2017 Programme

DAY THREE - Wednesday 12 April 2017

8:45 - 9:15

Networking

BREAKFAST NETWORKING

9:15 - 10:15

ROUND TABLE SESSIONS

Join us for round table ‘brainstorming sessions’ with your fellow attendees. These sessions allow you to meet and share ideas ahead of the start of conference sessions. A great ice-breaker and an excellent way to gain industry knowledge. Network, demonstrate your expertise to potential partners and gain insight from industry leaders in an intimate setting. Each table will be hosted by an industry expert. During the session you will have the chance to move tables once to discuss industry issues from your choice of the following round tables:

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION 1 - PROS AND CONS OF THE FRANCHISE MODEL 

When and how do you franchise your brand? What are the latest trends in restaurant franchising? 

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    Babette Marzheuser-Wood
    Partner - Dentons

    Babette Marzheuser-Wood

    Partner - Dentons

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    Babette is rated as a top 10 global franchise lawyer. She heads up the European Franchise team at Dentons. She specialises in international franchise and concession agreements and IP-driven joint ventures.

    Babette has transactional experience in over 100 countries. Recent deals include work in all major emerging markets (Russia, India, China, Brazil and South Africa) as well as in the Middle East and Africa. She also advises clients on franchise agreements and other innovative structures for international expansion in the global marketplace.

    Babette has particular expertise in the restaurant, hotel, leisure, retail and sectors. She is dual qualified in Germany and the UK.  She is recognised as one of Europe’s leading experts in hotel and leisure franchising with a particular emphasis on German speaking Europe. Babette is recognised as a leading expert in international franchising by Chambers Global which says she is “highly regarded for her experience in the hotel and leisure industry”. She is also recommended by The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers, Chambers UK and Legal 500 for her franchise expertise. She is listed as a recommended country expert for Germany in Chambers Global.

    Babette’s research on the role of franchising in the European hospitality industry has attracted widespread media attention. Babette is the author of “International Protection of a Franchisor’s System”, Vancouver 2004. She has written the European section of Butterworth’s Franchise Laws.

    She lectures regularly around the world on franchise law and was part of a team of lawyers that advised the Russian Government on the use of franchising to kick-start small businesses. She is an associated editor of the Franchise Law Review.

    Babette is a member of the ABA Forum on Franchising, the IBA Franchise Committee and the IFA.

    She is dual qualified in both Germany and the UK.

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    Yunib Siddiqui
    Chief Executive Officer - Jones the Grocer

    Yunib Siddiqui

    Chief Executive Officer - Jones the Grocer

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    Yunib has been a successful entrepreneur for over half of his life, having established his first business in his early twenties sourcing and distributing handmade products to retail giants like Liberty, Debenhams, Harrods and Galleries Lafayette.

    His franchising experience began in 2003 when Yunib joined the board of Team-A ventures as their Brand Development Director. Team-A is the country franchisee currently operating over 30 stores in Pakistan for brands like Next, mothercare, ELC, Debenhams, Accessorize, Monsoon, Timberland & FitFlop.

    Being quite familiar with franchising and a keen foodie Yunib engaged Jones the Grocer as a franchisee for the UAE. in mid-2008 and opened the first location of the brand in Abu Dhabi in 2009. He then went on to hold the franchisor licence for the greater Middle East, Africa and surrounding territories and subsequently purchased the global IP for the brand worldwide which includes 22 operational stores and several additional locations in the pipeline.

    Yunib holds a BSC (Econ) Hons, International Trade & Development, London School of Economics & Political Science. He is an active member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and author of several articles on entrepreneurship for The National newspaper. He lives in Dubai with his wife and three sons.

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION 2 - HUMAN CAPITAL

Why it needs to be a top down concern and built into the fabric of a business - Looking at best practice in creating a company culture that retains and inspires its workforce through all levels of the business as it grows.
 

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    Naveed Dowlatshahi
    Vice President - Food & Beverage, City of Arabia - Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group

    Naveed Dowlatshahi

    Vice President - Food & Beverage, City of Arabia - Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group

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    Naveed is a veteran to the F&B scene in the UAE.  

    Born and educated in the UK Naveed started his career in the automotive industry and later progressed into retail and has been working in the F&B industry for the majority of his 23+ years of working history.

    From the beginning Naveed has been fascinated with food and the daily challenges that the restaurant scene brings and this is what has fueled his passion for the industry.

    Since moving to Dubai in 2004 Naveed has worked in senior executive roles for prestigious companies such as Gourmet Gulf Company, Dubai Holding, BinHendi Enterprises, The Landmark Group and most recently Naveed has been working with the Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group at City of Arabia where he spearheaded the master planning and development of 17 non-branded restaurants, 12 food carts, staff canteen feeding over 1,600 meals a day and a 25,000 sq. ft. central commissary at the IMG Worlds of Adventure Theme Park.  

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    Mattias Kroon
    Food Writer -

    Mattias Kroon

    Food Writer -

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    Mattias Kroon is the director and curator of several food festivals in the Nordic region and internationally, he also acts as consultant to government tourist boards and companies on issues relating to gastronomy and communication.

    He is an international food critic and magazine editor since 15 years. After following closely the rise of the Nordic food movement he wrote the New Nordic Food manifesto in 2011 on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. He has written and collaborated on many award winning books and was awarded "Best International Journalist" by acclaimed Italian food forum Identita Golose in 2014.

    As a founder of Hottesttables.com he is seeking to re-invent the game of foodie-curated restaurant guides in social media - with modern, stylish, short and quickly updated advice on where to eat right now in major cities around the world.

    He lives in Paris, France and you can follow his adventures on instagram.com/mattias.kroon

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    Andrew Morrow
    General Manager, F&B Development and Operations - Roya International

    Andrew Morrow

    General Manager, F&B Development and Operations - Roya International

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    Andrew has a remarkable career spanning 22 years. A chef by trade, Andrew started his career with Hyatt Hotels and rose to head chef working in some of the world’s most iconic hotel properties and independent restaurants including stints at Bather Pavilion, Mission Hill Family Estate and Hayman Island to name a few.

    After more than ten years leading kitchen teams to success on three continents Andrew turned his sights in 2008 to the UAE and more of an operations role. A tenure at Emirates Palace was instrumental in setting Andrew up to help launch a new food group and the development of three new brands for the UAE market. Having gained an in-depth understanding of operational food and beverage requirements, Andrew brings to Roya an exceptional portfolio of specialist knowledge and experience in all aspects of the hospitality food and beverage industry whether from menu planning, creation and engineering to an ability to comprehensively review back of house operations and services.

