Shawarma Press® Wins Gold Stevie® Award for Entrepreneur of the Year in Food and Beverage at the 2024 American Business Awards®

First Authentic Shawarma Franchise Celebrates Seven-Year Anniversary with Accolades

IRVING, Texas, June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Shawarma Press, the first authentic Shawarma franchise in the U.S., was the recipient of the Gold Stevie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year in Food and Beverage. Shawarma Press CEO and co-founder Sawsan Abublan was honored at a ceremony hosted by the American Business Awards recently at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Food and Beverage Category follows last year’s selection of Shawarma Press as a Silver Stevie Award winner for achievement in the Diversity and Inclusion category, and Sawsan’s recognition with a Gold Stevie as Woman of the Year in the Franchising category.

“We are humbled to receive this award because we have worked very hard along with our franchisees and employees to be a leader in the Food and Beverage industry,” said Sawsan Abublan. “We’d like to thank the judges for recognizing our efforts to make our mission and core values the hallmarks of our business.”

Judges had high praise for Abublan’s achievements since launching the first Shawarma Press location in 2017. One judge noted “Her accomplishments demonstrate exemplary entrepreneurship, marked by strategic expansion, community involvement, and recognition through various awards. Her leadership in establishing Shawarma Press as the first authentic Shawarma franchise in the U.S., expanding across multiple states and ensuring quality through a dedicated commissary showcase her vision and commitment.”

More than 300 professionals worldwide participated in an extensive three-month judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners. Nearly 4,000 nominations from organizations of all sizes were submitted for consideration in a broad range of categories, including Startup of the Year, Thought Leader of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, App of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Gold Stevie Award for Shawarma Press comes on the heels of celebrating its seventh anniversary. The company hosted a special event at the restaurant’s headquarters in Irving Texas, where all employees were celebrated and received recognition awards and gift cards based on the number of years of employment at Shawarma Press. Plaques, trophies, and medals had each employee name and number of years of employment engraved on golden plates, and each gift bag included a gift card with variable amounts. “I wanted to recognize everyone on the team, those who have been with us for 7 years and those who just started, everyone deserves recognition for their hard work,” Abublan said.

Several of the restaurant’s top customers also received gift certificates for a free deluxe party platter from the Shawarma Press catering menu as a token of appreciation for their love of the brand.

“It’s a very exciting time for us now,” noted Abublan. “In addition to receiving the Gold Stevie Award, we felt it was important to show appreciation for our employees with our seven-year anniversary celebration. “We are looking forward to continued success and expansion in the coming years.”


Since opening its first restaurant in Irving, Texas, in 2017, award-winning Shawarma Press is the nation’s first authentic Shawarma franchise. The brand is rapidly expanding with multiple locations in Texas, including several operating in Walmart stores in Plano, San Antonio, Georgetown, Arlington, and a flagship location in downtown Dallas. The brand recently announced expansion in Georgia, opening its first franchise location near Atlanta in Johns Creek. Co-founders Sawsan Abublan and Ehap Sabri, Ph.D., were the recipients of Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers award as well as the Innovation Award presented by Franchise Update Media for the Most Innovative Supply Chain. The company stands true to its core values of Social Responsibility, Integrity, Trustworthiness, and Excellence and has donated more than 20,000 meals to homeless shelters and non-profit organizations. Shawarma Press plans to open as many as 50 locations throughout the country in the next five years. For information about franchising, visit


Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

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SOURCE Shawarma Press