Head chef, Diego Solis Head chef, Diego Solis

What makes J&G Steakhouse special in comparison to its competitors in the market?

Diego Solis: The concept is based on a traditional steakhouse with a modern touch. We have gone back to basics, using traditional charcoal grill for cooking as this preserves the taste of the meat. J&G Steakhouse continues to excel and develop in its culinary offerings using the finest and freshest ingredients.

Thor De Mendoza: Since we are an American-inspired steakhouse, we have managed to create a unique dining experience for our guests but still within a relaxed atmosphere. We encourage our guests to engage in their experience, from the tableside carving of our tomahawk steak to the special selection of knives offered to guest when eating their prime meat.

How do the front-of-house and back-of-house teams support each other?

Diego Solis: In addition to the daily briefings, we regularly organise team meetings to discuss ways to improve the efficiency and innovation of the outlet and its offerings. Both teams collectively provide the overall experience to the guest so they must always be in sync.

Thor De Mendoza: Regular meetings and sound communication are key. When it’s busy, if we do not have good communication with the culinary team, then we feel it in the service. We feel we also need to support each other at all times to ensure service levels never drop.

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How do you ensure the outlet is busy and profitable?

Diego Solis: Enhancing the product and service is important especially in such a competitive dining environment. We find it crucial to listen to feedback, both the positive and negative, to ensure that we are constantly delivering the highest level of dining experiences.

Thor De Mendoza: It is essential to listen to feedback from both our guests. We ensure that both the service and culinary teams are working efficiently in terms of table turnover, food costs and service standards, etc. Professionalism, emotional intelligence, dedication and training are key.

What are the biggest business challenges you face?

Diego Solis: Operating in Dubai is probably the toughest challenge for any dining concept as the industry is over saturated. Another challenge is sourcing affordable food ingredients. Most good ingredients are hard to find and need to be sourced from abroad which increases food costs.

Thor De Mendoza: Finding qualified and loyal team members is sometimes a challenge. We need to ensure employees are trained efficiently and also have a good working environment. I also feel personalisation is important. Guest recognition is key for retaining customers.

What does the future hold for J&G Steakhouse in the region?

Diego Solis: We would like to continue to position J&G as a place where people come together for the love of meat, jazz and good service. We have a new team with lots of energy and creative ideas, so we will continue to perfect the ultimate steakhouse experience.

Thor De Mendoza: We are constantly striving to improve the experience without diluting the original concept of the venue and changing what our customers love about it. We will continue to enhance our food and wine menu so that we can appeal to even more consumers.