Opportunity in Dubai for homegrown F&B concepts, says BB Social Dining co-owner

Dubai customers are no longer interested in 'copy paste' restaurants, says Spero Panagakis
Opportunity in Dubai for homegrown F&B concepts, says BB Social Dining co-owner
Spero Panagakis said customers are no longer interested in similar ‘copy paste’ F&B concepts.
By Lubna Hamdan
Sun 24 Feb 2019 02:42 PM

There is sizeable opportunity in Dubai for homegrown F&B concepts, according to the co-owner of speakeasy DIFC restaurant BB Social Dining.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Spero Panagakis said customers are no longer interested in similar ‘copy paste’ F&B concepts.

“You can’t blindfold consumers anymore. That’s why there’s an opportunity in homegrown brands here, because of the flexibility you have due to the diverse community... You don’t have new concepts being introduced here,” he said.

“So don’t fear entry to Dubai, but make sure your concept is not copy pasted before you enter.”

Panagakis said Dubai is experiencing an oversupply of global franchised restaurants despite its business environment encouraging homegrown concepts.

“There’s oversupply of restaurants. We’re still following a copy paste approach when building F&B businesses which we expand from abroad and come to Dubai to benefit. We want to give an opportunity to homegrown brands where industry lovers can really have a go and show their talent. The important thing is that Dubai encourages the homegrown principle,” he said.

While most venues in DIFC are large and spacious, BB comprises three intimate floors.

“From our background working in London and New York, we like small spaces and more intimacy versus large spaces. The experience becomes a bit more personal,” said Panagakis.

BB, which is derived from the Arabic word ‘habibi’, serves a Far-Eastern menu and is stretched over three floors. Panagakis, who is one of three owners, looks after restaurant operations, while co-owner Shab Stumpf looks after business development. The third owner, Alex Stumpf, is BB’s current chef and the former head chef for closed DIFC restaurant Peyote.

For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.