Aphisith Phongsavanh, a specialist in reviving - and launching - F&B concepts in the region, gives expert advice
F&B concepts in Dubai seem to close down as fast as they open up, with many having a short shelf life due to high competition, running costs and customer expectations.
But Aphisith Phongsavanh, former Chef at Waldorf Astoria NYC and founder of Dubai food and hospitality consultancy Wurzig & Nova, specialises in reviving (and launching) F&B concepts in the region.
He shares his expert insights on how to resurrect your business:
1. Be honest with yourself. Being honest with yourself and admitting that your restaurant is facing a decline is the first step to achieving change. Breathing new life into your business requires a fundamental change in your mind-set.
While it will be challenging to adopt a new way of thinking after months of negative cash flows, having a positive and transparent attitude will directly affect your day-to-day operations and, more importantly, motivate your employees.
Your staff will respect you more if you are honest, as people love to work for people, not heartless entities.
2. Step back and view your establishment from a different perspective. When you wallow in expense reports and invoices, the numbers start to blind you from properly forming an action plan. It is challenging to pinpoint the problems when you’re fully immersed in the operations, as many of your decisions might be based on emotions and short-term solutions.
Step back from the familiarity of your business to allow yourself to formulate ideas and solutions from different angles. Once you’ve detached yourself from the intimate connection between you and your business, you’ll start to realise which decisions are right.
3. Re-evaluate your business. Create an assessment chart to track a comprehensive short-term and long-term plan. Your F&B business changes every day. What was a standard operating procedure last year may now only be a costly business practice.
Take a deeper look and re-evaluate everything from your menu to your suppliers and target market.