Increasing competition in Dubai’s restaurant scene is a good thing, a group of standalone restaurant managers have agreed at a recent Caterer roundtable, especially when in destination areas like Dubai International Financial Centre and Dubai Festival City.
Antoinette Breedt, restaurant manager at The Gramercy, said: “To have international brands and chains coming into DIFC, we welcome that. Brands like Gaucho are internationally well known and people come for that, and therefore it brings more people to DIFC.
“DIFC is not by the marina or like a place where you go out socially, so we don’t have that luxury – we rely on whatever goes on in the building so if there is a well known brand coming over, it benefits us.”
Luis Campos, restaurant manager at Jamie’s Italian Dubai Festival City agreed that it is the same case in Dubai Festival City, where Hard Rock Café has just opened and a new Trader Vic’s will open in June.
“I suppose we can say the same for us too,” he said. “Here in Dubai Festival City it’s mostly a shopping attraction, so people are interested in shopping and bringing their families. Lately Hard Rock has opened, and it’s definitely a good thing for us. People are looking for hospitality and a place to rest after shopping.
Dee Kyriacoudes, general manager at Rivington Grill who finds it easier attracting custom in the restauran’t busy location overlooking the Dubai Fountains, was also in agreement: “Most people don’t go to the same restaurant every day,” she said. “In fact, you will find few clientele do, but they like variety as well – we all try and do something that [the competition] lacks. It creates a fantastic balance within the catering industry. The more brands there are, the more opportunities for the the clientele to enjoy different types of cuisine – it helps you.”