Aiman Joudeh, managing director, Quality Kitchen on how to build the perfect, stress-free kitchen
Tell us a little bit about Quality Kitchen.
In October 2010, a few dedicated and experienced professionals teamed up and took the challenge to pioneer a project-oriented company, Quality Kitchen Equipment Trading LLC. Since then, having proved its excellence and flexibility, utilising the best strategy to deliver defect free kitchens to its clients, Quality Kitchen has executed numerous hotel projects in the UAE, GCC countries and African Region. We also have branches in Jordan & Qatar.
What services do you offer your clients?
Quality kitchen deals in supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of commercial kitchen, refrigeration, and laundry equipment to all sizes of hotel projects, hospitals, central kitchens, inflight kitchens, restaurants, and private villas.
We offer in-house specialist designing services, efficient engineering methodology, logistical and resources mobilisation expertise, project management, implementation skills and finally, relationships with our US, UK, German, and other major European strategic partners, to put forth proposals and deliver completed kitchens that surpass the strongest requirements of internationally acclaimed kitchen consultants and clients. Furthermore, we offer 24/7 aftersales maintenance services, during the defects liability period and thereafter annual maintenance contracts.
Explain your involvement in kitchen contracting from start to finish.
Quality Kitchen comes onboard from the onset of construction. Hence, we attend project coordination meetings with other trades, to closely monitor every aspect of the construction stage and provide utility drawings, to ensure that all the services like, power, water, compressed air, chilled water, drainage, and plumbing required are suitably provided at the project site. Upon availability of the Mechanical, electrical and plumbing services in the relevant kitchen areas, we proceed for delivery, installation, testing, and commissioning of the supplied equipment, provide training to the staff to operate installed equipment and then hand-over the kitchens to operators.
How long does the whole process take?
The project execution period solely depends on the type of project, which could span over a period of approximately three or four months for restaurants and private villas to a year or two for hotels, hospitals, central kitchens, and international inflight kitchens.
Your thoughts on the F&B market in the UAE?
Tourism has always been the central pillar of Dubai’s economic growth and diversification. The securing of the Expo 2020 has catapulted the economic progress of the hospitality industry in the UAE, especially Dubai, hence the F&B market in the UAE is on the rise and the Expo 2020 will further increase the footfalls thereafter.
What trends have you seen in kitchen conceptualisation?
During kitchen design conceptualisation, kitchen consultants emphasise on open kitchen styles or live cooking in front of the guests. Consequently, there is an artistic confluence of the font of house and dining areas to enhance the experience for guests.
Central laundries have been replaced by small Valet Laundries, catering to staff uniforms only, while guest laundry services are outsourced and no longer an extensive part of conceptual designs. Well-equipped bakeries too, have been replaced by a smattering of bakery equipment, at the conceptual stage.
What are some of the challenges in this business?
Project financing is one of the major challenges in our business, given the nature, size and gestation period of turn-key projects. Apart from that, the sluggish payment recovery process also causes disruptive fluctuations in the cash flow situation, during project executions. Bridging the gap between in-flow and out-flow of finances, challenges the stability of all companies in the F&B industry and has to be seriously addressed, to ensure constant growth in this business.
Apart from that, the current trend of intensive value engineering existing in the hospitality industry is proving detrimental to the kitchen concept, which results in denigrating the dining experience at 5-star hotels.
What should operators keep in mind when thinking kitchen equipment, before launching their idea?
Availability of adequate and steady flow of project financing available with developers & clients should be intensely explored and secured, prior to mobilising the hotel construction plans from the drawing board to ground reality. This is to avoid intermittent slowing down of the project execution or projects going on hold due to insufficient financial resources.
What clients do you currently work with?
We work with Dubai International Real Estate (DIRE), Wasl Properties, Emaar Hospitality, Al Habtoor Group, Al Futtaim, Emirates Flight Catering, and Dubai Parks & Resorts,to name a few.
Tell us about the laundry services Quality Kitchen offers.
Hotel projects awarded to Quality Kitchen comprise of both packages, kitchen equipment and laundry equipment. Hence, the laundry side of our business is executed in conjunction with our kitchen equipment package and also follows the same modus operandi.
Apart from the equipment itself, what after installation services do you offer your clients?
Prompt and efficient after-sales maintenance services are a key factor in building loyalty and good clientele base. Quality Kitchen has incepted a maintenance company, offering complete 24/7 maintenance solutions for a trouble-free kitchen. Our team of experts have participated in several training workshops, organised by our strategic partners.