Harder to grow 'iconic' restaurant in Dubai than in London, says Atherton

“People can easily forget about you” in Dubai, says the Michelin star chef
Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton (ITP Images)
By Lubna Hamdan
Wed 05 Jul 2017 11:16 AM

It is harder to develop and grow a restaurant in Dubai than it is in London, according to Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton.

The former protégé of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay opened Marina Social restaurant and bar in Dubai in September 2015.

Speaking to Arabian Business, he said the venue will take four to six years to become “iconic” in the Dubai F&B scene.

“It’s much more difficult in this [Dubai] market to become an iconic restaurant than it is back home [in London]. We’re working extremely hard on that.

“The biggest challenge is the city is getting big so quick. It’s growing so fast. It’s keeping ahead of the new concepts opening up, making sure that we’re relevant, making sure our marketing is out there so people don’t forget about us, because every hotel has seven outlets. People can easily forget you,” he said.

“The great thing about back home is, once you get established in the market place, the customers define you more as an iconic London restaurant. Already here, Le Petite Maison is classified as an iconic restaurant, so my job here is to make Marina Social an iconic restaurant also, but we’re a year and a half old so it’s going to take another four to six years to become that,” he added.

Atherton’s Marina Social, which is located at the InterContinental Dubai Marina, will remain the chef’s only branch in the Gulf, he said, as he revealed he put a stop to his expansion plans to focus on his existing restaurants.

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