Takeaway restaurant sMaak is located in Coolhaven and was founded four years ago by Enactus Rotterdam, a student association for social entrepreneurship. sMaak was a catering business before the coronacrisis. “Due to the coronavirus we could no longer cook for large events, so we started thinking about what else we could do with it,” says Jean Sunil, student of International Bachelor of Economics & Business (IBEB).
The Enactus team then turned the business model into a takeaway restaurant with a delivery service. “That strategy has worked out very well. People have food delivered all the time because they can’t dine out at the moment,” says Jelle van der Grijn, Enactus vice chair and master’s student of Business Information Management.
The main goal of the initiative is to help refugees integrate into Dutch society. “We want to introduce them to the Dutch labour market,” says Jean. Currently, two refugees work part-time at sMaak, Wisam and Dina. The two cooks are respectively from Syria and Iraq, so the restaurant’s specialty is Middle Eastern cuisine. “You have to taste our rice with chicken,” says Jean enthusiastically. Jelle adds: “I agree, the rice is really good. You think you know rice, but you don’t know it until you have tasted this dish.”