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ISSUE 03 MAY/JUN 2015

CIRCUL ATE D I N 45 COUNTRIES

Food Entrepreneurs

Food Retail

Thriving in Jordan

(R)evolutionary Ideas in Food Service!

Food Critiques Reveal all

Leading retail strategies, trends and opportunities for the F&B sector

EVENTS

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NETWORKING

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

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E D U C AT I O N


CONTENTS 5

22

6

24

HOW DOES MENA COMPARE?

26

Foreword Middle East Council of Shopping Centres 803, BurJuman Business Tower PO Box 43972, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 359 7909 Fax: +971 4 355 8818 www.mecsc.org

THE NEW ANCHOR

FRANCHISE STANDARDS:

SMARTER F&B LEASING

8

Food Critiques reveal

Kuwait’s Food Trail

F&B Hot Spots

David Macadam

10

28

Veena Desa

12

29

COURTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

30

Chief Executive Officer david@mecsc.org

ADVISOR veena@mecsc.org

Juri Daendler Team Support Executive register@mecsc.org

Mariz Matocdo

Team Support Executive customercare@mecsc.org

Serving up a sense of place

THE CHANGING FACE OF FOOD

UAE: THE “LOCAL” FOOD SCENE

14

Food ENTREPRENEURS THRIVING

THE CHANGING FACE OF FOOD

in Jordan

COURTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

32

19

Getting to the heart

PLAT DE RESISTANCE

of customers

20

34

F&B (R)EVOLUTION

Media One Tower Dubai Media City PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 427 3000 F: +971 4 428 2261 motivatepublishing.com connect@motivate.ae

Celebrating our members!

SALAAM LEITH

12

6

Chris Capstick publisher

Ingrid Valles

Senior Assignments Editor

Rouf Majid

senior designer

Sunil Kumar

general manager - production

Printed by ipp

20

24

30 retail people | 3


2015 Directory out in May

Advertising is now selling fast!


WELCOME

F

ood in Retail as our theme covers a deliciously wide ranging content in this edition of Retail People Magazine. With authors from Kuwait, Jordan and the UAE we are pleased to see such a rich cross section of regional experience flavoring our content. Veena Desa-Rego, leading all of our key publications has created a Michelin Star masterpiece with this food edition. Feedback from our second edition, featuring Women in Retail, has guided us to ensure we have a wide variety of content from various countries in the MENA region. We believe we can check the box on that score in this latest edition with articles written from a wide ranging group of talented writers. We thank our members for their continued support and welcome all feedback. We see the Retail People Magazine as a tool for bringing people together, educating, discussing and enhancing our industry, and showcasing the great things happening in our industry in the MENA region.

With readership in 45 counties, we are creating a voice in the Middle East and North Africa region, which has long been a wish of the ICSC. We are filling this need gladly in the MENA region as a true member benefit. We appreciate the support of our members, writers and advertisers who contribute to the success and growth of Retail People Magazine. Thank you and enjoy this issue.

David Macadam CEO MECSC

Shane Eldstrom, CRX, CSM, CLS, CDP COO, Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC

MECSC Board President

ISSUE 03 MAY/JUN 2015

CI R CU LAT E D I N 4 5 COU NTRI ES

Food Entrepreneurs

Food Retail

Thriving in Jordan

(R)evolutionary Ideas in Food Service!

Food Critiques Reveal all

Leading retail strategies, trends and opportunities for the F&B sector

Thank you to MECSC Board Chairman Majid Al Ghurair, President, BurJuman Centre and the following Board Members for their tremendous support, advice, and contribution:

EVENTS

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NETWORKING

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

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E D U C AT I O N

On Cover:

Ivana Gazivoda Vucinic, CMD, CLS, Manager Retail Analysis at BurJuman

Salma Shasha’a, Leasing and Marketing Manager, The Abdali Boulevard Company PSC (VP) Shakeel Hussain, GM Business Development, Landmark Group (Treasurer) Mohammed Iqbal Alawi, CEO, Red Sea Markets Co. Simon Wilcock, CEO, Arabian Centres Real Estate Co. Marwan Eskandarani, Group Retail Property Director, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group LLC Khalid Moh’d Aldhubaie, CLO, Arabian Centres Real Estate Co. Dalia Finj, Director Leasing and Business Development, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment LLC retail people | 5


Yum! Brands

FRANCHISE STANDARDS – HOW DOES MENA COMPARE?

Everett Fieldgate, Chief Development Officer Yum! Brands

Leith Hoffensetz, Urban Edge Real Estate Consulting 6 | retail people

O

ne of the longest and most successful brands within the Middle East is KFC. Leith Hoffensetz of Urban Edge Real Estate Consulting, recently met with Everett Fieldgate, the Chief Development Officer at Yum! Brands, the owner of KFC franchising rights in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, to discuss how KFC outlets in the MENA region compete on the international level.

Leith: I’m sure we could speak about cultural differences for many hours, but today, can I take the opportunity to focus specifically with you about KFC and how KFC restaurants in the MENA region compete in the international arena. Can you share with us your experience and how you believe companies in the region compare with other larger markets.

Everett: When discussing how MENA performs, we need to look at the key sectors of the business. This involves looking at the KFC Standards, which is a comprehensive set of guidelines outlining how to develop and operate a KFC restaurant. The Standards focus primarily on the restaurant fitout (including the design, cooking equipment and KFC approved


Yum! Brands

KFC Design Proposal, Airport Terminal 1, Dubai

furniture), food safety & standards and the consumer experience (including staff, service, product, quality assurance and atmosphere). From an overall perspective, I would say that the MENA region rates very highly. They are especially dominant in the delivery channel, where they excel in comparison to other markets worldwide. Leith: Can you expand a little on the food safety & standards? Everett: As with any franchise business, Yum, as the Franchisor, requires franchisees to provide the highest quality food standards and purchase ingredients from pre-approved sources. To promote consistency, Yum places strict adherence on tracking product from source to restaurant. In this way, we can monitor and manage the food quality across our restaurants and ensure all products meet stringent local Halal requirements. A welldeveloped supply chain is the key ingredients to KFC success. We never sacrifice quality for price. We ensure the salad items are sourced locally to ensure freshness and meet the approved Yum! Standards. Other items, such as bread, are also sourced locally. In this way, we promote the local economy and ensure our customers receive the freshest food. Where the local production is not able to meet our stringent quality standards these

KFC Design, Irbil, Iraq

items, like chicken, may be sourced from international producers to ensure consistent quality. Our goal is to source locally and we often work with local producers to help them attain the required global standards of quality and freshness. Consistency is the key to the success of the KFC brand. Leith: What do you consider to be the biggest challenges for KFC franchisees in the MENA region? Everett: One of the biggest challenges facing franchisees is the transient nature of the population. This impacts the business from the consumer experience as well as the staffing perspective. With staff turnover being quite high, it is important that good quality training programmes are in place to ensure the customer receives the consumer experience they have grown to