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    Markus Thesleff
    Founder - Whissle Limited

    Markus Thesleff

    Founder - Whissle Limited

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    Co-Founder of Dubai headquartered full service boutique hospitality company, Whissle (www.whissle.com) and multi-award winning* OKKU Luxury Japanese Restaurant and Lounge (www.okku.com), Markus has over 16 years of international expertise in the fields of  hospitality, F&B, marketing and brand consultancy. Markus started his career within the family business, a holding company specializing in strategic development in the food & services industry, prior to venturing out on his own to pursue his passion for creating lifestyle brands.  Markus has worked and advised international corporations such as ConAgra, Scan and Volvo/Procordia.

    With a strong background in the food business Markus is known for his success with the global brand Pangaea, launching to much aplomb in New York, London, and Marbella amongst others.  Pangaea is the iconic and glamorous private members lounge that has won every major industry accolade including Best Club in London multiple times**.

    In 2005, Markus launched yet another exclusive private member’s lounge, AvivA located beneath the ultra-hip 5-star Baglioni Hotel in London, which played host to some of the city’s most high profile parties for — Armani, Robbie Williams, J-Lo, and Vanity Fair to name a few.

    In September 2007, Markus opened Maya which quickly became a London hot spot and at the time was the only London club to have won the prestigious World’s Finest Clubs award, doing so after only eight months in operation. Some of the many celebrity icons to have visited Maya include Alexander McQueen, Sienna Miller, Rhianna, Chris Brown, and Lady GaGa.

    Together with partner and long time friend Ramzy Abdul-Majeed, OKKU was created, bringing a new dimension to the rapidly expanding hospitality scene in Dubai.

    Whissle, formed in 2000, is committed to creating and developing exciting and dynamic hospitality projects including managing the expansion of the award winning OKKU brand.  Following its success in launching OKKU, a home grown brand with international standards and an international reputation, Whissle has also launched Sophie’s (www.sophiesme.com), a gastro-cafe concept located on the Palm Jumeirah. Sophie’s will add a new flavour to the hospitality industry by providing a healthy fresh and natural home-style dining option.

    Another in the Whissle portfolio is RIVA Ristorante, Bar and Beach (www.riva-beach.com), located in Building 8, The Shoreline Palm Jumeirah. It offers an innovative and unique new dimension to Dubai’s beach scene by being the first standalone independent destination to provide a chilled out, stylish and relaxing atmosphere in addition to offering guests à la carte facilities.

    Expanding its portfolio further, Whissle launched CLAW BBQ, Crabshack & Grill in 2013 which is located in Souk Al Bahar and is the incarnation of America’s favourite style eatery featuring Southern hospitality at its best. In addition, Cielo Sky Lounge and Casa de Tapas, a Spanish tapas restaurant launched in Spring 2014 at the iconic Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION 3 - SMART DESIGN 

Creating maximum impact with minimum spend – designing spaces that decrease your initial outlay without compromising on consumer experience or potential revenue. 

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    Sarah-Jane Grant
    Director - LXA

    Sarah-Jane Grant

    Director - LXA

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    Sarah-Jane joined us in 2010. She became a director in 2012, due to her quick success at developing and creating trusted and profitable customer relationships within our Middle Eastern markets. Sarah-Jane is a natural leader and creative thinker, and her commercial acumen and success can be seen in the portfolio of clients and work we enjoy today.

    Sarah-Jane holds a BA (Hons) degree in Science and Media Studies, and has a real passion for the food and beverage and hospitality sectors. Before joining us, she was the Marketing & Budget Manager at Alpha Airports Group, where she focused on commercial and marketing relationships with top duty free retail and catering brands. Before that, she was a Business Analyst for Virgin Wines.

    A married mother of two, Sarah-Jane is well known for her sense of humour. She loves food, the sea and any sport that isn’t soccer.

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    Erik Nissen Johansen
    Creative Director & Founder - Stylt Trampoli

    Erik Nissen Johansen

    Creative Director & Founder - Stylt Trampoli

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    Erik Nissen Johansen is the founder and creative director of award-winning hospitality design practice Stylt in Gothenburg, one of Europe’s most distinctive and creative concept agencies.. 

    For more than 25 years, Stylt has combined skills like concept development, interior architecture, design and branding to create unique hotel and restaurant experiences for clients all over the world. Under Erik’s leadership, Stylt has won several awards, including Best New Boutique Hotel in the World and two European Hotel Design Awards, several Swedish Design Prizes, and the World Hotel Award. So far the portfolio includes more than 400 restaurants and 250 hotels.

    Storytelling is Erik’s tool for bringing experiences and brands to life. Stories are always the red thread in creating the concepts, guiding every aspect of development, from brand positioning to setting of the table. This results in consistent, engaging and memorable design, which in turn creates consistent, engaging and memorable customer experiences. A Stylt story can leverage the guests themselves as marketers, creating word-of-mouth publicity. Furthermore, story-based concepts are well insulated against fluctuating fashions.

    Lydmar Stockholm, Klaus K Helsinki, Sonya St Petersburg, Stora Hotellet Umeå, 25h Düsseldorf, St George Helsinki, Cuckoo’s Nest Gothenburg, The Well Oslo, Huus Hotel Gstaad, Le Rouge Stockholm, Le Pain Français Gothenburg, Creekside Villa Canmore Canada and Stenungsbaden Yacht Club Gothenburg are some of Stylt’s completed and ongoing projects.

    Erik was born in Oslo Norway 1965 and graduated from the L'Istituto per l'Arte e il Restauro in Florence in 1985, with a diploma in art, art history, marketing and design. Erik’s parallel career as an artist has seen him exhibit his work, both solo and as part of a group, throughout Europe and the US. 

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION 4 - THE VALUE OF CONSULTANTS

When do you need them and what should their role be?

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    Duncan Fraser-Smith
    Director,Global Food and Beverage - The First Group

    Duncan Fraser-Smith

    Director,Global Food and Beverage - The First Group

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    Having spent the past 6 years in the Middle East region in key food and beverage roles within the hotel industry, Duncan has a wealth of experience in this region.

    Duncan spent 3 years in Doha, Qatar, developing the hospitality operations for Qatar Sports City and the Cultural Village.  Most recently his role as Group Director of Design, Food and Beverage for Middle East, Africa and Asia, involved creating and developing over 150 different food and beverage concepts for InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the largest hotel companies in the world, so Duncan is well recognized and respected in the hotel and restaurant industry within the Middle East/GCC region and internationally.

    Duncan’s 20 years in the hospitality industry, spanning Asia, Australia and the Middle East, have seen him developing both edgy brand defining concepts and establishing, both stand alone and hotel based outlets from deconstructed bars, cafes and lifestyle outlets through to contemporary steakhouses and high street fine dining .

