Huna Shey is the first GCC Restaurant Incubator. Huna Shey is interested in introducing creative and innovative culinary experiences to enrich and build local communities in the UAE. The mission is to develop entrepreneurs and help aspiring restaurateurs overcome barriers to becoming successful restaurant owners.
Our Restaurant Incubator program will work with passionate, aspiring restaurateurs over the course of 14-18 months in order to accelerate the growth of their part-time business. Huna Shey, in partnership with Huna, will provide the incubated companies with a fully equipped kitchen to further develop and enhance their concept for seamless transitioning, access to capital, mentors, coaching and other resources.

Huna Shey2019-11-03T22:22:52+00:00

Who we want to work with:

  • Early Stage Restaurant Startups: Individuals that have demonstrated traction in the market through pop-ups, farmers markets, catering gigs, supper clubs, or special events.
  • Founders who've aimed to open up a storefront.
  • People who care about the community and their impact in the area, and want to make a difference.

What we’re looking for

How it works

The first Restaurant Incubator in the GCC will offer an impactful, rich learning environment that will accelerate your side of the business. We will be offering hands on educational training, mentors, coaching and access to resources that will turn your side business into a full-time restaurant. Our strategic partnership with Huna will allow you to be operating a storefront in approximately 4 months from selection.

The program is made up of 3 phases over the course of 14-18 months, which will consist of:

  • 4 months pre-incubation phase
  • 12 month incubation phase
  • 2 month exit phase

The Pre-incubation phase will see a selection of 4 companies/concepts to participate in a 4 month part-time program that will help them:

  • Gain access to industry mentors
  • Sharpen their skills with workshops in marketing, finance, accounting, branding, operations, management, hiring and culinary education
  • Learn about the industry compliant standards
  • Get specialized assistance in understanding the pitfalls and the requirements of a running a successful restaurant, as well as assistance with hiring brand aligned employees that will elevate your brand and concept to the next level
  • Becoming industry compliant (Serve Safe, PIC complaint)

During the 12-month Incubation Phase, selected companies will work full-time on their business out of the fully equipped store front located at Huna. In the duration of the incubated companies, they will receive ongoing coaching to ensure that they stay on track and grow their business. Emphasis will be given in the following items during this incubation phase:

  • Cash Flow Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Operational Systems Development (SOP’s, Training Manuals)
  • Leadership Training

Benefits for the incubated companies will include:

  • Hands on training
  • Executive coaching from seasoned professionals
  • Collecting procurement
  • Restaurant storefront (with extremely low startup costs)
  • Connection to capital resources (micro-lending partners and investor meetings)
  • Legal assistance
  • Accounting assistance
  • Streamlined compliance process with Dubai Municipality
  • Compliance with Dubai Food Inspection


Minimum Requirements

The following are the minimum requirements for applying to Huna Shey Restaurant Incubator.

  • Early Stage Restaurant Startups: Individuals or groups that have demonstrated traction in the market through pop-ups, farmers markets, catering, supper clubs or special events for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Founder or partners must have background in restaurant industry, as evidence by at least one or more of the following.
  1. 6-month minimum experience working back of house/front of house at restaurants
  2. Completed a culinary degree or certificate at culinary trade school
  3. Operated a pop-up, catering business, supper club, or food cart for a minimum of 6 months
  • Able to commit to working on their restaurant full-time during the incubation phase of the program
  • In-depth passion about the community and the want to make a difference in the city
  • Ultimate goal to open their own storefront restaurant within 18 months in the local community
  • Must be extremely COACHABLE!


  • Submit the completed application form and requested materials within the deadline
  • If invited to apply, participate in interviews and potential food tastings with a panel
  • Be present at the induction and on boarding events as scheduled
  • Attend all group and 1-on-1 sessions
  • After completion of the pre-incubation phase, be committed to working with our lending partners to secure financing and work on your business 100% full time throughout the incubator program
  • Maintain open and consistent communication with program staff & partners
  • Follow through on all assigned tasks and responsibilities
  • Be open to constructive feedback – given our affiliates come from extensive experience that served local communities
  • Curiosity about culinary innovation and exploration of creativity expression through food
  • Willing to learn and apply food justice issues in your business - be it through healthy or sustainable options, etc
  • Explore opportunities to implement best practices for innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Abide by evaluation policies and procedures
  • Allow openness and transparency in regard to coaching to discuss the financial matters concerning all of your business operations (storefront, delivery and catering)

Application Process

For Fall 2019 induction, applications are now open.

Huna Shey is a restaurant incubator program that will give underrepresented, aspiring restaurateurs the business support and resources they need to launch their dream operation.

Accepted entrepreneurs will work with our team of mentors, coaches, and staff over the course of 14-18 months to take their part-time catering, pop-up, supper club or special events cart and turn it into a full-time quick service restaurant in our fully equipped kitchen at Huna.

All interested restaurateurs must apply via our application form, and read the FAQ to understand all the requirements. Huna Shey will be reviewing application forms and looking at key criteria requirements in order to make a decision regarding the concept fit, entrepreneur fit and the cultural fit of the applicants. Once selected, applicants will be asked to proceed with an interview with additional submission requests including supplemental paperwork.

Huna Shey is giving you the opportunity to own your dream.

Application Form