MENA is a market with great opportunity where there is a huge demand for international food brands from both the local and expatriate populations

expect. Another challenge is the rapid rate of expansion. MENA is a market with great opportunity where there is a huge demand for international food brands from both the local and expatriate populations. We are currently opening new outlets at a rate of around 80 per year and will have over 720 outlets within the MENA region by the end of the year. Leith: Do KFC experience a lot of outlet closures? What is the usual reason for any such closures? Everett: Most closures of outlets are driven by the desire to improve the outlet location. In some cases, landlord redevelopment serves as the reason for the closure. Leith: What type of outlets do you see as being the most profitable? Everett: Profitability is not solely driven by the type of outlet. The key to success is the location and meeting existing consumer demand. It is important to choose locations where there are large volumes of passing traffic, be it pedestrian or vehicular. Convenience is another important attribute including ease of access and exit and nearby parking. KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain with more than 19,400 KFC outlets in 120 countries and territories around the world. retail people | 7


Advertorial

Kuwait’s Food Trail

K

uwait might be a small country geographically, but it sure has a large appetite for food. The citizens and expats of Kuwait are a privileged lot when it comes to dining options. Fast food chains and fine dine restaurants dot the landscape of this Arabian jewel. With a population of mostly expats, Kuwait is a melting pot for cuisines from all over the world. Every great cuisine finds representation and

demand here: from Africa and Asia to Europe and Australia, and the Americas of course. It says much about the adventurous people of the country too, who would not miss a chance to try new tastes and curious flavors. Mudon Real Estate Company understands the importance of introducing new concepts to our consumers, and our subsidiary Old Diamond has four fun concepts in its portfolio, located at the prestigious Gate Mall, with plans to expand soon.

The Chocolate Gate

Omar Nigm, Executive Director Mudon Ahlia Real Estate 8 | retail people

Having introduced the Dossant to Kuwait – a delicious hybrid of a doughnut and croissant – The Chocolate Gate is a restaurant, café, and chocolate eatery with a difference. It’s the perfect spot for groups of friends, working people, as well as society ladies to spend some quality time enjoying fresh and flavorful offerings. An espresso machine doles out fresh brews, while dessert enthusiasts can watch a chocolate tempering show as well. One can try the several salad, sandwich, and pizza varieties, or go for something more exotic like the camel burger or the crumbly chocolate pizza with marshmallow topping.

The décor merges urban elements with baroque design for a very hip vibe. Whether trying it for breakfast lunch or dinner, there’s always something special at The Chocolate Gate.


Advertorial

Gate Lounge Gerstner K&K Hofzuckerbäckerei

Austrian legend Gerstner started out in the confectionery business more than 150 years ago. After being appointed as Confectioner of the Imperial Court, their fame grew in leaps and bounds. It is the first franchise operated by Old Diamond, and also holds the distinction of being the first franchise based outside Vienna, and the only Austrian concept in the entire region. Typically Viennese interiors greet customers as they enter, with a choice of indoor and outdoor seating. On offer are pastries, cakes, chocolates, and other delectable choices, in additional to Gerstner’s brand of coffee and tea. It serves as a great spot to enjoy some sweet moments, or even to conduct official meetings and gatherings over an imperial Viennese delicacy or coffee specialty.

Al Dar

Gate Lounge has set out to exceed your expectations with a five-star lounge experience. The lounge offers a casual yet luxurious ambiance with a beautiful skylight and a fountain completing the pretty picture. Guests can chat over a cup of coffee or linger over a full English afternoon tea. For those looking for a meal in an intimate setting, the lounge serves everything from tapas to filet mignon. The sheer elegance and cozy atmosphere does set it apart from a casual lounge experience. It is definitely a memorable place to meet with friends old and new, or even take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, while listening to the soothing sounds of the fountain’s gurgling water.

At Al Dar, patrons are transported to the heart of a Moroccan kitchen replete with the rich tastes and aromas of the region. Using a modern approach while preserving the traditional components, Al Dar serves Moroccan food with a twist in a light and friendly atmosphere. A one-of-a-kind experience in Kuwait, the décor displays an ethnic theme offering the Moroccan “spice of life”. Guests can enjoy a sampling of dishes from throughout Morocco – from rustic Berber cooing to Spanish influences further north, with dizzyingly complex flavors and dishes worthy of a royal kitchen. Fresh and basic ingredients like lamb, fish, poultry, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, lentils, chickpeas, beans, apples, peaches, lemons, limes, dates, and nuts are transformed into hearty dishes studded with flavorful herbs and spices. On the menu are mouthwatering appetizers called Kemia, and signature tagines – fragrant stews. One of the must-have dishes is the barbeque specialties from the Berber grill. True Moroccan hospitality and taste is what Al Dar offers to its discerning customers. retail people | 9


Opinion

Serving Up a FASTSense FOOD RESTAURANTS IN THE DUBAI MALL: of Place LOCAL VS. INTERNATIONAL BRANDS

Middle Eastern Inte r

n ati o

nal

FASTFOOD RESTAURANTS: LOCAL VS. INTERNATIONAL BRANDS © 2015, Aaron Allen

W Aaron Allen, Founder/ Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Allen & Associates www.AaronAllen.com www.facebook.com/ aaron.allen.restaurant. consultant

10 | retail people

With over 80 million guests in 2014, the Dubai Mall is the most visited destination in the world and, arguably, one of the most culturally significant attractions in the GCC. However, of the 48 fast food restaurants listed on the mall’s website, fewer than one in five serve authentic Middle Eastern fare with a distinct sense of place. When dining in the mall (and other venues like it), it’s difficult to tell you are eating in the UAE. The ambassador of Arabic entertainment serves a very limited local menu, opting instead for Western chain like McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway or KFC. The flavors of the world’s fastest growing restaurant market are, for the most part, passed over for

the allure of a Western logo and a generic sense of place. Partnerships with Western brands, however, sacrifice profitable possibilities to explore the unique heritage and traditions of a region – possibilities much more compellingly presented by locally developed brands (though Middle Eastern entrepreneurs and restaurateurs have been slow to recognize this truth). The appeal of partnering with a Western brand, which has been standardized in terms of decor, menu, and service- is immense. Western foodservice concepts have spent years perfecting food quality, standards of service and systems of operations on a global level. But is the adoption of homogenized


Opinion

Imagine, instead, an F&B program so custom – so distinctly Arabic – that the restaurants themselves are an attraction, working with a venue to collaboratively develop joint Arabic branding and appeal

Western foodservice really what guests are looking for in the GCC’s QSR segment (a market worth $9.5 billion at the end of 2012)? No; and the proof is in local brands’ steady increases in sales, proving that a distinct cultural identity has a competitive advantage. For example, Herfy- Saudi Arabia’s homegrown burger concept and one of the top-five local Middle East brands, according to Nation’s Restaurant News - had only 223 units across the entire Middle East/ Africa region at the end of 2013. From 2012 to 2013, Herfy saw a system-wide sales increase of nearly 15 percent. As Millennials’ purchasing power increases, guests’ craving for a sense of place is set to grow. By 2050, more than half of the GCC’s population will be under the age of 36, the Kuwait Financial Center estimates. “What matters most” to this age group, according to