    Duncan has a unique approach to developing hotel food and beverage operations by identifying the mix of offerings falling under the three categories of , Core, Impulse and Destination and to make strategic, long
    term decisions on the correct use of each individual space.

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    Nagi Morkos
    Managing Partner - Hodema Consulting Services

    Nagi Morkos

    Managing Partner - Hodema Consulting Services

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    With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and retail industries in the Gulf and the Middle East, Nagi Morkos heads a team of 20 multi-lingual professional consultants holding high degrees from renowned international hospitality and business universities with years of experience in a wide array of fields. He lived in Kuwait where he developed and managed a retail family business before returning to Beirut where he created, with local partners, the Circus restaurant-bar in Monot Street that he managed from 1997 until 2003 and which became a landmark on Beirut Food & Beverage scene.

    Nagi also developed other restaurants and co-pioneered the launch of the beach resort trend in Lebanon in 1999 with the opening of the first trendy day and night venue, the Bamboo Bay-Circus in Jiyeh, South Lebanon. He has a wide scope of contacts with local and regional hospitality industry actors and with Lebanese press and is a contributing writer for various general and specialized magazines in Lebanon among which “Hospitality News” in English and “Le Commerce du Levant” in French.

10:15 - 10:30

Networking

COFFEE BREAK

10:30 - 10:45

WELCOME BACK – KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM DAY ONE

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    James Hacon
    Development Growth and Brand Strategist -

    James Hacon

    Development Growth and Brand Strategist -

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    James Hacon is a tenacious restaurant leader based in the UK, specialising in growth, development and brand strategy. Having built up considerable experience working with more than fifty companies in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sector in six countries, he is now Brand Strategy Director at Thai Leisure Group and continues to work with a select group of investors and operators. His brand experience includes some of the biggest and best names in the restaurant sector from independent Michelin-starred properties to national and international groups.

10:45 - 11:00

FOLLY BY NICK AND SCOTT: LOOKING AT THE STORY BEHIND THE CONCEPT

Looking at the story behind the concept, its creators and how it is raising the bar for Dubai’s diners.
 

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    Nick Alvis
    Chef Patron - folly

    Nick Alvis

    Chef Patron - folly

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    Nick is never happier than when he’s in the kitchen working with his team of chefs. He began his career cooking in English country house hotels, before moving to London to train under the three Michelin starred chef Nico Ladenis. Nick then worked for Gordon Ramsay for a number of years, both in London at Claridges and Petrus and in France at Gordon Ramsay au Trianon, which was awarded two Michelin stars in its first year of opening.

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    Naim Maadad
    Chief Executive Officer - Gates Hospitality

    Naim Maadad

    Chief Executive Officer - Gates Hospitality

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    With over 28 years in the hospitality world across Australia, Asia, & the Middle East in various senior management roles, I have launched & operated some of the world’s best Hotels, Resorts, Spas & Lifestyle Food & Beverage Concepts.

    My career has exposed me to some of the best properties around the world and I was fortunate to partake & orchestrate several amazing openings & operations.

    Covering a wide spectrum of positions within senior leadership, including the role of Managing Director for both Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas and The Anantara Group respectively. During my time with these exclusive properties, I was instrumental in nurturing sound relationships with owners, securing the best possible locations, negotiating and formalising contractual agreements, and appointing teams to infuse and reflect the ethos of the brands.

    Being based in the ME over the past 18 years, I have witnessed tremendous industry growth, gained a deep cultural understanding & have been endorsed by principals & organizations alike.

    In 2012, I have established “Gates Hospitality” A homegrown Hospitality Company representing handpicked Concepts catering for the affluent life stylers.

    Gates Hospitality, the parent company of well-known homegrown brands such as; Ultra Brasserie, the internationally acclaimed concept; Reform Social & Grill Dubai, The Black Lion, Bistro Des Arts and ownership of Six Senses Zighy Bay.

    Continuing the successful growth of Gates Hospitality’s portfolio; 2017, has seen the launch of the highly anticipated; Folly by Nick & Scott, as well as Publique, Dubai's premier "Apres Ski chalet". Via Veneto Osteria e Cucina will be revealed early Q2 of 2017.

    In principal, GH expertise that are extended are indicative but not limited to; Hospitality Guidance | Asset Management | Pre-opening Foundation | Day-to-day Operational Success.

    My philosophy & approach are simple, connecting likeminded investors, operators & brands to define concepts, successful portfolios & continue on shaping the hospitality industry.

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    Viktorija Paplauskiene
    Operations Manager - folly

    Viktorija Paplauskiene

    Operations Manager - folly

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    Viktorija combines a real love and understanding of the restaurant industry with a talent for looking after the needs of her guests and motivating her team. After working as a supervisor for Angela Hartnett at The Connaught, Viktorija took on the role of head waitress at Petrus. She then moved swiftly up the career ladder to become restaurant manager at Club Gascon.

    With their friendship as the base, over the last five years Nick, Scott and Viktorija have built a solid partnership and reputation for success, re-launching Verre by Gordon Ramsay, opening their own acclaimed restaurant table 9 by nick & scott and developing the award-winning Taste Kitchen brand.

    Thanks to its prime location in Madinat Jumeirah, folly by Nick & Scott is the ideal place for the next step in their journey.

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    Scott Price
    Chef Patron - folly

    Scott Price

    Chef Patron - folly

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    Even as an 11-year old washing dishes in his town’s local hotel Scott knew he was destined for a career in the kitchen. After attending catering collage and reaching the national finals of the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship in 2003 he went on to work for Gordon in London for seven years, ending up as sous chef at Claridges and the three Michelin-starred Royal Hospital Road.

11:00 - 11:10

SPOTLIGHT ON CHINA

Find out about big industry news in the Chinese/Asian market and the recent transactions that have taken place in the F&B sector in the region.

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    Emilia Shi
    Partner - Dentons, Shanghai Office

    Emilia Shi

    Partner - Dentons, Shanghai Office

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    Emilia Shi joined the firm in 2014 as partner after more than 17 years of private practice experience. Before that she worked for several domestic and foreign leading law firms as well as in the legal departments of multinational companies.

    Ms. Shi has been practicing in M&A, PE Investment, FDI, corporate governance and compliance. Ms. Shi has advised on projects representing a variety of clientele in major sectors, covering food, retail, real estate, energy, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and manufacturing, etc. In particular, she acted as compliance leader for two Fortune 500 companies in the Asia Pacific Region for almost five years and has extensive experience in compliance policy review, audit and investigations.

