sherdog ranking (a portal that specializes in mixed martial arts) for 2020, he was ranked 1st in the list of the best fighters, regardless of the weight category. After completing his sports career, the fighter began to develop a number of business projects, including the Papakha restaurant and a coffee house in Makhachkala. Three years ago, Nurmagomedov also launched a collaboration with sports nutrition brand Fitroo called Fitroo by Khabib. Nurmagomedov worked on the creation of a chain of fast food restaurants for more than eight months, he previously told Vedomosti through a representative. He was approached by many major brands in the restaurant business, but he decided to build his own brand in the catering industry, Nurmagomedov noted.