BIG F&B FORUM: AGENDA
8.00: Registration & networking
8.30: Welcome address from Catering News Middle East
8.35: Keynote address: The value of F&B to Dubai’s tourism offer
Aida Al Busaidy, Senior Manager, Communications – Dubai Tourism
9.00: Expert session: What would a smoking ban mean for the UAE’s bars and restaurants?
Dr.Basem Abdul Moneim, Public Health Specialist, National Tobacco Control Programme, United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health & Prevention
9.20: Panel discussion one: Creating a more sophisticated F&B landscape
Oversaturation has resulted in an absence of loyalty, staff poaching, and regular closures, hindering the overall development of the F&B landscape in the region. However, with the recent emergence of more homegrown, neighbourhood eateries, complemented by the creation of local communities such as The Beach at JBR, City Walk, Dubai Water Canal and Dubai Design District, can we see a more sophisticated market modelled on New York and London beginning to develop?
Akshay Dosaj, managing director, Purple Honey Group
Naim Maadad, CEO, Gates Hospitality
Daniel During, principal & managing director, Thomas Klein International
Ursula Winzel, CEO, Balcony8
Andrew Morrow, GM – F&B development and operations, Ròya International
10.00: Expert Session: Hotel restaurants: a mindset for maximising profitability
Damien Rizzi, Colliers MENA senior asset manager- hospitality
10.20: Coffee break
10.45: Panel discussion two: A rising talent pool: but at what cost?
Service staff wages in the Middle East have rocketed as operators look to snare the talent they need to offer an increasingly sophisticated consumer base the world-class service they demand. However, returns are suffering as operators struggle to balance high payroll costs with the value-for-money culture emerging in the region. And with labour laws less restrictive than ever, staff are moving around more freely, meaning recruitment and training fees are being forfeited, along with the best talent. How can operators offer consumers value for money and top-class service while balancing payroll costs?
Sacha Daniel, operations director, Solutions Leisure
Assia Riccio-Smith MIH, Founder, Evolvin’ Women
Markus Thesleff, co-founder of Whissle Group
Nicholas Couvaras, managing director, Kroma
Lynne Bellinger, managing director, Purple Hospitality
11.25: Expert session: Consumer behaviour trends and dining decisions
Ali Sinaei, managing partner, RoundMenu
11.40: Panel discussion three: The trends shaping the UAE’s F&B landscape
With new restaurants entering the market every month, diners are continually seeking those that stand out from the crowd. This might be the latest emerging cuisine trend, like Japanese Izakaya, Jamaican or Turkish, or quirky dining formats, such as sharing, street food or chef-driven fast-casual concepts. And as UAE consumers become increasingly interested in provenance, sustainability and healthy eating, chefs are paying closer attention to ethical sourcing, waste reduction, and improving the nutritional value of their menus. What are the next cuisine trends and how can chefs keep up with increasingly discerning consumers?
Tomas Reger, personal chef and food consultant, Food for Thought restaurant consultancy
Colin Clague, executive chef, Rüya Dubai
Gabrielle Kurz, executive wellbeing chef, Talise Nutrition, Jumeirah Group
Henrik Baecklund, bar manager, La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie
Mark Patten, senior vice president, food & beverage, Atlantis The Palm
Scott Price, chef patron, Nick & Scott F&B Design & Development
12.20: In conversation with: Gary Rhodes
12.50: Lunch and interactive workshops
2.30: Close of forum