11:10 - 11:30

FROM THE BOARDROOM TO THE PERUVIAN KITCHEN: STORY OF AN ENTREPRENEURIAL CHEF

After working at Apple with Steve Jobs and Disney as a creative and executive, Martin Morales changed careers just 5 years ago and became an award-winning chef, restaurateur and pioneer of Peruvian food. Hear about his experiences as he shares his learnings on how creativity and general business acumen can be applied to the world of restaurants.

Presentation by Martin Morales, Founder, Ceviche and Andina in London

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    Martin Morales
    Managing Director and Chef - Ceviche and Andina Peruvian Restaurants in London

    Martin Morales

    Managing Director and Chef - Ceviche and Andina Peruvian Restaurants in London

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    Martin Morales is the Managing Director and Chef behind one of the finest and fastest growing restaurant groups in Britain: Ceviche Ltd. Launched 5 years ago and based in London Martin leads the award-winning Peruvian and Latin restaurant brands Ceviche and Andina. Ceviche is open from midday to midnight and focussed on the coastal cuisine of Peru and on groundbreaking drinks. Andina is a cafe style, all-day dining concept focussing on the nutritious ingredients from the Andes of Peru. Each brand is distinct, stylish, inclusive and created to enable the group to fit in a whole host of locations and with a variety of customers. He is known as the pioneer of Peruvian food in Europe with Ceviche Soho voted 6th Best Restaurant in London in 2016 by Time Out Magazine, Ceviche Old St, recent winner of the ‘Best Venue in the UK’ at the Retailer’s Retailer Award, Andina known as one of London's best all-day dining concepts and the brand new and AA Rosette Awarded Casita Andina in London's Soho. Every one is Michelin-Guide listed and unique in design and atmosphere.  

    www.CevicheUK.com  www.AndinaLondon.com

    Ceviche and Andina are further strengthened by cookbooks. Martin is the author of the bestselling cookbook CEVICHE: Peruvian Kitchen - Sunday Times Cookbook of the Year and triple World Gourmand Award Winner. His cookbook is known as 'the bible of Peruvian food' has been translated into 12 languages and is the most widely distributed cookbook of Peruvian food in the world. He is now writing his second book. ANDINA: The Heart of the Andes which will be released in October 2017 on Quadrille alongside a stage show which will be used to promote the brand and book. He hosts his own successful YouTube Channel ‘Martin’s Peruvian Kitchen’ which launches a new recipe show every week and monthly guides on where to eat in Peru. 

    Born in Peru, to an Andean mother, but having lived in Britain for the last 30 years, Martin is shortlisted for the GQ Magazine 2017 Innovator of the Year Award, won Entrepreneur of the Year by the British Chamber of Commerce, made the Evening Standard's list of 1000 Most Influential Londoners twice and is a member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organisation (YPO). His company also runs Ceviche Old St Gallery – featuring Peru’s top 50 contemporary artists; the Peruvian music label Tiger’s Milk Records, and Martin is a Trustee at the Andean children’s charity Amantani. Ceviche Ltd is in the top companies in the UK with the widest consumer reach in terms of Peruvian food and ingredients having served over 1 million customers in just 5 years and with a database of emails and social media that reaches 100,000 people. 

    He regularly appears on British, Peruvian and European TV shows. Before becoming a chef, Martin held a series of high level executive jobs at global corporations as well as independent companies and start ups. He worked at Apple with Steve Jobs as iTunes Head of Pan EU starting the European company from zero and helping turn it into a $500m company in just three years. He worked at Disney launching Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez as Executive Director of Disney Music Group in Europe growing the business by 300% in four years, and he worked at EMI with KT Tunstall and Joss Stone launching their careers and winning Grammys and BRIT Awards. He was a mentor at Seedcamp and alongside his executive work he was also a DJ for 15 years travelling all over the world and performing in over 35 countries. A chef, a restaurateur, a creative entrepreneur and a business leader who has been successful in hospitality, technology, live events, media and entertainment. He leads new trends, champions creative talent and builds world class teams fit for growth within changing and evolving marketplaces. 

    www.MartinMorales.co.uk

11:30 - 12:00

THE FINANCIERS: EVALUATING AN INVESTMENT

What are financiers looking for and what do they want from concepts? A look at the elements of due diligence involved when looking to invest in a restaurant - what alarm bells and opportunities do investors look out for when considering a restaurant? What are the deal breakers? What alternative finance models can be considered?  

Moderated by:
 

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    Mathieu Fabre-Magnan
    Partner - Dentons

    Mathieu Fabre-Magnan

    Partner - Dentons

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    Mathieu Fabre-Magnan is a partner based in the Dentons Moscow office and co-head of the firm's global retail and luxury sector group.

    Mathieu focuses on corporate / M&A, and distribution law as well as general commercial law. He covers a broad range of industry sectors, including retail and hospitality. Mathieu has advised global luxury goods companies owning some of the most iconic brands in the world on their market entry and development in Russia.

    Mathieu has specialized in Eastern European transactions since 1990 and has been based in Moscow since 1993. He represents clients from market entry to expansion, restructuring and disposal. Mathieu is advising on some of the most complicated and challenging M&A, joint venture and corporate finance transactions in the Russian market, including oil & gas and agribusiness sectors

In coversation with 

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    Jonathan Downey
    Co-founder - London Union

    Jonathan Downey

    Co-founder - London Union

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    Since leaving his career as a corporate lawyer in 1999, Downey has become a highly influential voice in hospitality - opening over 20 bars, clubs, restaurants and a hotel in London, Ibiza, Chamonix and Melbourne. In 2015 he was named by Debrett’s/Sunday Times as one of the 20 most influential Brits in food and drink and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Spirited Awards in New Orleans.

    In 2012 Downey brought his drinks expertise to Street Feast, a street food night market founded in east London. Downey has since organised several events and street food arenas under the Street Feast brand (including Model Market, Dinerama and Hawker House) all over London; taking derelict and disused spaces and filling them with food, booze, music and vibes.

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    Mohamed El-Masri
    Head of Corporate Finance - Ento Capital Management Ltd.

    Mohamed El-Masri

    Head of Corporate Finance - Ento Capital Management Ltd.

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    With comprehensive understanding in Corporate Finance; Mohamed has participated in lead Advisory roles for several SMEs in the region as well as large-scale real estate development projects across the GCC.

    Born in Canada, and previously living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he enjoys a glocal perspective on the region. Mohamed studied Political Science & Economics at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He earned his Canadian Securities Qualification from the Canadian Securities Institute (Moody’s Analytics Training & Certification Services), while active in the Canadian Securities market at the time.

    He then earned his General Securities Qualification Certificate (CME-1) with the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he worked at one of the leading Investment Banks in the Kingdom before joining Ento Capital with a Corporate Finance qualification from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI).