Nation’s Restaurant News, are ideals like “being honest,” “taking responsibility for your own life” and “standing up for what you believed in.” Millennials – 60 percent of whom report eating out at a fast food restaurant once a week in the U.S. – are looking for brands with a sense of place; restaurants that reflect the vibrancy of a particular cultural identity and community. Here is where Westernized foodservice brands have incredible difficulty competing. For guests looking for an authentic meal

MILLENNIAL POPULATION IN THE GCC: 2010 vs. 2050 MILLENNIAL POPULATION IN THE GCC: 2010 VS. 2050

MILLENIALS Women

Men

Population (in Millions) 3 2.4

Median Age ~ 25

1.8 1.2

YEAR

2010

0.6 0 0-4

5-9

10-14

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80-84

85-89

90-94

95-99

100+

Age Group

Population (in Millions) 3 2.4

Median Age ~ 36

1.8 1.2

YEAR

2050

0.6 0 0-4

5-9

10-14

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80-84

85-89

90-94

95-99

100+

Age Group

connected to its location, the pervasive presence and polished systemization presented by Western brands actually becomes a detriment. Herfy seems to have a distinct competitive advantage in terms of sales growth. Guests’ preference for local is obvious, and they’re voicing their opinions with their wallets. Still, most GCC-based shopping centres serve menus dominated by the same burgers, pizza and fries one could find in any generic food court. These shopping centres should showcase their Arabic heritage, enabling entrepreneurs and restauranteurs to establish a profitable competitive advantage. Imagine, an F&B program so custom – so distinctly Arabic – that the restaurants themselves are an attraction, working with a venue to collaboratively develop joint Arabic branding and appeal. Let us assure you, guests can taste when entrepreneurs invest in sense of place; and its appreciation that shows in a venue’s profits.

Aaron Allen heads the world’s largest restaurant consulting firm representing over 10,000 restaurants across six continents. Major clients included esteemed brands such as The Cheesecake Factory, TGIFriday’s, BJ’s Restaurants, Land O’ Lakes, Marriott, Starwood Resorts & Hotels Worldwide, SSP (leading global airport concessioner) and dozens of other global restaurant chains, regional powerhouse brands, highvolume independents, food and beverage manufacturers, distributors, resorts, entertainment districts, and more.

SOURCE: U.S. Census and the Kuwait Financial Centre

retail people | 11


Opinion

Changing Face of Food Courts in the Middle East

Jonathan Doughty, Head of EMEA Foodservice Consulting at Coverpoint Consultancy, Part of JLL Group 12 | retail people

W

hen one thinks of the Middle East, what comes to mind are some of the most iconic buildings and developments in the world. The Middle East is known for the superlative, for ground breaking design and for looking at ‘best in class’ from around the globe for inspiration. This includes, in some Centres, the foodservice sector. The Dubai Mall for example, is a magnet for interesting operators looking to expand outside their country of origin, for example Shake Shack and

Ladureé. However, when we talk Food Courts, there is not a great deal of new innovation on show in comparison to developments seen elsewhere across the world. There are, of course, some very successful Food Courts, but there are also some poorer, functional ones. On the whole, Food Courts in the Middle East are still at the ‘1.0’ stage – large seating areas, relatively sterile environments, plastic or functional furniture, and with an American Fast Food bias and, typically, with the


Opinion

Trinity Kitchen Leeds

Westfield London

Food Courts around the world have moved on significantly over the last 5 years in particular, with innovative design same Tenant mix of International Fast Food brands. Great for feeding large volumes of guests in short periods

Trinity Kitchen Leeds

of time, but not for delivering a memorable guest experience. Food Courts around the world have moved on significantly over the last 5 years in particular, with innovative design, the creation of engaging environments, new and different Tenants trading in exciting formats, all of which has given certain Food Courts a personality and, in many cases, are the reason for the guest visit. This clearly points to a change in consumer behaviour from a simple ‘consumption’ based economy to an ‘experience’ based economy. Guests, at every price point, are seeking experiences. Whilst Food Courts in the Middle East are popular, we do not think that these developments have yet filtered through and now is the opportunity to make significant progress with ‘Food Court 2.0’. Often the seating provision in these Food Courts is too hard and too Fast Food focused. Designers think about how many seats, not how efficiently they can be used. What seems to be the focus is that the seating area should be easy to clean and rubbish free. But that is not just what the guest wants. Guests are looking for comfortable and ‘emotional’ spaces, for an experience, for much less sterility. It is not about spending more time in the Food Court, but about spending more money on the time that we have. Customer’s price sensitivity decreases the better

the environment that surrounds the guests. The phrase we use is to provide a ‘Restaurant experience at a Food Court price’. Of course, the food offer is critical to the success of any Food Court. ‘Food Court 2.0’ is less about brands and more about providing choice and variety, provenance and quality of ingredients. Freshly cooked ingredients, cooked for you, in front of you, are providing this personalisation and elevating the guest experience. Dwell times however have not got any longer in new Food Courts, staying around 22 minutes on average, but the spend has increased by 15-18% per person against traditional Food Courts. Guests will invariably trade up and spend more when given the opportunity. The Tenant mix in ‘Food Court 2.0’ has also changed to cover the full trading day, resulting in stronger sales volumes across the day, with less defined “peaks” and more even spread. This combination of design, Tenant mix and guest experience has yet to touch the Middle East, but without doubt, based on our past experience in the market, it will only be a matter of time before we see the innovation that the region is famous for. The bottom line is that Food Courts in the Middle East are currently not ’of the moment’. But as we say at JLL, ‘where others see brick walls, we see potential’. It will be interesting to see who will be the first to step up. retail people | 13


Opinion

5 reasons to strive for a world-class supply chain in the food & beverage sector Few industries are as dependent on their supply chain as the food and beverage sector. Why? Because few industries face such ferociously rapid change spurred by new food trends, increasingly stringent safety regulations and ever-changing consumer buying preferences. This article outlines the five key reasons why every food and beverage business must strive for a world-class, integrated and collaborative supply chain.

Service Supply chain management revolves around creating efficiencies that will enhance service, not detract from it. The best food and beverage manufacturers in the world have the ability to quickly react to new food trends and shifting consumer preferences by quickly communicating those needs to their suppliers via their efficient and collaborative supply chain management processes.

