Taste the difference

The man behind Jumeirah Restaurants says that the firm’s plan to open 150 outlets in the next few years is realistic

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, it is no wonder that the food and beverage sector (F&B) is doing so well, particularly in the hustle and bustle of booming Dubai.

Sitting in the plush surroundings of The Ivy at Dubai’s Emirates Towers, and surrounded by names running from ET Sushi to the Rib Room, Phil Broad, the managing director of Jumeirah Restaurants looks understandably pleased.

Jumeirah Restaurants is the branded restaurant division within Jumeirah Group, and it is tasked with setting up and licensing the casual dining concept to its international network of partners.

The Noodle House was the first restaurant brand to be developed and it is considered to be the flagship of the division, with licence agreements already signed in eleven countries on a global level.

The company also has the rights to develop a number of brands from the Caprice Holdings group across the Middle East and North Africa, including Rivington Grill, Scott’s, Annabel’s and The Ivy.

Other concepts include Sana Bonta, Urbano, AllFreshCo, Rice + Spice and The Flaming Revolution, all of which have been developed by Jumeirah Restaurants.

“The good thing about Dubai is, in the last four years, we have seen nearly 500 restaurants open in malls alone. That shows that people have confidence in F&B,” says Broad.

The best way to describe Jumeirah Restaurants’ performance in the sector is really in terms of the number of developments they have been signing globally.

Before moving any further, Broad does admit that 2008 was a difficult period for a large number of people, adding that it took a couple of years for their partners to get back on a stable footing. But he also points out that the group is now starting to see promising energy in terms of new openings.

“The main growth vehicle for our company is creating the Noodle House business around the world,” he says.

“We have a whole raft of openings coming up this year. We’ve got Dubai Mall opening, we’ve got Bahrain, which starts training next week, we’ve signed Russia and Lebanon,” he points out, adding: “We signed 27 restaurants in the United Kingdom, which a big growth market for us… we’re also opening in Morocco around November.”

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