New food and beverage concepts must focus on bringing value for money in the over-saturated market, according to CEO of a new hospitality business.
Youssef El Habbal, CEO of Serenity Hospitality, Abu Dhabi, says the key to success for new food concepts in the UAE is understanding the gaps in the market as well as what matters to modern customers, such as value for money and innovation in preparation, layout, service and convenience.
According to the CEO, new F&B concepts arriving in the UAE should move away from fine dining and instead pursue the fast-casual segment.
“Many F&B operators will have to reconsider their business models, cost structures and strategies if they want to stay relevant and continue to achieve success as the market has changed so much,” El Habbal said.
“Some of the new home-grown concepts that have cropped up in the recent years have benefited from tailoring their product to the new market and they are therefore gaining popularity. All brands including successful international chains planning to venture into the region must tweak their concepts to fit with this market if they wish to achieve success.”
Serenity Hospitality also launched Meshwari in 2017, a Middle Eastern eatery after recognising that consumers are seeking fast, casual and value for money dining options.
They recently launched their fourth outlet at the Al Bahar beachfront on the Abu Dhabi corniche and expect to open more branches across the country by the end of 2018.
Mr El Habbal added: “With Meshwari we wanted to bring shawarma, the iconic street food of the region, to the global audience in a hygienic and elegant setting and yet offer affordable pricing. We meticulously researched and refined traditional recipes and use locally sourced ingredients for preparation.”
Serenity Hospitality has also recently partnered with an international barbecue chain to bring their Texas-style smoked meat restaurants to the Middle East starting with the UAE.
“We plan to develop and innovative home-grown concepts and bring in leading international franchises to the region in the coming years,” Youssef said.