The Big Food & Beverage Forum 2019: Panellists announced

by Dina Maaty | Published 1 year ago

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BNC Publishing and Hotel & Catering News Middle East’s The Big Food & Beverage Forum 2019 will take place on Monday, November 18 at Sofitel Dubai The Palm.

From founders and CEOs, to F&B managers, key players, professionals and general managers, the biggest names in the industry come together every year at the Forum to engage in game-changing discussions and network.

Attendees will share their expert analyses on the F&B, tourism and hospitality sectors. Join 160+ professionals at the event this year, where Hotel & Catering News Middle East will be partnering with some of the biggest names in the UAE, region and globally.

Industry and thought leaders were selected to participate in the forum’s panel discussions, bringing insights, trends and developments to the engaging F&B platform.

*Important: More panellists due to be added, please check this page for updates.

9:00 AM: Panel 1 – Going out or staying in? The balance between restaurant experiences and delivery services in the market

  • Yousef Al-Barqawi, regional manager, Deliveroo Editions – EMEA
  • Naim Maadad, chief executive and founder, Gates Hospitality
  • Sudqi Naddaf, executive chef, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates
  • Spero Panagakis, co-owner, BB Social Dining
  • Danny Planter, founder, D&T Group

Despite the costs of maintaining delivery vehicles and allocating the right talent, global reports have revealed that mobile app delivery platforms are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27.9% — to $16.6 billion — by 2023, a jump from $3.79 billion in 2017.

The main drivers of this growth include high internet penetration, higher standards of living in developing countries and an increase in mobile phone usage. While offering convenient experiences to consumers, a number of restaurateurs and industry professionals are debating whether delivery has affected in-restaurant dining experiences, and if the two can co-exist in harmony.

In this panel, attendees will discuss the creativity behind reinventing and rebranding dining experiences, convenience versus quality, rising demand for discounts and deals, shifting consumer patterns and more.

10 AM: Panel 2 – The right people: Attracting, and retaining, the right talent in the regional F&B landscape

  • Lynne Bellinger, director of Food & Beverage Development, Marriott International Middle East & Africa
  • Kelly Anne Luker, head of HR, The ENTERTAINER
  • Reif Othman, chef and founder, REIF Japanese Kushiyaki
  • Piers Burton, owner/executive director, Eagles Spearing Consulting
  • Russell Scott, vice president, Food & Beverage, Luxury Brands, Accor Middle East
  • Minella Tayade, HR manager, Glee Hospitality Solutions

One of the biggest challenges facing industry professionals in the region is finding the right talent, and offering a combination of work-life balance, compensation and working conditions that is lucrative enough to make employees want to stay.

In addition to industry trends, which have a direct impact on employment patterns, business owners and hiring managers constantly face the need to adapt to ever-changing markets – so how can a winning human capital formula be achieved?

Panellists will discuss top strategies for employee engagement and retention, development and training programmes, head-hunting tactics, the possible shortage of qualified candidates and – an important topic – female leadership in hospitality.

11:10 AM: Panel 3 – The perfect match: How suppliers can help make F&B operations a success

  • Wael Al Jamil, CCO, Bidfood
  • Kyra Bommelje, director of food & beverage, JA The Resort
  • Stefano Iorini, managing director, Monviso Trading
  • Monal Malhotra, head of F&B operations and business development, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority – Shurooq

Quality suppliers can make or break F&B operations. How can a match be made between the right suppliers and F&B venues for a smooth flow, and how can the former help the F&B sector achieve the tricky balance between quality and speed?

From researching everything from reputation to success rates, to considering costs versus results, F&B outlets will spare no efforts when it comes to choosing the right suppliers, but how do suppliers ensure they’re a good fit for the task at hand?

Panellists will discuss the challenges facing suppliers, trends and developments in foodservice, the newest products and services, the role of technology in delivering optimum guest experiences and more.

12:10 PM: Panel 4 – The customer isn’t always right: Calorie counts, ingredients and everything in between – how far should F&B establishments go in an effort to cater to consumers?

  • Omar Chihab, founder and general manager, BOCA
  • Ziad Kamel, co-founder and director, Couqley French Bistro
  • Martin Kubler, CEO, sps:affinity – Strategic Partnership Solutions
  • Mariangela Ruggiero, executive chef, Radisson Blu Media City

According to a report issued by the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, the total number of restaurants and cafés in Dubai reached 427 during the first four months of 2019. This included 258 restaurants and 169 coffee shops, a growth of 25 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

With more options in the market, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their power to choose, while venues often risk a full-on identity change as a result. Topics of discussion in this panel include changing consumer preferences, the rise of plant-based eating, menu calorie-count requirements, restaurant staff communication tactics and more.

For the full agenda, please click here.

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