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Selim Varol: A gastro career-changer with a weakness for urban art

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Next Article Chefs of the Decade

Street art meets street food: Since 2013, What’s Beef has been conquering the hearts of urban burger lovers across Germany. Selim Varol imports American big-city atmosphere to the country, combining it with the best ingredients from around the region. His recipe for success: sustainability, design, quality. The result: great burgers, fries, and shakes in a unique urban setting.

Varol’s burger empire has grown to four restaurants so far, and he has more locations in the works. Although running restaurants is a totally new career path for him, he’s already got a keen eye for trends: What’s Beef has vegan-meat options and its own line of merchandise, and it boasts 43,6k Instagram followers. Varol was born in Turkey, and now feels at home in New York, Izmir, Istanbul, and Dusseldorf. He considers street art part of food culture: “The whole experience at What’s Beef is like a little trip to New York. So when you come eat a burger here, it’s like booking a short trip to New York – a really cheap one,” he jokes. He told us about what it’s like starting out in the restaurant industry as a newcomer, and why it’s important not to give up in the face of setbacks.

Interior of the What’s Beef Burger restaurant

What’s Beef Restaurant / Image: What’s Beef Restaurant

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