Brave New World

Brave New World

Sam Mustafa, CEO of Charleston Hospitality Group shares his experience seeking bold new flavors amid post pandemic food shortages.

Catching up with Sam Mustafa, CEO of Charleston Hospitality Group in Jordan.

Sam has traveled back home to Amman, Jordan seeking out new inspiration and bold worldly flavors in his quest to innovate his restaurant concepts during the current nationwide food and logistic shortages. Sam hopes to bring some of these ideas and new flavors back to his concepts in Charleston, Savannah and Miami to reinvigorate old traditions with a new world, post pandemic.

“We can’t sit around and wait for supply to resume, we have to be at the forefront of innovation and inspiration and open people to new things”, says Mustafa.


Sam hands fig

Supplies Cut Short

To our guests and all of our supporters, first, Charleston Hospitality Group would like to thank you all for your patience, understanding and encouragement for the past year and half since all of our worlds were turned upside down. For those who may not be watching the news as frequently, supply chains and logistics have been experiencing labor and resource shortages since shutdowns and the opening of our country. This, inevitably, has caused a disruption in our daily operations across all of our restaurant brands.

Our Director of Operations, Jeff Diehl speaks on the discussion in a recent interview with Live5 News, “The supply chains that are coming down into the peninsula and all of Charleston are getting strained along the way, so less product from the manufacturer means less product that makes it to the wholesaler, less product makes it to the retailer, less product makes it to the store at an increased price, and that has to be passed on to somebody.”

In the same interview our General Manager, David McCrae from one of our restaurant brands, Eli’s Table shares his perspective on increased product pricing,“It’s hard to get everything but the things that are harder to get, mussels, scallops, and crab, the prices have gone through the roof,” He also notes “We are still getting the ingredients and we are still able to get everything , but it’s just harder and sometimes shipments won’t come up when they’re supposed to come in. It means we have to take things off the menu for a couple days until they do come in.”

Our hospitality group is not the only organization experiencing these disruptions. Many restaurants in the low-country are also feeling the stress and having to pivot their daily business operations. Here at Charleston Hospitality Group, we work daily to ensure that while there are price increases in products, we are still mindful of our consumer’s pocket and are offering quality alternatives to products that are out of our current budget.

For every threat that is presented to Sam Mustafa and Charleston Hospitality Group, Mustafa takes this time and utilizes it as an opportunity. This brought the opportunity for Mustafa to research and innovate his restaurant with new flavors. Read below on how Mustafa plans to incorporate mediterranean flare across his restaurants. You can expect that our upcoming menu innovations will encompass these new flavors from Sam’s trip to Jordan.

Bringing Mediterranean Flair to Charleston Hospitality Group

Figs, plums and grapes are all on the radar not only as Mediterranean and Middle East staples but for their many different applications when it comes to cuisine. Southerners grew up with plums but it seems that there is a rarity in finding them in the wild these days except at your local market. The Eastern Sand Plum is now on the endangered list.

Mustafa says “The sweetness of these fruits make them ideal for all sorts of applications in our concepts. Eli’s Table, Toast! All Day, they all can benefit and our chef’s LOVE to work with new inspirations and flavors.

Sam Mustafa Fig Plant
Figs have been cultivated since ancient times and are sought after for jams and toppings as well as being dried for sweet snacks.

As we innovate our menus to include these products and flavors, here is a taste of a new menu item you can expect on our dessert menu at Toast! All Day, Eli’s Table, and Queology in the fall.

Warm-Plum- Plumcot Bleeding Heart Pies
Plum pie hearts

Baked plums and plumcots are vibrantly flavored and delectably juicy. These simple small “pies” are baked without bottom crusts and topped with a sugary crust, accompanied with sweetened whipped cream.

Mustafa states,” I hope to bring this back with me as well as a sense of appreciation for what others are going through around the world. It makes me thankful to live in such a blessed country as the United States.”

Sam Mustafa is the the CEO of Charleston Hospitality Group and Toast! All Day Franchise. Named one of the nation’s 100 most influential CEOs by Nation’s Restaurant News and frequent speaker on Joe Pardavila’s Podcast on ForbesBooks Radio. Sam is one of the leading voices in the Restaurant Industry.