Leaders with visions met on the virtual stage of the Digital Summit Talks: Mert Askin, President Food & Beverage of the Azadea Group, broadcasting from Dubai, as well as Florian Schneider, Managing Director, Dr. Oetker Hospitality, live in the studio. Also promising: Prof. Chris Muller's outlook on the programme of the 22nd European Foodservice Summit. Hotel and Gastromedia Editor-in-Chief Boris Tomic led through the one-hour programme.
The United Arab Emirates was among the first countries to go into a hard lockdown (March 23, 2020). After 30 days, however, the spook was over, with a return of restaurant operations possible under widely imposed Covid conditions (including reduced seating capacity, time limits, proof of testing or vaccination). The restaurants remained open. Promisingly for the local restaurant industry, too, the UAE is among the countries with the highest Covid vaccination rate in the world.
As an operator of various casual dining brands, the Azeada Group falls into the leisure catering sector, Askin commented on the special challenge of his establishments, which therefore do not take on a catering function: "We are here to give pleasure. At the same time, our business is highly dependent on consumer sentiment." Particularly during the past three to four months, sales have developed significantly positively:"Our results today are above those of 2019." A look at the Sales Track results of the npdgroup shows that the situation on the overall market is developing similarly positively. Guest numbers are also continuously developing positively.
Now all attention is focused on Expo2020 (October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022), which starts in Dubai in a few days. As part of the global marketing campaign, Dubai will be positioned as a "global gastronomy hub".
Take Gugelhupf & Du (Frankfurt a.M.), for example: Here, the Gugelhupf is given a new shape in a variety of ways - including fruity cakes and savoury creations such as the bestseller "Gugelhupf Eggs Benedict". The so-called table fairy helps with ordering: a mobile device - available twice on each table - via which guests can call up the menu, place products in the shopping basket and place their order with the kitchen via contactless payment. "If nothing else, this meets the need for guests to be able to leave the café as soon as they've finished."
Where is it currently more difficult to find staff?"In America," Schneider answers when asked by Editor-in-Chief Boris Tomic. Here, people were not used to receiving so much financial support before. The incentive to come back is currently low.