Hotelier Express Oct 2015 Supplier: Horeca Trade

October 2015's supplier of the month explains its cost-effective options for mid-range hotels

Marketing and supplier manager, Soula Baroudi is an industry veteran having been with Horeca Trade for nearly 10 years. From Lebanon, she moved to the UAE to join the company.
Marketing and supplier manager, Soula Baroudi is an industry veteran having been with Horeca Trade for nearly 10 years. From Lebanon, she moved to the UAE to join the company.

Which products is Horeca Trade targeting at the mid-range hotel market?

Horeca Trade carries more than 1,000 product SKUs, across 20 categories varying from beef, lamb, seafood, dairy, pastry, water, juice and non-food.

Within mid-range hotels, F&B provision may be ‘on the go’ concepts, such as a coffee shop, rather than a full service restaurant. For that, we offer many brands, such as Sweet Street’s frozen cake range, which is pre-cut and ready to serve. In addition, we offer Pacific West products, LambWeston, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, which are all a great fit for ‘on the go’ food service concepts.

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What are the challenges of supplying the fragmented mid-range hotel market?

Supplying a fragmented market could be a challenge for any distributor; however, Horeca [is] built to defy these challenges. We have a strong multi-temp fleet, fully monitored for temperature and location via GPS tracking.

In addition, we have a dedicated sub-distribution channel ‘Horeca Express’ targeting the lower segment of the food services market. Horeca Express is a cash-based operation targeting customers with limited storage space. With both Horeca Operations and Horeca Express we provide the best customer service.

What are customers in the mid-market after? Is it all about price, or are customers demanding quality?

Quality is always the main factor that any company looks for; however, operators always challenge suppliers to get the same or better quality products or services for a cheaper price. Here the supplier has to be able to negotiate, without compromising on quality, or go the extra mile in offering other services that could save operational cost for the operator, while maintaining profit margins.

The mid-range market is not overly dependent on high numbers of staff. In this segment, operators are looking for suppliers like Horeca that can provide training for staff, continuous support, a loyalty programme, in addition to a product portfolio that requires minimum resources – whether that’s staff, cooks, storage, preparation – and help its limited staff to focus on competitiveness and service levels appropriate to the facility.

How has the arrival of the international mid-range hotel brands changed the market landscape in the Middle East?

The presence of international brands is always a positive thing; this not only elevates the benchmark and makes the local, independent mid-market hotels raise their game. It also helps differentiate UAE as a cosmopolitan country, even in the mid-range market.

It is worth mentioning that [Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing] launched incentives for developers of three and four star hotels, including waiving Dubai Municipality’s 1% zoning fee and offering a two-year waiver on municipal fees, if the hotel opens before 2017. These incentives are vital in promoting the local, independent hotel market.

How is Horeca working with food producers to improve the supply of local goods?

Balade Farms is a local supplier for dairy products, such as labneh and halloumi cheese inspired by authentic Lebanese dairy produce. We always welcome any opportunity to work with local suppliers if the range, the quality, and the philosophy are synergetic. We also source several products (such as mayonnaise) from the local market which we have under our own private label “Chefmate”.

Supplier: Soula Baroudi
Profile: Marketing and supplier manager, Soula Baroudi is an industry veteran having been with Horeca Trade for nearly 10 years. From Lebanon, she moved to the UAE to join the company.

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