Food & Beverage Magazine - July Issue 2021

Page 18

Industry Leaders

The Innovative Dining Group Lives Up to the Name

L

ee Maen is a founding partner of the Innovative Dining Group (IDG). Appropriately named, the IDG is the company behind BOA Steakhouse, considered by many to be the first of the modern steakhouses, and Sushi Roku, a contemporary sushi pioneer that introduced non-traditional ingredients from many regions to the sushi concept.

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According to Lee, the International Dining Group was in a good position to adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic, and in doing so, much was learned that can be applied to their future endeavors. Lee said, “It was an extremely difficult year. A lot of learning as you go, changes from dayto-day, but many companies banded together to share best practices”. Lee pointed to a Whatsapp group with representatives from more than 100 companies, working together to stay up to minute on best practices, as protecting staff and customers was their priority. He said, “We weathered the storm. We

Food & Beverage Magazine v July Issue

were able to pivot to outdoor dining, takeout and to-go cocktails. The team showed their true stripes and we’re now in a great position to grow”. Other takeaways from Covid-times are a new emphasis on efficiency, and other unique ways of doing business such as QR codes, and evolving menu formats. Lee said he’s optimistic about the changes. IDG has big plans in the works for expansion, and their two newest ventures will combine many adaptations they’ve made in the last year, with their decades of experience in the high-quality dining realm.

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