Comment: How the right choice in equipment can help you improve ROI

Gabriel Estrella Talentti, director Middle East & Africa, Alto Shaam talks about making profits from F&B investments

Opinion, Comment & analysis

New restaurants are popping up across the region as the Middle East continues to be an attractive market for investors in the food and beverage industry; from fast food to casual to fine dining restaurants, they all compete for a share of the market as it continues to grow.

This brings us to the main question from investors: How do we make it profitable in a sea of restaurants out there? The answer, most of the times, leads to the investment going into the areas that end-users can see. But, how about that room at the back where the key piece to your success truly lies?

I can tell you as a former chef, we are seldom involved from the kitchen design stage. We usually get what the purchasing department of those venues have seen fit to buy for us; an oven, a microwave, a cooking range, pans, and pots; always choosing the cheapest one on the list. While the restaurant owner provides us with a 100 item menu list and the wish of speedy service.

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This is why the right choice of equipment from design stage can make a whole lot of difference and buying cheap today is just an unnecessary incremental cost that can be averted.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Unmatched distribution of priorities. Do not get me wrong, the design of restaurants does play an important role in the success of a venue as it tells the customers from the moment they step in of what is there to be expected. However, there needs to be a major consideration on the other parts of the equation, drinks selection and quality, menu offering, service delivery, quality of products and equipment. Because if that does not match the looks of the place it can be a major flop.

HOW TO PREVENT THIS?

With such a variety of equipment available and all suppliers promoting their products as “the best in the market” at “unbelievable prices” the only thing we can ask investors and restaurateurs to do is their homework and identify their needs in terms of menu items, service timing, chef requirements, etc.; also reminding that cheap does not necessarily means saving money. There is an old saying which goes; “buying cheap, means buying expensive” and for years I’ve seen operators buy cheap today, only to replace the same piece of equipment 6 months down the line, or having said equipment out of commission for long periods at a time.

Consumers, companies, suppliers etc. all have a common goal, and that is to reduce cost and increase ROI. This is why making a decision on equipment that offers that support on ground such as equipment trial before purchase, food tasting before opening, 24/7 technical support, training for kitchen staff, just to name a few, are important to consider when selecting the right equipment for your operation.

Gabriel Estrella Talentti, director Middle East & Africa, Alto Shaam, Inc. For more information: E: gabriele@alto-shaam.com T: +971 (4) 321 9712 W: www.alto-shaam.com

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