Whether we're talking about time-travelers with a penchant for pilfered bacon or a shadowy cabal of cheese thieves and a small fortune in stolen Parmigiano-Reggiano, it's an unfortunate reality that robberies, or the threat thereof, are something most people working in the food industry have come across at least once in their career.
Luckily, it seems as though the owner of a small kebab shop in New Zealand has found a pretty ingenious method of stopping would-be thieves in their tracks—and you best believe it involves acting blasé as fuck.
Last Saturday, a small takeout shop in Christchurch, New Zealand called Taste of Egypt was targeted by an armed robber. The store's owner, Egyptian-born Said Ahmed, was serving a customer at the time and boldly decided that he wasn't going to let the masked man have his way. Instead, Ahmed just calmly went about his business and finished making an order of chicken souvlaki while the robber stood there dumbfounded.
Yes, this owner of this kebab-store owner simply ignored a man brandishing a gun—and it worked! The would-be robber left the place empty-handed. A 23-second video of the whole episode reveals a cool-as-cucumber store owner, a wary-but-down-with-it customer, and a totally perplexed robber.
Ahmed, who has lived in New Zealand for 20 years, told the Guardian, "The man wanted to frighten me and I decided he couldn't do that." Instead, he kept preparing a large chicken souvlaki for a waiting customer. Then, he says, "I passed the customer his food because I wanted him to leave the shop and not be in any danger."
Next, Ahmed explains, "I turned my back on the robber and walked to the kitchen to call the police. I told myself, 'If he shoots me at least my body will be further away, and the gunshot won't be as serious as shooting me at close range in my heart or my head.'"
The kebab-store owner says that his experiences living in both Egypt and New Zealand informed his behavior. About armed violence, Ahmed says, "In Egypt it happens every day but in New Zealand I am calm because it is a safe country."
Ahmed's 19-year-old daughter, Yasmin, says that her father's cool-under-pressure actions didn't surprise her, and they certainly did the trick: "You can see the robber was appalled by the reaction, that he got no response even though he had a gun. His only choice was to leave."
Although Ahmed now admits to being scared while the whole episode was playing out, he wasn't going to show that fear to the robber: "The robber was very confused by my behaviour. He wanted to scare me but I [looked as though I] wasn't scared, so I took away his power."
Is that all it takes? Robbers of the world, take note. We now have a secret weapon against you, all thanks to a kebab owner in New Zealand.