Paul Evans is proclaimed the Restaurateur king

Solutions Leisure founder Paul Evans has been named Caterer Middle East Awards 2015 Restaurateur of the Year

Paul Evans receiving his award from Sanjay Murthy.
Paul Evans receiving his award from Sanjay Murthy.

Paul Evans, managing director and owner of Solutions Leisure, has been crowned as Restaurateur of the Year, which is the category's second year of appearance.

The win was announced last night at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai and was presented by Figjam managing director Sanjay Murthy.

Evans was selected for the immense amount of work he has done in the last 12 months. An entrepreneur who entered the upper casual market in the bar and restaurant industry, his two current F&B endeavours, both home-grown, have seen commendable successes in the last year. Solutions Leisure also acquired Karma Kafe, which is also popular in the Middle Eastern market.

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Speaking to Caterer Middle East on the night, Evans said: "The saturated market in Dubai is the five-star sector. Nobody seems to be extremely busy looking after the normal customer. We wanted to build a concept where we made everybody feel special and everyone feel important, irrespective of the car you drive or how much money you earn – every single guest of ours is as important as the next one."

Evans revealed on the night that his firm's next project is called 'Lock, Stock and Barrel', and will be an 8000m2 site in TECOM.

He said one of the biggest challenges of a restaurateur in the current market is to "come up with something different". He added: "The market is full of some great, great concepts. We’ve always said that we’re not interested to take anyone else’s business; we want to build our own business, so what can we build that’s different to everything else?"

The Solutions Leisure owner also attributed his success to his team. Evans said: "I would also like to thank the unsung heroes of Solutions Leisure, including the operations managers – Sascha Daniel, Spencer Hartwell and Freek Teusink. I would not be here without them." 

Evans fought off tough competition from Aline Kamakian and Serge Maacaron, Anuj Nainta, Justin Galea, Shalini Gangaramani Dosaj, and Mohammed Zeitoun - with Kamakian and Maacaron highly commended for their achievements in the last year. For more information on the shortlisted candidates in this category, click here.

The Caterer Middle East Awards were held at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai on June 10, and sponsors included Figjam, TSSC, Ronai, Meat & Livestock Australia, MMI, Aramtec, Baqer Mohebi, IFFCO, Pristine Belgium; with water sponsor Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino, coffee sponsor Julius Meinl, and support sponsor Gourmet Olive Market. Photo booth sponsor was Pod You Like, with the social media wall sponsored by TintUp.

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