Ramadan Kareem


  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish Ramadan Kareem to all Caterer Middle East's readers.

This is a common greeting during the Holy Month, but it was not until recently that I discovered the actual meaning of the phrase.

The word ‘Ramadan' is derived from an Arabic word for ‘shortness of rations'. ‘Kareem', meanwhile, is the Arabic for ‘generous' or ‘bountiful'.

This makes the greeting particularly apt for those working in the foodservice industry at this time of year, I think.

Most people tend to assume that, because Ramadan is the month when Muslims practice daytime fasting, it must be a slow period for the food and beverage sector.

Indeed, many restaurants and coffee shops are closed during the day and many operators take advantage of the enforced slow-down in business to let their employees take their holidays or to carry out renovations or work on new menus.

But the change of pace does not generally mean a loss of revenues according to the Dubai-based F&B professionals that took part in this month's roundtable discussion about the operational challenges posed by the Holy Month.

Most agreed with Al Murooj Rotana Hotel & Suites food and beverage manager, Dominique Jossi, that in the evenings during Ramadan it's business as usual and, due to the revenue-generating capabilities of events such as Iftars, Sohours and other Ramadan-related activities, business remains surprisingly buoyant.

"During Ramadan most of families go out for Iftar, so it's good for generating revenue, especially because most of the guests eat at the same time and finish early, which allows double seating in some outlets," explains Jossi.

"Ramadan impacts positively on the profitability of the outlets as we are able to offer two dinner services each night, and it is important to focus on the volume of business rather than on high spending to secure a better profit."

Jossi adds that in actual fact, Ramadan poses very few operational challenges and that guests, especially those from overseas, enjoy the authentic Arabic experience.

"Guests are well-educated these days and they totally respect the local culture. I believe they react positively and enjoy experiencing Ramadan in the UAE," he says.

Of course for Muslims, Ramadan is a time for solemn contemplation of the teachings of the Qur'an. The fast is an exacting act of deep personal worship that is intended to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, cleansing the soul and allowing people to practice self-discipline, sacrifice and sympathy for those who are less fortunate.

While this message must not be forgotten, it is undoubtedly an interesting time of year for the foodservice sector.

Sarah Gain is the editor of Caterer Middle East.

RELATED LINKS:Food and faith

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
How Dubai is helping Ireland's economic push

How Dubai is helping Ireland's economic push

Tourism is now Ireland’s second-largest industry, and is playing...

Over half of suppliers asked for bribes by hotel managers - survey

Over half of suppliers asked for bribes by hotel managers - survey

Nearly three quarters of suppliers said they know of other firms...

8
The new RNB stars

The new RNB stars

How Jason Myers, Gert Kopera and Christian Gradnitzer plan to...

Most Discussed
  • 10
    UAE teens among the highest for obesity rates

    Everyone in UAE knows that biggest is best.

    UAE may not light up the international league tables in standard of living, education standards, press... more

    Friday, 29 August 2014 4:20 PM - Proud UAEer
  • 9
    Saudi Arabia seeks talks on hiring of Sri Lankan maids

    perhaps the unemployed saudi men or the millions of women who are not allowed to work could pick up a broom and start sweeping their own houses. more

    Sunday, 31 August 2014 3:28 PM - nice
  • 9
    Smoke-free Dubai - the big debate

    Surprisingly the only studies that show a negative financial impact of the smoking ban on the hospitality industry are sponsored by tobacco companies ... more

    Wednesday, 27 August 2014 4:19 PM - Telcoguy
  • 24
    World's most pierced man refused entry to the UAE

    Tolerance has its limits everywhere including Dubai and those who considered Dubai a lawless circus were held accountable...so thank you Dubai authorities... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 10:51 PM - Khalil
  • 23
    Baby NOT on board?

    Some of you cry babies need to get your own personal apartments on the plane ! You cry more then the babies I have seen in my travels. LOL more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 9:10 AM - Jim
  • 21
    Israel “must be punished” over Gaza, says Dubai police chief

    This high moral ground that Mick is talking abt sound very familiar. May I remind Mick that the US & its British ally alone killed over 1 million innocent... more

    Thursday, 7 August 2014 4:12 PM - Mathew