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    Paul Hemming
    Senior Advisor - Alix Partners

    Paul Hemming

    Senior Advisor - Alix Partners

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    Paul leads a full range of stakeholders through the complexities of corporate finance transactions. With over 25 years' experience as a lead adviser, he works with shareholders, companies, private-equity firms, management teams, and creditor groups on a range of transactions across the performance spectrum, delivering highly practical deal execution. Paul has extensively handled complex mergers and acquisitions and with his team, designs deal processes to match timetables and specific challenges. He also has wide-ranging experience in advising on sale mandates, having established and run a specialist sale advisory team that targeted midmarket private company transactions. Paul is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Manchester University.

    Experience:

    •Advised Apollo on the acquisition of a casual-dining group and then worked with the company to restructure the core estate and sell Strada. Subsequent work included identifying potential acquisition targets and executing the acquisitions of Las Iguanas and La Tasca.

    Advised the vendors on the sale of more than 75 businesses, including New World Trading Company, Bramwell Pubs and Bars, Nightfreight, 3D Entertainment, iNTERTAIN, Serviceteam, Mama Group, Collins & Aikman, and Golden Wonder.
    Advised on sale of business services group Parabis in seven simultaneous interlocking transactions involving a range of private-equity and corporate acquirers.


    Advised board and shareholders on fund-raising for Brasserie Blanc, Pho, and Be At One.
    Advised board of Orchid Pubs and Dining and Barracuda Limited on financial restructuring.
     

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    Martin Sherwood
    Partner - Enterprise Investment Partners

    Martin Sherwood

    Partner - Enterprise Investment Partners

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    Martin Sherwood has many years’ experience of small company fundraising and in particular the tax-efficient investment market, specialising in the Hospitality & Leisure Sectors. Martin is currently chairman of the four British Country Inns companies and of Halcyon Hotels and Resorts plc, which until recently was in joint venture with Luxury Family Hotels, which he helped launch 20 years ago. He has led the equity fund-raising for the Central London bar/restaurant group Imbiba in recent years and also funded the roll-out of CERU, the new Eastern Mediterranean casual dining brand.  He was founder and head of Tax Efficient Solutions, first at Teather & Greenwood (1997-2004) and subsequently at Smith & Williamson (2004-2010), which he left to found Enterprise (www.enterprise-ip.com).

    Martin has been closely involved in both Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes since their inception, and is a founder director of the EIS Association (www.eisa.org.uk), the official trade association of the EIS industry.

    Martin works very closely with a wide range of Hospitality & Leisure entrepreneurs and has a significant network of investors and professional contacts as well as being a serial investor in his own right.

12:00 - 12:30

THE BLUEPRINT TO DEVELOPING A SUCCESSFUL CONCEPT

Looking at the timeline, team needed, where it fits in the market and who the customer is, looking at realistic timeframes for achieving returns. 

Moderated by

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    Duncan Fraser-Smith
    Director,Global Food and Beverage - The First Group

    Duncan Fraser-Smith

    Director,Global Food and Beverage - The First Group

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    Having spent the past 6 years in the Middle East region in key food and beverage roles within the hotel industry, Duncan has a wealth of experience in this region.

    Duncan spent 3 years in Doha, Qatar, developing the hospitality operations for Qatar Sports City and the Cultural Village.  Most recently his role as Group Director of Design, Food and Beverage for Middle East, Africa and Asia, involved creating and developing over 150 different food and beverage concepts for InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the largest hotel companies in the world, so Duncan is well recognized and respected in the hotel and restaurant industry within the Middle East/GCC region and internationally.

    Duncan’s 20 years in the hospitality industry, spanning Asia, Australia and the Middle East, have seen him developing both edgy brand defining concepts and establishing, both stand alone and hotel based outlets from deconstructed bars, cafes and lifestyle outlets through to contemporary steakhouses and high street fine dining .

    Duncan has a unique approach to developing hotel food and beverage operations by identifying the mix of offerings falling under the three categories of , Core, Impulse and Destination and to make strategic, long
    term decisions on the correct use of each individual space.

Presentation by

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    Bob Puccini
    Founder - Puccini Group

    Bob Puccini

    Founder - Puccini Group

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    Bob Puccini knows what makes social spaces and restaurants successful. Companies such as Fairmont, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Ritz Carlton, and Strategic Hotels and Resorts come to Bob because they know he understands the business from every perspective. Having been responsible for designing and remodeling over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, combined with his unsurpassed ability to survey a market, he appreciates a client’s goals and translates his perceptions into a winning concept that has earned Bob a stellar reputation and many longtime clients. Before founding Puccini Group in 1996, he served as Partner and Senior VP for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for ten years during their expansion from 4 to 35 restaurants throughout the United States. Today, Kimpton remains one of Puccini Group’s closest clients.

    Bob has worked under many titles throughout his 40-year career, starting with dishwasher at the age of 16, then moving to restaurant General Manager, and by 30, he was Vice President of a national chain of restaurants. It was there that he began not just operating, but concepting and developing restaurants as well. In the late 1980s he met Bill Kimpton and worked for him on the development and operations of the restaurant division through the extensive growth years at the Kimpton Group. He has continued working as a consultant to this day. In addition, Bob has owned and operated restaurants in California, Oregon, and Canada. He understands the inner workings of every facet of the restaurant business and is quick to identify solutions in any under-performing hotel restaurant.

    With current projects around the globe, from Dubai to Macau to his home city of San Francisco, and as a globally-thinking professional, Bob currently belongs to both the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and the Foodservice Consultant’s Society International. In 2002, he was named the Anti-Defamation League’s Food and Wine Industry Person of the year and won the prestigious Platinum Circle award from Hospitality Design in 2006.

    Bob particularly relishes his role as a leader in the restaurant industry and its community, and has served on the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and the Board of Advisors at University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Management program. He holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from San Diego State University and spent 1969 in Brazil with the Peace Corps.

    Recognized as an industry expert, Bob is an internationally sought after speaker at hotel investment conferences in Berlin, Macau, Mumbai, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing. With over forty years in the hospitality industry, Bob’s love for restaurants has helped Puccini Group become the niche market leader for hotel F&B outlets, in terms of concepts, design, and operations.

