Competition drives regional F&B offer

The mushrooming of new F&B concepts in hotels across the Middle East is driving operators to greater heights.

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but for F&B directors and outlet managers across the region competition is proving to be the mother of motivation towards bigger and better offering.

According to Radisson SAS Hotel Muscat F&B manager Tim Van Veen, the effect of increased competition has been increased quality.

The current mushrooming of hotels in Oman will have a fantastic effect on the F&B offerings here, as visitors and residents can now choose from a multitude of cuisines and concepts,� he explained.

With the opening of both stand-alone and hotel outlets, prices for raw materials have risen dramatically and it has become a challenge to keep prices competitive. However these new openings encourage new suppliers to set up offices in Oman, thus hopefully driving down prices again. Ultimately, hotels are being challenged to keep their F&B offerings fresh and exciting.

Grand Hyatt Dubai executive chef Josef Miklavc agreed.

The increasing competition will take culinary offerings in the Middle East to the next level, he said.

Standards will get better; restaurants will have to offer excellent food and service as well as real USPs to compete successfully with other outlets.

Essentially it's about the whole dining experience and not just an extraordinary restaurant design. For sure, guests want to have a special ambience and, in general, extraordinary outlets are something that guests talk about. But, at the end of the day it comes down to good food and excellent service. Even the greatest ambience and design will not help if the food is bad.

New openings are also forcing industry leaders to come up with creative solutions, according to Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel Residence and Spa Bahrain director of F&B Igor Ruge.

The positive effect of new hotels opening up in Bahrain is that better quality and greater variety is being offered, along with higher service and hygiene standards,  he explained.

The side-effects are higher prices for raw ingredients, increased employee turnover and shortage in supply. But this means promotions are more innovative and attractive and we are all required to ˜think out of the box in all aspects.

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