AGENDA: The Big F&B Forum

by Mahak Mannan | Published 1 year ago

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BNC Publishing’s annual event, the Big F&B Forum is set to take place at Hilton Dubai, Al Habtoor City on 14 November 2018 and is expected to bring together the biggest names in the food and beverage sector to debate and discuss the trends, challenges, and future of the industry.



8.00: Registration & networking

8.45:  Welcome address: Hotel & Catering News Middle East

8.50: Keynote address: Du

9.00: Panel: Discounts, the good, the bad, and the ugly of it.

This panel will discuss both the benefits and drawbacks of discounts, happy hours, and ladies night offers in the industry. From the ones who run it, we want to hear how it has benefitted them and why they continue to go into the market with discounts and from the ones who have done away with theme nights, we want to know their thoughts behind the decision.

  • Giacomo Puntel, director of F&B, Anantara The Palm
  • Abdul Kader Sadi, managing director, Glee Hospitality
  • Moiza Saeed, regional director, Zomato Gold business
  • Farah Sawaf, managing director, Soul Communications
  • Chris Shaw, general manager, The Entertainer

9.50: Address from Platinum Sponsor: Boecker

10.00: Panel 2: Datanalysis, are we making use of consumer data?

Data. Everybody wants it, but few know how to make the best use of it. Are restaurants in the Middle East doing enough to gather customer data and use it to their benefit? Is there room for personalised service with such information? This panel will also look at how the delivery services in the region make best use of such data and whether venues can benefit from their expertise in this field.

  • John Buenaventura, founder, Cusinero Uno
  • Ziad Kamel, co-founder and director, Couqley French Bistro
  • Raki Phillips, co-Founder and CEO, SugarMoo Desserts
  • Mirzo Hafizof, managing director, Bulldozer Group 

10.50: Coffee Break

11.10: Panel 3: Farm to table, the challenges in sourcing.

It is not difficult to find supplies in this region, however, is the lack of regional produce taking a toll on costs in the industry? This panel will explore the topic of sustainable produce, and its presence in the Middle East. They will also look at what challenges do suppliers face when dealing with customers and the flip side of that conversation.

  • Ben Tobitt, group executive chef, Jumeirah Restaurant Group
  • Belal Kattan, executive chef, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Media City
  • Cesar Bartolini, chef de cuisine, Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay
  • Luca Gagliardi, general manager, Pierchic
  • Joanne Cook, managing director, SIAL Middle East

12.00: Panel 4: Finding the right balance: What more can be done to bring a correction in the food and beverage industry.

The current F&B market is far from having the right balance, with an oversupply heavily prevalent in the market. This panel will explore what businesses and the government can collectively do to bring that balance. Topics to touch on include the rising rental cost, ease of visa permit and part-time employment, and putting a cap on new venue openings among many more.

  • Naim Maadad, Chief executive and founder, Gates Hospitality
  • Samer Hamadeh, founder, Aegis Hospitality
  • Sajan Alex, vice president, Tablez Food Company, Restaurant Division
  • Duncan Fraser Smith, director of global F&B, The First Group
  • Karan Singh Purohit, director of operations, MP creative restaurants 

1.00: Lunch and networking

If you haven’t registered yet, you may do so via this link


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