Safety

Prakash Menon (PK), Executive Director Thought Leaders Middle East 14 | retail people

One needs only look at the recent Hepatitis A outbreak in Australia following the consumption of imported frozen berries to realise just how important supply chain management is. The Chief Executive of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Mr Steve McCutcheon told a hearing on the matter that ensuring food is safe revolves around how it is processed. “It’s all about supply chain management, and being very clear at each point of the production and processing chain that all the appropriate steps are taken to make sure you are using

clean water, you’ve got healthy people working with the food, so hygiene is really important,” he said. At the end of the day, food safety is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. If one link fails to adhere to safety regulations, it has the potential to impact everyone down the line. Strict quality controls must be applied across the supply chain from the handling of raw materials and transport to storage and distribution to the customer. It is the responsibility of every food and beverage manufacturer and retailer to collaborate with suppliers and resolve any safety concerns.

Speed Response time and delivery performance is a crucial element in the supply chain. After all, speed and efficiency are critical to achieve a competitive advantage, especially in today’s faster, smaller, more consumer-savvy global marketplace. Speed is also linked to safety in the food and beverage sector. An efficient supply chain process ensures FIFO (first

in, first out) and LILO (last in last out) principles can be adhered to, reducing the risk of product recalls and wastage.

Flexibility An efficient and effective supply chain allows for greater flexibility and twoway communication across the entire food supply chain. It means it’s no longer just about responding to the ‘push’ from suppliers and distributors but having more of a say in the raw materials you choose to purchase. A flexible supply chain is one that enables both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ strategies.

Cost Efficiency across the supply chain is critical to reducing costs. Constant measurement of your supply chain KPI’s will show you where to redirect your efforts for lower operating and freight costs and greater productivity. After all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.


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Registration closes on 20 th May 2015 Online Registration: www.mecsc.org Contact: +971 4 359 7909


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Burning Issues

Food Retail

Food Entrepreneurs thriving in Jordan

tionary (R)evoluService ! ideas in Food

Food Bloggers reveal all

trends Leading retail strategies, sector F&B and opportunities for the

Faced by Ret ail in the Middle Eas t

Retail & Enterprise The ´XX´Fa ctor

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5 infuential wo men in the ret ail EVENT

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Advertorial

“Plat de résistance”

I Jihad Dirani, Director, Retail Leasing, TGM Consultants Dubai

nvestors, franchisors and consumers alike are putting their money where their mouth is. The UAE, and specifically Dubai has been a haven for Food & Beverage concepts from around the world for many years. It has also been considered the testing ground for new brands coming into the Middle East and what a success story it has been! But this story could not have been written if it wasn’t for the country’s robust security amid horrid regional turmoil, backed by an even healthier financial system. With markets slowing down in North America and Europe, retail brands and food operations are turning to the rich oil producing countries to franchise out and in the past five years, we have seen the introduction of world renowned names such as “Zuma”, “La Petite Maison”, “The Cheesecake Factory”, “Shake Shack”, “PF Chang’s”, “Red Lobster”,

“Eataly” and many others. These brands might fall under different food service categories but they have one thing in common, and it is the fact that they launched their first Middle Eastern operation in Dubai. Once their campaigns are up and running and their systems in place, these restaurants start expanding across the region to countries like Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where food is sometimes the only pastime, taking with them the experience and the know-how they picked up in Dubai. The quality of the franchise operations should also be recognized and some operators are even operating successful food concepts as far away as London. Home grown concepts have also played an integral part in elevating the food

services platform in Dubai and the Emirate’s economy. The government has been encouraging Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME’s), who subsequently have turned into franchisors and become market listed. Fast food concepts like “Just Falafel” have been so successful that after opening their first outlet in Dubai a few years ago, they have now spread across continents to reach the United States. The stability of the growth in demand for new food concepts has seen Dubai attract more brands than almost any other city in the world and has now surpassed most retail capitals to be named the World’s second-highest overall brand representation after London. It is only a matter of time before Dubai becomes the world’s leader as we can see history in the making, with many more brands coming to the Emirate. Among them the infamous burger joint, Five Guys opening soon at The Dubai Mall and London’s legendary Novikov at the new Sheraton Trade centre. As a culinary enthusiast, I can only look forward to the “plat de résistance” and an inevitable gym membership.

TriGranit Management Corporation is one of the largest fully integrated regional real estate investment, development and management companies in the CEE region. With a more than 3 billion Euro portfolio of trophy assets managed, TriGranit welcomes over 64 million visitors every year and supports the success of more than 1,500 international cross-border tenants. The company opened up business in the MENA region in 2014 by launching TGM Consultants’ own office in Dubai with multiple leasing and management mandates across the region.

retail people | 19


Opinion

F&B (R)evolution

O Ivana Gazivoda Vucinic, CMD, CLS, Manager Retail Analysis at BurJuman 20 | retail people

ne specific retail sector is getting ready to mark the years to come – F&B will grow in terms of both quantity and quality of categories. While in fact, there are more than 6,000 F&B outlets all over UAE, the optimistic scenarios forecast the addition of more than 19,000 new outlets in the next five years. The future stock will swing between the needs of growing expat communities and the booming tourist inflow looking for new, unique experiences. Five senses experience The increase is not the only fundamental change for the new era - F&B operators will also offer an unforgettable dining experience by “manipulating” all five human senses. The opening of Ossiano in Atlantis Hotel on Palm Jumeirah launched a new trend that equalizes

the importance of the ambience and experience with the importance of food itself. The regional F&B operators are known for their ambitious approach. Perhaps they will find inspiration in concepts such as Timbre@Substation from Singapore that uses drones to serve patrons or Sublimotion from Ibitza (the costliest restaurant in the world) that creates a unique experience that transcends gastronomy and offers an infinite scope of sensations. These ideas could spark retailers to try similar concepts. Retailer group, Marka, is on its way to diversify the dining experience in the region. It will bring unique F&B concepts in association with UEFA Champions League, where customers will be able to dine in a stadium-designed setting while watching live matches or archive footage.


Opinion

Casual luxury Exclusive dining chains are launching more affordable options Heinz Beck’s food masterpieces can be experienced in Taste of Italy (set to open in Dubai soon), but also in his casual dining venue named Social (Waldorf Astoria, Dubai). New inspirational environments will achieve the highest rate of growth among the casual dining category. Will the Business Model Change? In terms of ownership, there will be no significant changes with franchise-operated F&B outlets at 80 per cent of the market share. Independent F&B retailers will change course due to Millennial demand and turn to the organic food domain, at the same time trying to utilize regionally grown food.