Followed by a panel discussion

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    Martin Morales
    Managing Director and Chef - Ceviche and Andina Peruvian Restaurants in London

    Martin Morales

    Managing Director and Chef - Ceviche and Andina Peruvian Restaurants in London

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    Martin Morales is the Managing Director and Chef behind one of the finest and fastest growing restaurant groups in Britain: Ceviche Ltd. Launched 5 years ago and based in London Martin leads the award-winning Peruvian and Latin restaurant brands Ceviche and Andina. Ceviche is open from midday to midnight and focussed on the coastal cuisine of Peru and on groundbreaking drinks. Andina is a cafe style, all-day dining concept focussing on the nutritious ingredients from the Andes of Peru. Each brand is distinct, stylish, inclusive and created to enable the group to fit in a whole host of locations and with a variety of customers. He is known as the pioneer of Peruvian food in Europe with Ceviche Soho voted 6th Best Restaurant in London in 2016 by Time Out Magazine, Ceviche Old St, recent winner of the ‘Best Venue in the UK’ at the Retailer’s Retailer Award, Andina known as one of London's best all-day dining concepts and the brand new and AA Rosette Awarded Casita Andina in London's Soho. Every one is Michelin-Guide listed and unique in design and atmosphere.  

    www.CevicheUK.com  www.AndinaLondon.com

    Ceviche and Andina are further strengthened by cookbooks. Martin is the author of the bestselling cookbook CEVICHE: Peruvian Kitchen - Sunday Times Cookbook of the Year and triple World Gourmand Award Winner. His cookbook is known as 'the bible of Peruvian food' has been translated into 12 languages and is the most widely distributed cookbook of Peruvian food in the world. He is now writing his second book. ANDINA: The Heart of the Andes which will be released in October 2017 on Quadrille alongside a stage show which will be used to promote the brand and book. He hosts his own successful YouTube Channel ‘Martin’s Peruvian Kitchen’ which launches a new recipe show every week and monthly guides on where to eat in Peru. 

    Born in Peru, to an Andean mother, but having lived in Britain for the last 30 years, Martin is shortlisted for the GQ Magazine 2017 Innovator of the Year Award, won Entrepreneur of the Year by the British Chamber of Commerce, made the Evening Standard's list of 1000 Most Influential Londoners twice and is a member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organisation (YPO). His company also runs Ceviche Old St Gallery – featuring Peru’s top 50 contemporary artists; the Peruvian music label Tiger’s Milk Records, and Martin is a Trustee at the Andean children’s charity Amantani. Ceviche Ltd is in the top companies in the UK with the widest consumer reach in terms of Peruvian food and ingredients having served over 1 million customers in just 5 years and with a database of emails and social media that reaches 100,000 people. 

    He regularly appears on British, Peruvian and European TV shows. Before becoming a chef, Martin held a series of high level executive jobs at global corporations as well as independent companies and start ups. He worked at Apple with Steve Jobs as iTunes Head of Pan EU starting the European company from zero and helping turn it into a $500m company in just three years. He worked at Disney launching Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez as Executive Director of Disney Music Group in Europe growing the business by 300% in four years, and he worked at EMI with KT Tunstall and Joss Stone launching their careers and winning Grammys and BRIT Awards. He was a mentor at Seedcamp and alongside his executive work he was also a DJ for 15 years travelling all over the world and performing in over 35 countries. A chef, a restaurateur, a creative entrepreneur and a business leader who has been successful in hospitality, technology, live events, media and entertainment. He leads new trends, champions creative talent and builds world class teams fit for growth within changing and evolving marketplaces. 

    www.MartinMorales.co.uk

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    Umut Ozkanca
    Partner - Ruya Restaurant LLC

    Umut Ozkanca

    Partner - Ruya Restaurant LLC

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    Umut Ozkanca, who was born in Istanbl 12/07/1977, completed his high-school education, at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS), in Lugano, Switzerland.

    Afterwards, he continued his education in Bentley College, Boston as undergraduate studied international economics. After graduating from Bentley College, he fund the opportunity to work with the greatest chefs of world in French Culinary Institute for a year, and finishing the school with the title of being first.

    During the summer periods of high-school and university, he worked at service and kitchen of Borsa Restaurants which earned him the first experiences about restaurant management.

    While he was abroad, having in mind that he will continue his career in future, he observed the restaurant's working and operating systems as well as menus.  Moreonto this, he also got the chance to work with Matthew Kenney and his team, who was invited from New York during the creation of Borsa Restaurant: the first Turkish Restaurant offering services in western standards.

    Umut Ozkanca, who know English, Spanish, italian, takes place in management board of SELE ISTANBUL RESTAURANT GROUP which embodies Bogazici Borsa. Kandilli Borsa, Ankara Borsa Restaurants, Masa Istanbul, Masa Ankara Restaurants, Istanbul Modern Restaurant, parle Brasserie, Darphane Restaurant, Sele Homemade Meals Istanbul and Ankara. 

12:30 - 13:10

THE GRIF DEAL DEN

A panel of expert judges evaluate the attractiveness of a selection of concepts and projects for investment. 

Hosted by:

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    Sarah-Jane Grant
    Director - LXA

    Sarah-Jane Grant

    Director - LXA

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    Sarah-Jane joined us in 2010. She became a director in 2012, due to her quick success at developing and creating trusted and profitable customer relationships within our Middle Eastern markets. Sarah-Jane is a natural leader and creative thinker, and her commercial acumen and success can be seen in the portfolio of clients and work we enjoy today.

    Sarah-Jane holds a BA (Hons) degree in Science and Media Studies, and has a real passion for the food and beverage and hospitality sectors. Before joining us, she was the Marketing & Budget Manager at Alpha Airports Group, where she focused on commercial and marketing relationships with top duty free retail and catering brands. Before that, she was a Business Analyst for Virgin Wines.

    A married mother of two, Sarah-Jane is well known for her sense of humour. She loves food, the sea and any sport that isn’t soccer.

Judges: 

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    Paul Campbell
    Founder - Hill Capital Partners

    Paul Campbell

    Founder - Hill Capital Partners

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    Paul has been involved in the creation, development and sale of a number of the UK's most highly regarded leisure businesses.

    In the 1990’s he founded, grew and successfully sold a 100 site sports facility and fitness club business, before joining the Board of PizzaExpress PLC. Following the sale of PizzaExpress in 2003 for £278m, he founded and floated restaurant developer The Clapham House Group PLC, later selling the business to Nando’s Group Holdings Limited.

    Paul now runs a portfolio of investments through his own LLP, Hill Capital Partners – and also invests in and advises a number of private equity funds. 

    Paul is currently invested in and a Non-Executive Director or Chairman of several fast growing businesses in the hospitality sector including Hawksmoor, Tortilla, Vinoteca, The Alchemist, Gusto and Hickory’s. He is also an investor in and on the Boards of two hotel business, Halcyon Hotels and Resorts and Palladian Hotels and Resorts and is Chairman of urban fitness club operator Gymbox.

    He is also a seed investor in several early stage restaurant and leisure businesses.

