Ramadan presents business opportunities

Iftars and other Ramadan activities are important revenue generators for foodservice operations according to food and beverage professionals in the Middle East.
Ramadan presents business opportunities
By Administrator
Sun 07 Sep 2008 04:00 AM

Iftars and other Ramadan activities are important revenue generators for foodservice operations according to food and beverage professionals in the Middle East.

Despite the fact that many restaurants are closed during the day throughout the Holy Month, there is still good potential for business according to the Burj Al Arab's food and beverage manager, Carmen Mauthner.

"Iftar has become a great success year-on-year and we experience a very busy period during Ramadan," she said.

"Guests can enjoy Iftar buffets in several of our restaurants for AED 395 (US $107) per person, including water and juices."

In fact, evening activities can more than make up for any revenue lost due to daytime closures explained the Park Hyatt Dubai's assistant F&B director, Kenzo Posth.

"The closures of outlets for lunch, and the limited areas where we can maximise beverage sales, has a slight impact [on profitability]," he admitted.

"However, we catch up with the Iftars and Sohours, and especially with the corporate Iftar bookings."

Foodservice operations elsewhere in the region are also able to capitalise on the opportunities presented by Ramadan according to director of F&B at the Four Seasons Cairo at Nile Plaza, Reinhold Nagler.

"We are not limiting our offerings, even though it takes a long time to plan and secure sufficient operating equipment and our menus have to be approved by the government," he said.

"All outlets are running as normal and the two outlets that offer Ramadan activities have even more elaborate menus as we are offering special buffets."

The Four Seasons Hotel Damascus also depends on successful Iftars to generate revenue during the Holy Month.

"Iftars are the events where we achieve the biggest volume of guests [and] during Ramadan, profitability is mostly reached through covers," said executive chef Martin Knaubert.

"Maximising covers and maintaining product quality are key to success and profitability."

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