It will bring unique F&B concepts in association with UEFA Champions League where customers will be able to dine in a stadium-designed setting while watching live matches or archive footage. Retail destinations will continue to be the most dominant hub for F&B outlets, steadily increasing the share of this category in the total GLA. Hotel chains will add more development from ranging from budget to bespoke 5 star resorts options. Several developers have even announced the opening of F&B malls, based on the potential of the growing demand in the region. Furthermore, Investors are taking risks and introducing beachfront developments, as they see potential to leverage the yearly turnover and achieve positive results despite the summer months. F&B will add the entertainment quotient. Moreover, F&B will more strongly compete with other retail categories for its share of disposable income. Exceeding customer expectations’ will be the core philosophy for F&B’s (r)evolution in the years to come. retail people | 21


Opinion

Food and Beverage – The New Anchor Place Making in Retail Centres

The Cheesecake Factory

W Francis Loughran, Managing Director, Future Food 22 | retail people

With over 30 years of experience in food service strategic planning, retail food master planning and food service management, Francis Loughran, Managing Director of Future Food, has built a wealth of knowledge and international experience including a diverse list of projects of dining precincts, cafes and café courts, food courts, fresh food markets, convenience stores and food service solutions for retail precincts, and leisure & entertainment precincts. Often we are brought in on projects and asked to devise an F&B stratgey that will differentiate a centre and set it apart from the competition through a collection of brands that will appeal to the

Shake Shack

end user. The first question that comes from asset stakeholders is usually, “which operators do I need to attract to my centre?” Future Food believe that questions should rather be, “Who are my customers, what do they want”, and, “How can I keep them longer so that they spend more?” With record numbers of customers shopping online, traditional shopping centres are challenged now, more than ever, to keep their ‘offer’ relevant and enticing. A diverse mix of fashion and F&B retailers are a given, but only centres that are truly paying attention to consumer needs, buying patterns and trends, have realized that F&B retailers, as anchors, can be programmed to


Opinion

ensure stronger uptake of the centre. F&B is now being considered as the new ‘mini majors’! There is a requirement for F&B brands to deliver an experience more than a product or service. Food is not subsistence – it is ‘every day’ indulgence – and more importantly social glue. It is important to create a mix and F&B

F&B (approximately 15% especially within the Middle East) to allow for social congregation and increase in frequency of visit. Brands like Cheesecake Factory and Shake Shack appeal to 3 Generational Diners and almost immediately guarantee footfall to retail centre now. Eataly, a renowned success, has been invited to become an City Walk Jumeirah Dubai

With record numbers of customers shopping online, traditional shopping centres are challenged now, more than ever, to keep their ‘offer’ relevant and enticing strategy that is reflective of the demographic and psychographic makeup of the consumer base. This has inadvertently led to an increase in GLA appropriation to

anchor F&B offer at the upcoming World Trade Centre Retail in New York, by Westfield. Often during a master planning process, I contemplate what urban place making principles to consider for shopping centres? The Middle East offers longer trading hours – which not only increases the meal occasions catered to, but also provides a platform for social congregation or meeting need states of comfort and convenience – even if the centres don’t offer licensed dining options. From an experience perspective, it is essential that shopping malls across the region be designed (or redeveloped) to encourage placemaking initiatives across all day parts. Access, vistas, alfresco dining – even

a curated collection of F&B brands, are what will contribute the success of the retail centre. F&B clusters like City Walk, Beach Walk and Box Park are classic examples of how F&B as an anchor will attract footfall that will encourage cross utilisation of customer spend. Retail centres globally have identified that by offering a new to market dining concept (and refined ambience), a higher average spend and increase in footfall can seamlessly be achieved. This has been the reasoning behind the development of Café Courts that Future Food introduced across Westfield centres internationally. A deconstructed layout, elevated interiors, service in common use crockery and cutlery, a volume sales approach and refined F&B presentation have allowed these Café Courts to become the jewel in the crown! Successful retail centres don’t necessarily need to offer a ‘large’ volume of food retailers, they just need to offer a differentiated positioning of F&B. The realization that F&B within shopping malls isn’t functional anymore, rather is destinational, will allow for the successful incorporation for F&B becoming the new ‘anchor’!

With over 30 years of experience in food service strategic planning, retail food master planning and food service management, Francis Loughran, Managing Director of Future Food, has built a wealth of knowledge and international experience including a diverse list of projects of dining precincts, cafes and café courts, food courts, fresh food markets, convenience stores and food service solutions for retail precincts, and leisure & entertainment precincts.

retail people | 23


Opinion

Does F&B leasing need to be ‘smarter’?

S

Shane Eldstrom, CRX, CSM, CLS, CDP COO, Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC, MECSC Board President

Enrico Clementi, MD of Tribe Restaurant Creators 24 | retail people

hopping malls around the world – and especially here in the Middle East – are iconic institutions. As a quintessential centerpiece of the region’s social culture, malls are places to shop, be entertained and mingle. Having an attractive – and smart – Food and Beverage (F&B) offering in place is therefore an increasingly essential consideration for mall operators. As visitors, voting with their feet, choose the mall with the eats that most appeal to them, F&B leasing is quickly becoming a key driver of the overall sales productivity. With discerning shoppers becoming more demanding, there is continuous pressure on developers to come up with smart and sophisticated strategies that attract consumers whilst delivering a sound commercial return. There are three key factors that – when carefully considered – can make this major task more manageable and help deliver effective solutions. These are: selection, management and security. Selection is by far the trickiest one. Mall operators – whether large, medium or small – are faced with the same questions. How many outlets? At what price? What cuisine and what investment? Many malls choose to go down the ‘auction’ route whereby F&B

providers are invited to compete for limited spaces. Decisions are often made based solely on commercial factors, with a clear preference for major brand names. Whilst possibly an effective short-term solution, this approach rarely guarantees longterm return and – most importantly – customer loyalty. Today’s consumers know what they want and they will travel to get it. And, whilst there is admittedly a certain expectation for the big F&B brands, it is the carefully selected alternatives that make the real difference. Westfield is a good example where they have made a model of blending predictability with new concepts and operators. So, how should regional mall operators approach this tricky task of selection? Determining the F&B mix is a blend of science and pragmatism – mixing what will work with what is realistically achievable. Whilst independent providers bring an edge and consumer interest, the reality is that big names bring brand clusters that are an attractive solution to a leasing challenge. To make this important decision, operators need to invest the time and effort to research their market, review their competition, assess target demographics, and their


Opinion

theme preferences. This way, they can arrive at a sustainable long-term decision that is informed not only by commercial considerations but also reliable market intelligence and consumer behavior. The second factor in smart decision-making is management. This relates directly to the built environment of F&B outlets and the unique challenges that come with operating these. Water, gas, waste and exhaust are all unique requirements for F&B operators that greatly increase the cost of provisioning. Adding up all the requirements often means that an F&B unit can cost 50 per cent more that of a typical line retailer. Because of this, developers are often tempted to design the minimum requirements and add ‘as required’. This approach can have a serious negative impact on the final cost and program. Early investment in proper feasibility and research to determine the right size and right provision your offer is therefore essential to properly aligning the cost and program with end results. Security is another factor sometimes overlooked. Food premises are at a higher risk due to potential for food borne illnesses, fires and floods. Landlords can partially mitigate some of these risks through better management:

‘Special Rules and Regulations’ (in the lease) addressing factors such as staff hygiene; fire safety regulations; storage and preparation; handling of wet waste; (to mention just a few) and, of course, appropriate enforcement, but let’s never overlook insurance. Most landlords require a minimum amount of Commercial General Liability Insurance in the lease; given the higher risks it is important to take advice from a qualified insurance consultant to ensure that the levels are appropriately adjusted. The correct definition of the Use Clause can make a significant long term difference. As we move towards a sophisticated F&B mix, it is important to have the type of cuisine, menu and price point in the lease to ensure your control over the aggregate offer. Defining your use clause as ‘restaurant’ isn’t sufficient anymore. The challenges faced by mall operators when deciding on the right F&B mix are diverse. As the industry continues to grow and develop,

Today’s consumers know what they want and they will travel to get it. we need to adopt smart and commercially sustainable strategies to deliver the right offering to attract the discerning consumer. And, with long-term customer loyalty as the ultimate reward, it is certainly effort worth making.

retail people | 25


Food Critiques reveal their F&B Hot Spots To really feel the pulse of this city’s culinary beat; it is important to highlight the people who are the voice of the community. Journalist Muby Astruc and Bloggers Minakhee Mishra and Ritu Chaturvedi offer us their insights on retail food outlets and whether they live up to their counterparts in terms of taste, ambiance, service and what’s trendy.

