AHIC 2014: F&B to take centre stage at Madinat Jumeirah

AHIC 2014: F&B to take centre stage at Madinat Jumeirah

Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2014, held at Madinat Jumeirah, will be looking at solutions to fill in the gaps in the hotel food and beverage market in the region.

As the Middle East is becoming the global benchmark for hotel food and beverage, AHIC this year has dedicated a special panel session titled: ‘The evolution of hotel food and beverage in the region – where to next?’.

The panel will discuss what value are hotel operators adding, how are they competing and where is it now headed.

The session will also look at where owners need to invest to ensure they are able to compete, and what impact can food and beverage have on ADR and RevPAR.

The Session will be moderated by Mary Gostelow, editor, Gostelow Report, who will be in conversation with Henning Fries, managing director of hospitality in Al Habtoor Group, Gert Kopera, senior vice president food and beverage, Jumeirah Group, and Bob Puccini, founder of Puccini Group.

Fries said: “Some might argue that for the most part, in the US and Europe, hotels are no longer considered dining destinations and have long been displaced by independent restaurants/venues.

“Especially in the ME and Asia, owners and operators alike are increasingly focused on maintaining and growing turnover from food and beverage related activities, while at the same time, boosting the reputation and footfall to their hotels.”

He added: “In many instances, hotels are launched through their food and beverage offerings in the local market first, which then leads to the rooms’ uptake.

“From an owners’ perspective, choosing the operator will more and more be determined by which food and beverage competencies and access to restaurant brands the management company can bring to the table and thus enhance owners return.”

According to STR Global, Hotel Research Company, the food and beverage revenues have roughly grown in relation to the room performance across the markets that are not affected by localised problems.

Total food and beverage accounts for approximately 37 per cent of revenue across the Middle East, which is pretty much the highest worldwide and it is growing by five-to-ten per cent each year.

Puccini commented: “With the ever-growing number of millennial and affluent global travellers, Dubai’s hotel restaurants, with their eclectic makeup of patrons, have the opportunity to win with regards to ROI if conceived correctly.

“In order for a restaurant to work in Dubai, everything from the concept, to the design, to the operations and to the branding have to tell the same story, the same message, through a cohesive and convincing framework that ultimately fulfils an emotion.”

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The event comes at an exciting time for Dubai, with both World Travel Awards and Arabian Travel Market joining AHIC in welcoming industry leaders to the Emirate over the next few days.