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UAE Urged To Have More Home-Grown F&B Operators

UAE Urged To Have More Home-Grown F&B Operators

Up to 80 per cent of the UAE’s food sector is currently franchise-operated, according to Salem bin Dasmal, founder of Silver Spoon Investments.

Budding UAE food entrepreneurs shouldn’t be afraid to launch home-grown brands amid the tide of franchised offerings in the UAE.

That’s according to Salem bin Dasmal, founder of Silver Spoon Investments, who spoke at The Hotel Show in Dubai this week.

“We believe it’s time to reverse the trend,” he said.

Only around 20 per cent of the UAE’s food sector is home-grown, showing the potential local businesses have to eat into the dominant franchise market’s share.

Between the numerable five-star venues at one end and abundant QSRs (quick serve restaurants) at the other, bin Dasmal – not unlike many hotel operators – foresees plenty of opportunity in the middle in the run-up to Expo 2020.

“We see a huge disconnect between price and quality, there’s a shortage of good quality restaurants that guests can dine regularly at an affordable price,” he said. “We want tourists to leave Dubai with memories of Dubai brands – and not just copycat brands.”

He outlined the pros and cons of going it alone compared with franchising – and said that while the security and support of a big brand may be appealing, licensing costs and royalty fees had to be factored in. “The costs have to be clawed back, and choosing venues with high footfalls means you pay high leases,” he said.

Silver Spoon is working on Atisuto, a new Japanese restaurant concept. “We believe it will be a good addition to the middle market restaurant scene in Dubai.”

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