Tidjoori, Dubai Marina

JOURNEYS OF THE PALATE

Muby Astruc, Creative Director, Ruby and Sons FZC mubyastruc.com

Zareen Khan, W2W Events and PR 26 | retail people

ood. It’s that fourletter word that gets my juices running. Its sight, smell, taste and presentation do to me what little else does. No surprise then that despite everything else I ever

do, I will continue to be a food critique. It’s a journey I’ve come to cherish and look forward to with each new restaurant I add to my little black book of gastronomy. In a city like Dubai, where restaurants of every taste, cuisine and calibre are a stone’s throw away, I’m a foodie in paradise. Now, I must be honest. Although a supremely unhealthy meal has hidden pleasures I dare not venture into frequently, it’s fine dining that my heart finds solace in. A perfectly presented plate of food, its aroma hitting me long before my eyes are treated to its beauty… that’s the stuff my gourmandise dreams are made of. Fortunately, this is Dubai. Fine dining, gourmet and

Michelin-starred restaurants abound at every nook and corner. And yet, I find the lack of fine dining at some of the city’s best malls quite heart-breaking. Don’t get me wrong. There’s little that induces more warmth in my heart than seeing my sons clap their hands in delight at the animals at Rainforest Cafe in Dubai Mall, over a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of Tex-Mex Fajitas. And yet, I feel the need to take them across the yard to the attached five-star hotels that many malls now have, in order to educate and teach their little palates about the joys of simple, classy, gourmet food, with each ingredient loving hand-prepared, presented on a plate with as much love as a new bride on her wedding day. There’s something about


fine dining that fast food will never replicate. As a result, my family and I often end up at Dubai Festival City for our dose of retail therapy, before crossing the corridor over into Choix Pâtisserie and Restaurant par Pierre Gagnier (a man with three Michelin

stars!) at the InterContinental Festival City for a Chocolat Chaud and a Brioche for our 4pm goûter. For those baby free nights, we tend to favor restaurants such as La Petit Maison, Roberto’s or any of the new breed of eateries my palate is begging me for.

In the perfect world, I would get my gourmet fix right next door to my favourite shops. Perhaps a few more restaurants such as Almaz by Momo’s in Mall of the Emirates would be the bridge between retail-influenced dinners and staying true to my heart.

A PlateFul Of Goodness

Minakhee Mishra, Editor & Social Media Consultant buzzingtales.blogspot.ae

Being a foodie, dining out is always a special treat. I can tolerate boring cereals and quick no-fuss meals at home, but look for great experiences when dining out.

Wafi has a range of dining options like Soho Grill, Shisu, Noodle Factory, Cafe Martinez, Asha’s, Cactus Catina, Zucca and yes I find the Tom Yum soup at Wok N Soup quiet unforgettable. Wafi figures high on our repeat list because of the range of experiences offered, right from the architecture resurrecting the age of the Pharoahs to the incredible light and sound shows, to Spin Dubai, to entertainment venues like the Tee and Putt Mini Golf course. Yes, complete family entertainment is also intricately woven into my weekend food experiences. My daughter & her friends enjoyed some cherished time at Tee & Putt before indulging in Papa John’s Pizza.

If you are far from JBR and ignore the traffic snag during the weekend to get to The Beach, you are in for a scintillating experience and fabulous range of dining options. We parked at a tram station and reached our destination on a marvelous evening with weather reminiscent of Europe. The Beach was vibrant with incredible 3-D artwork as part of #DubaiCanvas, art workshops for kids, movie complex, the beach astretch with a staggering variety of dining and shopping options. We dined at Barbeque Delight in JBR, had the most amazing macaroons at Laduree and felt absolutely pampered and spoilt. Did I mention we even had a bite at The Cheesecake Factory? Wow! Now that concluded an encounter with divinity!

“NABATI” IN THE CITY OF GOLD

Ritu Chaturvedi, Food Blogger and Stylist fussfreecookingblog.wordpress.com

“Nabati” is the Arabic word which defines a plant-based diet. ‘Me-Veg’ is a Dubai-based group with more than 4,000 vegetarian members. The Me-Veg Group promotes the plant based diet to support the environment. Being a member of the Me-Veg Group and a Food Blogger,

I believe in the taste as well as the presentation of the food. Eating is indeed a multi-sensory experience. As anyone knows, it is hard to resist the robust smell of vanilla or chocolate! My family of four has lived in Dubai for the last 18 years. Interestingly enough, I find that Dubai has more vegetarian options than in my home country India. Dubai is perfect for food lovers, with cuisine from all over the world. My favourite vegetarian restaurants are Govinda, Little Italy, Sukh Sagar, Café Bestro, Ushna, Rang Mahal and the very new Vegan “Tidjoori”. I am totally addicted to Little Italy, with Pasta Barbesca, as my weakness. I love the dish because of its impeccable, velvety cheesy sauce with fresh vegetables and perfectly cooked pasta. Family dinner has always been linked with memories, taste, and place –

a sum of experiences. Recently, I visited the newly opened Tidjoori, the first of its kind vegan Restaurant, at Jumeirah Residency area. I liked the rustic taste of pasta and the grilled beetroot topped peas soup. The Pizza was topped with sautéed vegetables and vegan cheese. The concept of the restaurant is to promote healthy living through creating a sustainable environment for the future. There is no menu card because they want to protect the trees, by saving paper – Great initiative, with the menu was displayed on a Notebook. Last month when I was suffering with flu, I visited Café Roma Downtown during lunch time. Without my asking, the genius Chef served me a hot ginger lemon shot, which was so soothing. Experiences such as these are imprinted in my memory and make my dining experience very special. retail people | 27


Celebrating Our Members!

Giordano in Zambia More global expansion for Giordano with first store in Central Africa at Zambia

RETAIL CEO OF THE YEAR AWARD Marina Home Co - Founder Khurshid Vakil was honored by ITP Publishing Group’s Chairman and BBC Broadcaster Andrew Neil during a glittering evening in February. This award is yet another milestone for brand Marina Home and celebrates the passion with which the entire team take’s the brand from strength to strength.

