Sunday, 26th September 2021 | volume 01 | issue 04

Rent still the biggest barrier to F&B sector rebound, finds DRG Survey

Industry also hopes for full recovery from June 2022,
according to the Covid-19 Sentiment Survey was powered by Mingora

In the 18 months since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, causing unprecedented change in the F&B industry, a lot has changed. Restrictions on operators have come and gone, changed over time and tightened and relaxed as the virus has evolved and vaccines have been administered.

To find out what the restaurant industry’s current predicament is like - and its hopes for the future -   Dubai Restaurants Group, powered by Mingora, carried out its Covid-19 Sentiment Survey.

Around 50 CEOs, COOs and owner gave their thoughts. Representing 1,000 outlets from fine dining establishments to fast food spots and everything in between, they told us about their financial outlook, hopes for a return to normalised trading and hopes for an Expo 2020 Dubai impact.

Other factors discussed include how well they felt supported by investors, suppliers and the UAE government during the pandemic, as well as aggregators, landlords and banks.

Those taking part were also asked to discuss staffing issues and how well they felt supported by DRG.

The full report can be found here but the key findings were: A third of businesses find themselves in a weaker financial position than pre-pandemic but that the industry will return to normal levels after June 2022. More than half of the respondents found think Expo 2020 Dubai will have a positive impact on business while it is on, with 15 percent agreeing that the event will have long-lasting impact once it is over.

The government’s help in turning the industry’s fortunes around has not gone unnoticed, either, with the overwhelming majority of people believing rent controls, VAT decrease, easing of travel restrictions and mandatory vaccines as being good for business.

The biggest barriers to full recovery were seen to be rent levels and aggregator commission, as well as availability of staff. One suggestion was to reduce rent to the equivalent value of the reduction in capacity of venues. Renegotiating rent was almost 60 percent of respondensts’ main priority on 2022.

The survey also found the 80 percent of people were aware of DRG and the work it is doing to support the industry, with those who aren’t members already signalling their intent to join. The Group’s work tackling rent issues and aggregator relations were seen as major plus points.

For the full report and more details on the results, click here.

Expo 2020 Dubai: An F&B wonderland

When you hear Expo 2020 Dubai being described as ‘The World’s Greatest Show’ it is no exaggeration. It may have been delayed for 12 months but that extra year has only served to increase excitement about the event and, perhaps gladly, it now coincides with The UAE’s 50th birthday celebrations, adding an extra level of historical significance to the six-month extravaganza.

Of the many experiences and activations taking place at Expo, many are centred around F&B. Not only will the thematic halls will be filled with restaurants, but the individual country pavilions will be showcasing each nation’s ingredients, flavours and culinary heritage.

The event is not only a place for the world to showcase its offerings, Dubai is known for being a city with 200 nationalities living in it, bringing the best of each country’s traditions and cultures with it. Expo 2020 Dubai, then, is the chance to show the world just how diverse and exciting the UAE is, especially when it comes to dining.

There are many highlights to be found at the 200-plus eateries inside the site, but the chance to try David Myers artisan burgers, Matthew Kenney’s plant-based food and Rohit Ghai’s unique take on Indian food are surely must-tries.

Add in the world’s first African dining hall Alkebulan, Talabat’s two-storey food hall and showcase of technology, and the UK’s boundary pushing Bompas & Parr bringing their Epochal Banquet, introducing the world to the future of food, and you have an unrivalled experience for chefs, restaurateurs and consumers.

Then there is the Rising Flavours Food Hall will bring together some of the GCC’s finest chefs to show visitors from around the world the level of cooking and quality of ingredients available here in the UAE. Jubilee Gastronomy Restaurant will welcome some of the world’s greatest chefs, from Michelin-starred restaurants pioneering all kinds of cuisines.

With all this and more on offer over the course of Expo 2020 Dubai, there can be no doubt, it really will be the world’s greatest show. 

Meet the sponsor: Foodics

The latest Platinum Sponsor of DRG is Foodics, a cloud-based POS solution that operates in more than 12,000 restaurants in more than 25 cities.

Available in Arabic, English and French, Foodics’ system gives restaurant owners the technology they need to operate their business, control their operations and unleash their potential.

The company was established in 2014 in Saudi Arabia by Ahmad Al-Zaini and Mosab Al-Othmani, expanding into the UAE in 2017 and further into the MENA region in 2019. A year later, the model was transformed to allow digital customer on-boarding and by serving multiple industries.

Foodics has three solutions for restaurants. First is a point of sale solution that offers real-time reporting, business intelligence and more. Foodics Pay is a payment solution that integrates with the Foodics Cashier App. Meanwhile, Foodics Enterprise offers a multi-branch solution, with a dedicated account consultant and advanced reporting and analytics amongst other benefits.

Speaking about becoming DRG’s Platinum Sponsor, Djamel Mohand, chief operating officer, said: “The genesis of FOODICS was underpinned with a passion to serve the F&B community and be that one stop shop solution in helping restaurant owners be digitally capable and future ready, to meet their current operational requirements as well as prepare them for scale.

“We view the partnership with DRG as a great opportunity to engage with a wider community, learn more about the problems and work together in uplifting the overall industry in whatever capacity we can, as fellow community members. At Foodics, we are excited about the partnership with DRG and looking forward to a great year ahead.”

Saurabh Arora, head of partnerships and ecosystems, added: “We are extremely delighted to Partner with DRG and view the association as a great platform to bring about thought leadership, sharing best practices and sharing our collective experience of working with restaurants across the globe. This is the year of Expo 2020, and restaurants are gearing up to ramp up operation, skill set and be completely digitally capable to what promises to be an exciting year ahead in the UAE.” 

For more information, and to express an interest in becoming a board member or sponsor, contact To find out more about becoming an advisor to the board, click here.

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© Dubai Restaurants Group 2021.
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