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    Sami Daud
    Managing Director - Daud Group

    Sami Daud

    Managing Director - Daud Group

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    Sami Daud is the Founder and Chairman of Gourmet Gulf, a leading food and beverage (F&B) company within the Daud Group.  Established in 2006 and headquartered in Dubai, Gourmet Gulf is now one of the top three F&B companies operating in the Middle East. 

    An astute businessman with an eye for top quality, dynamic and unexpected food and dining experiences, Sami has added franchises to the Gourmet Gulf portfolio from around the world.  These include:    YO! Sushi, California Pizza Kitchen, Morelli’s Gelato and Hummingbird Bakery, Panda Express, Texas de Brazil, Azkadenya and Dalloyau.

    Prior to Gourmet Gulf, Sami worked in a number of positions within the Daud Group, gaining experience in real estate, engineering, and F&B.

    A graduate of Boston University, Sami earned a degree in International Business.

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    Laurent Plantier
    Founder - FrenchFood Capital

    Laurent Plantier

    Founder - FrenchFood Capital

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    Laurent Plantier is the co founder of FrenchFood Capital, a newly created Capital Development Fund investing in Food companies who reinvent our food experience. This multi-sectoral sector specific positioning starts with the premise that a Food revolution is underway, a revolution of usage, experience and knowledge which affects all companies in the food value chain.

    / If champions, able to reach an international critical size, are to emerge, we need to provide them with funding, networks and a triple innovation, business sector and international business development support.

    Before Laurent headed Alain Ducasse Entreprise from 1998 to January 2015 as Chief Executive Officer and partner. He is an ardent supporter of the asset light strategy: "For a company that does not have substantial capital like ours, but a high reputation, relying on separate ownership of hotel operators who want to outsource catering, is a tremendous advantage to expand our business throughout the world." For more than a decade, Alain Ducasse Entreprise has passionately dedicated itself to the pleasures of gastronomy. Every day, they welcome customers seeking delicious moments to share, a combined experience of wonderful foods, remarkable wines and top quality service. Cooking and hospitality are both at the very heart of their craft.

    Laurent Plantier started his career as an asset consultant to buy companies in difficulty. As a true entrepreneur, he buys a small industrial company he will manage for 5 years. He then applies to the M. I. T. to do an MBA at Sloan for two years. As a successful M.B.A graduate, he takes over the Hotel chain Chateaux & Hotels Collection with Alain Ducasse, and partners with him in the creation and development of Alain Ducasse Entreprise. Laurent enjoys sharing his 20 years experience with others helping them develop start-ups and creating jobs and opportunities for the most in need.

    "I like now, as a new challenge, to help and mentor entrepreneurs in the food businesses to develop their venture.' Laurent said. He is a motivational speaker and mentor and is truly passionate about changing the food industry and making major changes in the food industry globally. He enjoys mentoring, team building and establishing new businesses. He speaks English and French.

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    Martin Sherwood
    Partner - Enterprise Investment Partners

    Martin Sherwood

    Partner - Enterprise Investment Partners

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    Martin Sherwood has many years’ experience of small company fundraising and in particular the tax-efficient investment market, specialising in the Hospitality & Leisure Sectors. Martin is currently chairman of the four British Country Inns companies and of Halcyon Hotels and Resorts plc, which until recently was in joint venture with Luxury Family Hotels, which he helped launch 20 years ago. He has led the equity fund-raising for the Central London bar/restaurant group Imbiba in recent years and also funded the roll-out of CERU, the new Eastern Mediterranean casual dining brand.  He was founder and head of Tax Efficient Solutions, first at Teather & Greenwood (1997-2004) and subsequently at Smith & Williamson (2004-2010), which he left to found Enterprise (www.enterprise-ip.com).

    Martin has been closely involved in both Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes since their inception, and is a founder director of the EIS Association (www.eisa.org.uk), the official trade association of the EIS industry.

    Martin works very closely with a wide range of Hospitality & Leisure entrepreneurs and has a significant network of investors and professional contacts as well as being a serial investor in his own right.

Concepts: 

Manal Al Alem Restaurant

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    Chef Manal Al Alem
    Owner - Manal Al Alem Group

    Chef Manal Al Alem

    Owner - Manal Al Alem Group

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    Born in Palestine, Manal is one of the most prominent chefs in the global Arabic community, she has been sharing her cooking skills with families in the Middle East region for more than 16 years.

    Her cooking show and online presence - manalonline.com - have brought traditional Middle Eastern dishes to life and have made her the Queen of the Arabian Kitchen.

    Manal is a culinary icon in the global Arabic Community. She has produced and hosted her own TV cooking show along with the most famous one withing Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, UAE. She opened educational cooking centers, authored best-selling cookbooks around the world, along with her own line of cookware, and is always present on the most famous Food and Beverages show around the GCC to represent the Arabic Cuisine at its best through her exemplary judging on the international cooking programs and competitions.

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    Eugenie Dronneau
    Business Development Manager - The Cutting Edge Agency

    Eugenie Dronneau

    Business Development Manager - The Cutting Edge Agency

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    Having grown up in a family that owned and operated restaurants and bars in France (and being French, of course) Egenie's love and passion for food is palpable. Following a career as a professional show-jumper, Eugenie moved to Spain in 2000 and entrenched herself in the hospitality sector. She relocated to the Middle East in 2009 and joined The Cutting Edge Agency after a stint at a real estate development company where she started and headed up the retail development arm.

    Eugenie boasts impressive and extensive regional F&B experience and her contact list is covetable to say the least. While Eugenie is regularly in touch with celebrity chefs as well as well-known, high-end F&B brands - helping them bring their expansion plans to life - she is also in contact with developers, owners, investors and hotels across the Middle Eas in order to assist with the conceptualisation, implementation, integration and management of their F&B concepts, transforming ideas into thriving businesses.

    Eugenie is fluent in French, SPanish and English and approached her work with a distinctly upbeat attitude, favouring out-of-the-cake-box thinking when it comes to conceptualisation. Egenie thrives on attention to detail and thanks to her passion for unearthing extraordinary opportunities in specialised F&B segments she is able to cpitalise on gaps in the market, offering fresh and assorted opportunities and concepts.

Fifty - An Experience Design Lab

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    Catalin Cighi
    Managing Partner - Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

    Catalin Cighi

    Managing Partner - Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

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    Catalin works to reinvent decision-making in hospitality development. His time is divided between research (80%) and consulting (20%).

    To validate his findings - and fund the next round of research - he works with hospitality asset developers, tourism authorities and governments.

    His current focus is on experience design. To understand why people fall in love with places. To use these findings in development strategies that optimize $/m2.