Giordano, the global apparel retailer, has become one of the first major international fast fashion brands to enter the Zambian clothing market with the successful opening of its store in Lusaka at East Park Mall. The move sees Giordano expanding its operations in the African continent – alongside its presence in over 40 other countries across Asia, Australia, Canada, Central America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. In the Middle East, Giordano currently operates more than 260 stores and with over 2,500 stores globally. Giordano will continue to bring products that are relevant, timeless and known for our quality, simplicity and innovative fabrics,” said Ishwar Chugani, Managing Director of Giordano Middle East FZE and Executive Director of Giordano International.

Marina Home now in Pakistan

BEST SHOPPING MALL 2015

Red Sea Mall, described as Jeddah’s biggest shopping center and family entertainment district, received several awards, including the Best Shopping Mall of the Year 2015 and Best use of Social Media in Marketing, at the Asia Retail Congress 2015 Retail Excellence Awards. It also won the Strategic Website for a Shopping Mall accolade at the 2015 Pan-Arab awards. Congratulations to CEO Mohammad Alawi and Marketing Manager Bandar Abdul Majeed on this great achievement! 28 | retail people

Marina Home is proud to announce the opening of its flagship showroom in Lahore, Pakistan in January this year. The 20,000 sq ft showroom spread across three floors has an impressive range of Home furniture and furnishings that appeal to those consumers who desire multiple options in singular location. Marina Home Interiors operates its stores across the Arabian Gulf region, Egypt, and the Indian subcontinent.


F&B Local Concept

Homegrown Talent After discussing how the Middle East compares on an international arena in relation to large fast food chains, it was a delight to speak with Abdulla Al Mulla, a young Emirati who, together with his older brother, Mohammed and their 2 sisters, has taken the plunge and invested in a new bakery concept in Jumeirah.

D Leith Hoffensetz, Urban Edge Real Estate Consulting

riving along the newly developed areas of Wasl Road, Jumeirah may remind the readers of the youthful urban streets within inner London, and this Emirati family, has succeeded in creating their own unique and successful concept, “Home Bakery”. From its origins of providing a delivery service to friends from the family home, the Al Mulla family have now successfully transitioned the business into a thriving café with a friendly, warm atmosphere and lively buzz at any time of the day. A large percentage of the patrons are local, but the expatriate population has now discovered the appeal and is also appreciating the offering.

The variety of menu items, whilst traditional in name, is sophisticated and tantalizing to the palate The aroma and warmth of freshly baked sponge cake is so very alluring. Combine this with the articulate and earthy manner of presentation, and the Al Mulla’s have delivered an atmosphere which is truly inviting. The variety of menu items, whilst traditional in name, is sophisticated and tantalizing to the palate. The bakery attracts an eclectic mix of

patrons, from the die-hard sweet lovers to the savoury salty supporters. When asked of their expansion plans, Abdulla adopts an extremely conservative approach for one so young. He is conscious of developing a loyal clientele and is aiming to ensure Home Bakery is a place people visit to experience that extra something. After 9 months of opening, Home Bakery is still delivering to its original customers in their homes. The combined take away and delivery business contribute strongly to the business success. Another unique offering is the Home Bakery Food Truck, launched in March 2015. The food truck provides the opportunity for all areas within Dubai to experience the delightful bakery and other items which Home Bakery is best known for. While international brands are well known in this market, it is wonderful to see Emiratis producing such unique concepts and good quality product.

retail people | 29


Jordan

Food Entrepreneurs thriving in Jordan

J Salma Shasha’a, Leasing and Marketing Manager Abdali Boulevard Company 30 | retail people

ordan serves as a rich blend of diverse gastronomies, both local delights as well as cuisines inspired by the rich lands of Greece, Italy, France, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey. From possessing the traditional uniqueness of the Bedouin barbeque ‘Zarb’, to hosting some of the world’s famous restaurants and cafés, Jordan is a diverse cultural land, offering scintillating

cuisines for everyone to savor. In the recent years, Jordan has displayed its curiosity and knowhow in ‘food innovation’ via its local initiatives in the form of restaurants, cafés and lounges, bringing in a wave of freshness and adaptability to the taste buds of Jordanians. They have come to offer an entire culinary experience, by focusing, not only on the food and beverage, rather on the scenic views, arts and music.

Jordan is a diverse cultural land, offering scintillating cuisines for everyone to savor.


Jordan

The Café Gourmand Oz Boutique Restaurant

Being a 100 per cent local Jordanian brand, The Café Gourmand is a classic Parisian inspired boutique style bakery & café, with a traditional infusion for a Middle Eastern touch. Their product offering includes an eclectic breakfast, featuring contemporary European and American cuisines, infused with Arabian flavors. Their simple recipes with the use of simple ingredients allows for a broad range of customization to the tastes and demands of their customers. An added feature of the café is their in-house built bakery, which allows them to cook their food from scratch. Along with these features, they offer special dessert buffets and customized themed seasonal offerings.

Café at Wild Jordan

One of Akkawi Group’s most unique venues is Oz Boutique Restaurant; a differentiated concept in Amman. Being the first ‘Boutique Restaurant’ in the region, it brings a brand new experience to its customers by combining international food offerings with local arts and culture. The boutique of locally designed clothes and handmade furniture at the main entrance of the restaurant, adds a new touch to the entire culinary theme. Along with the boutique, Oz offers uniquely themed areas within the restaurant, such as the Greek themed bar called “Little Santorini”, a “Marrakesh Lounge”, “Cave a Vin” and “Oz Lounges”. Oz Boutique is an original addition to the diverse offerings of the Akkawi Group which includes Japanese, Chinese and Mexican cuisine restaurants.

Four Winters

The Café at Wild Jordan is part of ATICO Fakhreldin Group, located at the Wild Jordan Nature Center. Boasting a magnificent location overlooking the old city of Amman, the Citadel and the huge Jordanian flag, The Café offers a healthy wholesome menu set in outstanding picturesque surroundings. The Center aims to generate income for communities of the 7 reserves in Jordan; from where the café sources ingredients for its food and beverage offerings. Along with the café, the Center offers services such as a local nature gift shop, a multipurpose room, meeting rooms, outdoor terraces and lodges for long-term rentals. The café at Wild Jordan won Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award in 2014, which is a great achievement in the world of hospitality and culinary professionals.

A revolution in the world of ‘frozen treats’, Four Winters is using culinary arts and innovative technology to create fresh, mouthwatering ice cream, one cup at a time. This unique ice cream spot offers an array of ice cream flavors that range from the classic vanilla to the crazy corn. Their menu not only features traditional flavors, like chocolate, but seasonal flavors that highlight local seasonal ingredients in the region. Four Winters is altering the standard norms of frozen dessert with its whimsical and ingenious ice cream. retail people | 31


Retail Insight

Getting to the Heart of Customers “Establishing what makes shoppers tick and why they buy or do not, means understanding their emotions at the time of purchase. The best way to do this is by approaching retail marketing as a ‘behavioral science’, as Peter Kristof explains.”

