Look Out McDonald’s: Expansion on the Menu for Afghan Entrepreneur

Sept. 2014’Rising demand for tasty meals served quickly has paid off for at least one small business owner in Herat, Afghanistan.

Inspired by the success of his first Chipsi fast food restaurant, businessman Naeem Yusofi had been mulling over the possibility of opening a second location. IESC is implementing USAID’s Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises Program, which helps small and medium enterprises expand. ABADE provided Yusofi the capital kickstart he needed to take the next step.

Frequent diner Hayda Gulzar comes to Chipsi to meet friends and enjoy tasty meals served by well-trained staff.
USAID/ABADE/Sohrab Samanian

Through ABADE, Yusofi was able to invest the time and financial resources necessary to open a second restaurant. After scouring the city for a favorable location, he found what he was looking for and got started refurbishing the structure’s interior to give it the Chipsi-feel familiar to his customers. He also purchased modern kitchen equipment that would allow the restaurant to accommodate up to 45 diners at a time.

Yusofi now hopes to serve up to 1,000 clients per day at his two locations. To meet increased demand, he hired eight new employees, including three women.

The popularity of Chipsi’s second location illustrates how far an ambitious Afghan entrepreneur can go with a sound business plan and access to the right tools. To date, ABADE has supported 74 small and medium enterprises like Yusofi’s to expand and create new jobs.

The new location has been an instant hit according to computer instructor Hayda Gulzar, who says, ‘My friends and I love coming to Chipsi. The new restaurant is in a good location and the food and service are the same as the first branch.’

Yusofi points out that the Chipsi quick service model is especially popular with young professionals and mothers who come with their children. His success has inspired him to reach for more: ‘My next targets: Kabul and Mazar!’


The four-year ABADE Program is funded by USAID through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance’s award program. ABADE began in October 2012 and works primarily with the private sector to strengthen the productivity of enterprises in order to promote sustained growth and job creation.