“Make Me Motto” Incubator Programme

“Make Me Motto” is an incubator programme for chefs who dream of running their own restaurant.  We offer intensive on-the-job training and coaching so they can test their own concept at Motto.  Your feedback will help shape their concept – so together we can all bring more great food spaces to Beirut!  Great food guaranteed…

Here are all the details:

What’s the big idea?

Motto restaurant has been serving innovative world cuisines since 2014, and asking guests to ‘pay what you think is fair’. After 18 months we want to share our expertise so that more new and creative chefs can start their own restaurants in Beirut. We are transferring Motto’s original concept – pay what you think is fair for Lebanese and Sri Lankan lunches, guest chef dinners and special brunches – to our new space, Makan.

“Make Me Motto” is a program for chefs who dream of setting up their own restaurant. Motto will become the home of 3-6 week chef residencies.   During these residencies, amateur and professional chefs will learn how to manage a whole restaurant operation from A to Z, with close support and from a creative and experienced team.


We opened Motto because we love great food and spaces with soul. We create unique experiences, always placing the chef at centre stage. Since 2014, we have worked with over 30 aspiring chefs who share our philosophy. Many of those chefs as well as others within the gastro community in Beirut dream of starting their own restaurant, but lack the practical experience and often require a lot of capital to make their dream a reality.

With “Make Me Motto” we aim to assist these chefs in piloting their own concepts on the Beirut foodie scene. By sharing our expertise, the chefs will gain the experience of running a restaurant – on a manageable scale, and without the need for any financial investment.

How does “Make Me Motto” work?

We invite chefs to submit their restaurant concept to us – including the name, the theme, proposed menu and creative concept. Once selected, we will work with the chef to refine and develop the idea, and then implement it together for 3-6 weeks, transforming Motto into their pop-up pilot space.

Through a coaching programme, the selected chef will benefit from the Motto team’s broad expertise: from procurement to menu design, pricing, branding, management, logistics, accounting and communications. The chef will have a liaison point in the Motto team for their questions and queries.

What about the money?

No capital investment is required from the chef. Instead, we ask the chef to invest their time, presence and creativity into their residency. Costs, expenses and profits will be split between the chef and Motto.

Motto is all about fair pricing, so we recommend the chef sets a suggested price for each dish, and then invites their guests to pay what they think is fair. This will give direct feedback on the menu’s value for money and the quality of the food. We’ll help the chef set the prices right.

Motto is fitted with shelves for retail: we encourage chefs to make and sell their own products – such as spice mixes, pickles or sauces.


Who can apply?

“Make Me Motto” is open to all chefs (amateur and professional) who are focusing on inventive, exciting, creative food. All cuisines are welcome, as long as there is a unique and innovative angle that offers a solution or targets a niche.

You don’t have to have worked with Motto before. If you haven’t, we might invite you to cook with us once or twice before agreeing on the concept, so we can experience your food and your methods.

How do I apply?

Email us your CV and your proposal, to mottomarmikhael@gmail.com. Your proposal should cover:

  1. What is your concept and how is it innovative? Including:
  • Type of food
  • Which meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner etc)
  • How long you would like to do the residency (between 3-6 weeks)
  • Who would want to dine at your restaurant?
  • What products could you sell in addition to serving meals?
  1. How will you benefit from the experience? What do you hope to learn? What are your ambitions after the residency ends?

We will then respond to your proposal with feedback. If we think it has potential to work at Motto, we will follow up with a series of meetings and refinements… and help you prepare for your launch!


What happens after the programme ends?

At the end of your residency, you will receive a report provided by the Motto team, based on the judgement of the Motto mentors and feedback from customers. You’ll get a detailed evaluation of the menu, execution, concept, communications and profitability.

We will then work with successful chefs to take their concepts to the next stage, by assisting them in finding funding, premises and refining their brand.

Where can I find out more?

For more information about the “Make Me Motto” programme, email mottomarmikhael@gmail.com or call Karim on +961-70954057.Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 10.47.09 PM


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