W

Peter Kristof, Business Development Director, Retail Access 32 | retail people

Within a closed environment, where restaurants share the same floor space, F&B outlets are challenged with objectives such as creating differentiated value, influencing menu selection, encouraging trial and managing foot flow; and each of them ultimately involves influencing the behaviour of diners before they sit down to eat. So much so that a customer’s evaluation on a restaurant might not be only the quality of its food, but also the environment and service around their table. This means having a deeper understanding of diners in the Middle East. Therefore, successful marketers in the F&B

business regularly employ psychology to help restaurateurs and F&B stakeholders develop new concepts and menus that resonate with a multicultural audience. This is not an underhand tactic; understanding a diner’s psychology legally, ethically, and respectfully will help them make suitable choices that match their dietary preferences. This is especially important in 2015 since diners are looking for dishes they can trust, with health top of mind more than ever. So successful restaurant (and retail) marketing, that influences customer behaviour, requires a sophisticated understanding of the underlying factors that drive behaviour in the first place. It is not enough to simply describe the “what” of consumer behaviour by cataloguing preferences or tracking paths through to purchase. Approaching retail marketing as a behavioural

science means getting beneath the surface of observable behaviour by asking “why?” because all behaviours happen for a reason, and understanding the reasons opens up the possibility of influence. At face value, shoppers engage in purchase behaviours to meet functional needs such as buying a whitening toothpaste to brighten their smile; a conditioner to tame their unruly hair; or a pair of running shoes to make their jog through the park more comfortable. However, when we look beneath the surface of shopping behaviour, we reveal powerful underlying needs that are based on emotion such as enhancing self-esteem, restoring a sense of security, or expressing care and affection. These emotional needs are often inherently connected to the functional, and together they form deeply personal objectives. The F&B sector is no different. A shopper might


Retail Insight

choose organic food because on the surface it is a healthy lifestyle choice. But a deeper and more ulterior motive might be a greater sense of national pride and therefore support for local produce, which is giving rise to camel milk and pop-up farmers markets in the UAE, such as the Greenheart Pop Up Market or Ripe Food and Craft Markets. These trends begin to play out in mainstream F&B, with an increasing number of franchise restaurants, which may be international brands, offering local and/ or healthier choices. For example, Retail Access conducted a research project to determine consumer preferences around the burgeoning burger sector and found that BBF’s camel burger was one of the UAE’s top rated patties. Even in fine dining, Arabic cuisine is a concept that is surprisingly unexplored in the region, beyond traditional cuisine. This unexploited concept of preparing modern Arabic cuisine in a five star environment, fused with a European touch, is

developing in Dubai. Cle in DIFC, Dubai, is the perfect example and we expect to see many more concepts come online which combine international cuisine to cater for a multicultural palette. The idea of fusing international cuisine then influences the design with Western layouts decorated with Arabesque styling. It also has open and casual dining within a semi private atmosphere that creates an emotional status that diners like to feel from their experience. Understanding the emotional drivers of shoppers and diners also allows owners to begin developing unique concepts based upon original insights. This is most notably being played out by the recent food truck phenomenon which has thrust gourmet food on wheels into the mainstream. Their popularity is based upon people’s inherent emotional driver for playtime. These experiences are care-free and fun, and allow guests to mix entertainment, creativity and excitement into a single experience.

The idea of fusing international cuisine then influences the design with Western layouts decorated with Arabesque styling Whilst strict legislation in the region may make the food truck venture initially prohibitive, judging by the success of ventures like SALT, we are predicting it will not be long before culinary trucks are roving the streets of Dubai. Once F&B owners can reveal the emotional drivers that drive consumer preference, it begins to influence every business decision, from a brand’s personality, through to way finding, marketing and menu creation, because as Canadian neurologist Donald B. Caine once stated; “Reason leads to conclusion, but emotion leads to action.”

retail people | 33


Salaam Leith

Leith Hoffensetz is a lawyer by profession and board member at Urban Edge Real Estate Consulting, located in Dubai. For guidance, please email leith@ urbanedge-me.com

Salaam Leith I am a young Emirati with limited financial means and am looking to invest in a business in Dubai. What kind of business would you recommend I open? —Khalid, Dubai.

Salaam Khalid Investment opportunities within Dubai are broad. You should consider for how long you want to hold such investment and what type of investment you prefer. Think about whether you want to be actively involved in managing your investment, or whether you are happy to let other people manage it for you. You should think about what type of return you wish to achieve. Most

people try and minimize their risk by investing different areas, such as real estate, stocks and/or gold. If these methods of investment do not appeal to you, there are other forms of investment, such as developing your own business concept or buying an existing business or franchise. Alternatively, you may wish to adopt a combination of the above two ideas or enter into a joint venture whereby you provide the funding to a company and another party provides the expertise and skill. The options are limitless. It is up to you at the end of the day to consider what type of investment best suits your requirements.

Salaam Leith I am the owner of a retail shop in a mixed use building in the freezone area of Dubai. We receive bills requiring payment of service charges for our building, but the bill also includes charges for Master Community. How can I find out whether these charges are reasonable, as they relate to the entire master community and not just our building. —Audrey, Dubai

Salaam Audrey Service charges are often questioned by investors. As members of an Association, you are entitled to receive this information from the Association Manager for your building who will receive the bills from the Master Association and the Master Developer who is responsible to provide supporting information in connection with those charges. If this is unsuccessful, you can also approach any Board member of your building, who is obligated to take the matter further on your behalf.

Congratulations to the ICSC Foundation John T. Riordan Professional Education Scholarship Recipients Ahmed Afifi Bawabat Al Sharq Mall UAE

Doris Hazzan Chalhoub Group UAE

Vythnathan Mahalingam mSquared Shopping Centres, LLC UAE

“ I would like to thank the ICSC Foundation for this wonderful opportunity.

Winning the scholarship will surely support me in acquiring invaluable knowledge that will last for years to come.”

- Ahmed Afifi

The ICSC Foundation is your charitable organization. We strengthen the global retail real estate industry by supporting students, professionals and the philanthropic work of our shopping centers. We are proud to develop a new class of highly skilled industry leaders and to promote altruistic community outreach by recognizing initiatives that put communities first. We rely on the investments of members like you to ensure the industry’s and the Foundation’s futures continue to grow.

www.icscfoundation.org • foundation@icsc.org • +1 646 728 3628 • #ICSCFoundation


UPCOMING EVENT CALENDAR EVENT:

NEXT GEN NETWORKING (JORDAN) Tuesday, MAY 5, 2015

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AND AWARDS GALA(DUBAI) STARTING: NOVEMBER 1, 2015 ENDING: NOVEMBER 3, 2015

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015 For updates and to register, please visit

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