Ritika Sharma / Emirates Business
From slashing your dining bills according to the temperature on that particular day; discounts based on stock market plunges to molecular gastronomy adding nitrogen to your food and brunching with dolfins underwater, UAE hotels are exploring innovative food and beverage (F&B) concepts to stay atop and fight the mounting competition in the industry.
While some are offering a fresh choice of vegetables from urban gardens, others are keen on educating diners on the types of caviars. All this and more is being done to offer distinctive and innovative concepts on the platter to keep the business going.
As the number of F&B outlets is expected to exceed the 1,600-mark by 2019 in the Emirates, it is interesting how the industry is putting more of creativity into offers, going beyond the traditional discounts.
Frederico Mantoani the general manager of Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, Sadiyat Island agrees with the fact that people today look for things beyond discounts.
Mantoani told Emirates Business, “People aren’t only looking for great deals when dining out; they are also looking for a one-of-a-kind and memorable experience. At Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, we are constantly recreating how guests experience dining.”
“From teaching guests about cheese pairing to learning about the different types of Caviar, we are on a mission to educate the community on the finest foods and drinks from all over the world, while bringing unique and impressive events to the capital,” he added.
Trisand Dubai, which is offers unique molecular gastronomy based servings, is one the examples of the many global innovative F&B concepts coming to the UAE.
Bhupender Nath, Founder & CEO of Passion F&B, the management behind Tresind Dubai, told Emirates Business, “I believe the most important thing for every F&B chain to remember is to be in tune with what guests want and keep reinventing and renovating according to that. Complimentary items and discounts work to a certain extent, but what makes guest keep coming back is what new and innovative you are offering them every time they come. For this a restaurant should focus a lot on R&D and come up with innovative delicacies on a regular basis.”
Where more temperature lessens eating out bills:
Have you ever thought what rising mercury can do to your eating style and habits? It does change the preferences for example, if it’s cold, you long for warmer meals while soaring temperatures might lure you to eat more icy stuff.
But what if temperature controls the bills you pay after dining out – sounds strange? Visit Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi to surprise yourself and find it true.
“We were planning our offers and we though simple discounts are an overdone stuff. The idea of temperature control just clicked as it is innovative and quite unheard of. Even if it does not earn us revenue in real time, it does work to attract attention of people to the creativity we can offer in our hotel,” Desmond Hatton, general manager of Dusit Thani told Emirates Business.
The Capital Grill, the steakhouse of the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, has introduced a promotion called ‘Temperature Counts’ where diners receive a discount based on the maximum temperature of the day. For instance, if the maximum temperature on the day is 28° C, guests will enjoy a discount of 28 percent off their main course, with no limit on the number of diners per visit. The hotel will adhere to the seven-day maximum temperature forecast.
What more, the idea seems to have created ripples across the F&B industry not just in UAE but worldwide.
“Since the time we came up with this idea, we have seen a dramatic response across the social media. In just a week’s time had over 250 retweets. This concept has been covered by one of the popular travel agencies in Saudi Arabia. This agency has more than 100,000 followers and this has created a huge awareness about Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi indirectly,” he added.
And the competition mounts
As the race gets tougher to remain unique and to offer the most innovative and creative of F&B concepts within the industry, experts feels the UAE hotels are going through ‘an innovation revolution’.
Commenting upon the competition in the hotel industry, Group CEO, Capital Group, Umang Suri shared with Emirates Busniess, “These are exciting times for the hotel industry. We are going through an innovation revolution in terms of designing special service experiences to enhance the pull- factor and establish a special niche in the market. We are happy that we have been a cut above the rest in providing excellent customer experience and are proud recipients of the Superbrand status 2016.”
The experience of serving food is not just about the varied dishes on the menu. It is about offering the particular specialties and demonstrating uniqueness. The Café in a hotel’s lobby is no longer just a comfortable seating to drink coffee. It is a unique experience that should draw in the client.
“Earlier the crowd was mainly tourists and business corporate professionals that stayed in the hotel but now with the outdoor visibility brands like Jamaica Blue these hotels attract traffic from anyone and everyone that is passing by. The Outdoor support which a brand like ours enjoys has become a major draw factor in addition to the ‘Superbrand’ status, we have recently been awarded,” said Suri.
The inevitable fame of authentic
A country with over 80 percent of expat population, UAE is the perfect place for any authentic cuisine to flourish. It brings a local cuisine to an international platform and there cannot be a catchier F&B concept than this.
On the same lines, Vicky Sethi, managing director of King Group Hospitality, the parent company that runs Kulcha King said, “Our USP is that we are the only restaurant in the UAE who serve authentic Amritsari cuisine and are known for our Kulchas. We are one of the most accessible hotels, with branches spanning across the length and breadth of UAE.”
“We have been very aggressive in our promotion and can proudly state that we are one among the few restaurants who has made a rapid expansion from one to 11 outlets in a span of five years. We pay equal attention to the quality of food we serve. We take special efforts to serve authentic Amritsari cuisine and have included special dishes like Mutton para champ which is not served anywhere else in the region.”