Food truck trend provides easier route to market

Roundup by 54 East, which provides support to food truck concepts, at Caterer Conference

Around 150 F&B professionals gathered at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai for the Caterer Food & Business Conference.
Around 150 F&B professionals gathered at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai for the Caterer Food & Business Conference.

54º East founder and CEO Rafia Al Mulla said the nascent UAE food truck business allows entrepreneurs to have a shot at a higher revenue in a tough market.

Speaking at the Caterer Middle East Food & Business Conference at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai on March 3, 2015, Al Mulla said: "As a business, everyone is aware of the current standing in the market, where if you want a location, it’s the most hardest thing to find."


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She continued: "If you have a local brand you will almost always never get a good location. The food truck business fixes those problems; it gives you the opportunity to have a fair shot at a higher revenue, and removes all the limitations and complications."

Al Mulla pointed out that while the UAE's F&B sector faces the challenge of some of the highest rents in the world, there are opportunities out there for restaurateurs.

"At the same time, [it is] allowing you to take advantage of the second highest performing F&B economy in the world. UAE is next to the UK in this," she added.

Al Mulla launched her frozen yogurt store concept in the MENA region in 2008, which developed to 22 units in 18 months. in locations such as Atlantis, Burjuman and Dubai Festival City. Her latest project includes Roundup by 54º East, which is a food truck division and association-approved project by Tejar Dubai Programme, Dubai Chambers.

She also referred back to a recent case study in the US where Grilled Cheese Truck Inc.,started trading on the stock market and closed at US $100 million, and said this is only the start for the regional food truck industry.

Caterer Middle East extensively covered the trend of food trucks in the February 2015 issue of the magazine.

The Caterer Middle East Food & Business Conference 2015's platinum sponsor was du, with exhibitor sponsors including UKR, Pulsar Foodstuff and American Garden.

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