Arzu Esendemir

Arzu Esendemir, CEO, Flatbread Grill
Arzu Esendemir, CEO, Flatbread Grill

Hey There!

I’m Arzu (pronounced R*ZOO). I am a self-taught chef and baker, as well as the president of Flatbread Grill®. I started my first business with my sister Gonca, when we were in high school. We won a business plan competition and started up a fashion e-commerce site selling hair accessories and jewelry for teenagers. After high school, I took a year off to work so I could save up money to attend college. While working full time as a bartender and bar manager in New York City, I also double majored in Business Management and Finance at Montclair State University. I graduated at the top of my class with summa cum laude and was trying to decide between working on Wall Street while attending grad school for my MBA, or attending law school. I was preparing for my LSATs when my older sister, Fusun, approached me about starting a restaurant. I came up with the idea that we should make our own specialty flatbreads, so I set out to create the original bread recipes. I designed and drew the logo after Fusun and I came up with the name, as well as ideated the tag lines and brand trademarks. I also oversaw the first Flatbread Grill® buildout from construction to completion. I did most of the interior design and oversaw every corner of it’s creation, along with my sisters. Flatbread Grill® was a labor of love and passion born out of my desire to support my family, while also serving delicious, healthy food that anyone could afford. Flatbread Grill® was a challenging, exhilarating start-up that helped me utilize my business acumen as well as allowed me to work with my family.

My biggest dream is for Flatbread Grill® to create jobs worldwide and positively impact the communities where we open. I also hope to grow Flatbread Grill® so it can globally open up opportunities for other aspiring entrepreneurs. I hope to use our entrepreneurial journey as a means to inspire, motive and empower women across the world, especially those who are experiencing adversity in their lives.

I currently bake the original breads for Flatbread Grill®, as well as assist with the cooking, develop menu items, and manage the daily operational duties with my sisters. I am also the point person for making executive decisions, problem solving, and raising capital. I oversee brand development, strategic planning, inventory control, management procedures, our expansion plan, as well as assist with marketing strategies. I have and will always remain passionate about day to day operations at Flatbread Grill®. It is my duty to ensure that everything that our customers are experiencing the highest possible level of excellence. I believe that everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, deserve delicious, healthy food at affordable prices. It has been my vision from day one that Flatbread Grill® can serve customers worldwide from all different walks of life and provide them with an exceptional experience.

When I’m not busy focusing on Flatbread Grill® with my sisters, I am indulging in my hobbies and passions. I love doing volunteer work, fashion, reading business books and magazines, staying on top of the stock market, cooking and trying new places to eat, as well as taking long walks by the Hoboken waterfront. I was a competitive martial artist and have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I also love a great sale and bargain hunting is one of my fortes.