    Before founding CHI in Dubai, Catalin worked in Europe and North America with companies such as PwC, HVS and The Economist Group.

RASOY Group

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    Titus Mathew
    Founder & CEO - RASOY Group

    Titus Mathew

    Founder & CEO - RASOY Group

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    Titus Mathew is the founder & CEO of RASOY Group, a restaurant company based in Dallas, Texas. RASOY is a fast-casual restaurant concept that specializes in the fusion of international cuisines and scheduled to open this summer in the US.
     
    After a 9-year corporate career at American Airlines, a Fortune-500 company, Titus has owned and operated independent full-service restaurants, managed real estate and publishing companies, and developed several successful brands over the years. As an entrepreneur, his newest venture in the fast-casual space is poised for growth in the US and the international markets, especially the Middle East.
     
    Titus’ passion is for developing compelling concepts and brands that are ahead of the trends, especially in the food service and hospitality industry. His work experience has spanned several regions of the world including, the Caribbean, the Philippines, India, & the United States. His expertise in the industry has let him consult with leading brands, create new ventures, and structure and facilitate global investment deals. He was a speaker at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum last year (2016) in Dubai.

Operation:Falafel

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    Rebecca Viani
    Head of Franchising - AWJ Investments

    Rebecca Viani

    Head of Franchising - AWJ Investments

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    As Head of Franchising for AWJ Investments, Rebecca Viani is currently leading the global expansion initiative for Middle Eastern street food, fast casual brand Operation: Falafel, out of Dubai, UAE. Her experience in international franchising began in Latin America where she headed the negotiation of the master franchise license for a U.S. international snack brand. After successful introduction and implementation of this new product to the Ecuadorian market, she went on to take a corporate position with franchisor, United Franchise Group, out of Florida, USA. Eventually becoming Vice President of Operations, Rebecca played a key role in the growth and international development of one of their brands, as they expanded from 30 U.S. locations to 110 locations in 9 countries in less than 5 years.  Approaching 10 years in the industry, Rebecca is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) candidate, and her career advice can be found in publications such as Franchising World and online through www.nawbo.org and www.franchisegator.com.

13:10 - 13:20

COMMUNITY CULINARY EXPERIENCES

A look at the themes that transcend Culinary Concepts to ‘Community Culinary Experiences’; how the digital space is completely changing how people mine for new concepts, seeking ‘beyond culinary’ propositions.

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    Rupert Diss
    Executive Director – Commercial - Insignia Worldwide

    Rupert Diss

    Executive Director – Commercial - Insignia Worldwide

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    Joining IWG (Insignia Worldwide Group) in 2013 Rupert began his advertising and brand-marketing career in the late eighties with Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Erikson. With over 25 successful years experience in the corporate hospitality world as a Regional Director of Marketing for Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and IHG he also successfully migrated to several years immersed in dynamic agency environments, Rupert is a seasoned marketing veteran, who delivers across the integrated brand-enrichment space, with a specialism in luxury hospitality, travel, destination marketing, food & beverage and leisure experiences.

13:20 - 14:30

Networking

LUNCH

14:30 - 14:45

AN UPDATE ON INDUSTRY TRENDS AND INNOVATION

SHARE OF PURSE – COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPES, THEY’RE A-CHANGIN’

Groceries behaving like restaurants. Taxi services delivering food. Logistics and delivery landscapes transformed by food tech. Today’s restaurant is competing in a very complex world. How are customer choices widening as a result of enabling technologies? What are the implications on customer behaviours – particularly the choice of where to allocate their F&B budgets?

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    Rohit Sachdev
    Managing Director - Soho Hospitality

    Rohit Sachdev

    Managing Director - Soho Hospitality

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    Rohit Sachdev is the Managing Director of Soho Hospitality and is responsible for the overall strategic vision for the company’s diversified hospitality business.

    Soho Hospitality’s portfolio includes the 163 key Fraser Suites Sukhumvit property and 4 f&b outlets including Above Eleven, Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology, Havana Social and Cantina Wine Bar & Italian Kitchen. Soho Hospitality will introduce new outlets as part of its f&b expansion including the opening of its flagship Above Eleven in Bali, Indonesia and Brasserie Cordonnier in Bangkok, Thailand, both slated for opening in May 2017

    Soho hospitality also operates an interior design services and f&b consulting arm which designs hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars and nightclubs for the likes of Starwood, IHG, Accor, Taj Hotels, Moevenpick, Dusit International and Anantara. Soho Hospitality has received numerous accolades and awards including the World Travel Award in 2011 and the Asia Pacific Property Award in 2015 and 2016.

    Rohit is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University and is regularly invited to participate as a panellist in key hospitality and F&B conferences across the region including the Hotel Investment Conference South Asia, Hotel Management Summit, Global Restaurant Investment Forum.

14:45 - 15:15

THIRD PARTY DELIVERY – FRIEND OR FOE TO THE INDUSTRY?

How is third-party delivery disrupting the restaurant business and how is the industry responding to it? Is it a threat or an opportunity? What can be learnt from the hotel industry’s experience with OTAs?

Moderated by:

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    Rohit Sachdev
    Managing Director - Soho Hospitality

    Rohit Sachdev

    Managing Director - Soho Hospitality

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    Rohit Sachdev is the Managing Director of Soho Hospitality and is responsible for the overall strategic vision for the company’s diversified hospitality business.

    Soho Hospitality’s portfolio includes the 163 key Fraser Suites Sukhumvit property and 4 f&b outlets including Above Eleven, Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology, Havana Social and Cantina Wine Bar & Italian Kitchen. Soho Hospitality will introduce new outlets as part of its f&b expansion including the opening of its flagship Above Eleven in Bali, Indonesia and Brasserie Cordonnier in Bangkok, Thailand, both slated for opening in May 2017

    Soho hospitality also operates an interior design services and f&b consulting arm which designs hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars and nightclubs for the likes of Starwood, IHG, Accor, Taj Hotels, Moevenpick, Dusit International and Anantara. Soho Hospitality has received numerous accolades and awards including the World Travel Award in 2011 and the Asia Pacific Property Award in 2015 and 2016.

    Rohit is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University and is regularly invited to participate as a panellist in key hospitality and F&B conferences across the region including the Hotel Investment Conference South Asia, Hotel Management Summit, Global Restaurant Investment Forum.

Panellists

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    Damien Drap
    General Manager - UberEATS United Arab Emirates

    Damien Drap

    General Manager - UberEATS United Arab Emirates

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    Damien holds a MS in Industrial Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris. He started his career in strategy consulting, spending a few years at Oliver Wyman where he advised leaders of the largest Retail and CPG actors in Europe and the US.

    Damien joined Uber in its early days in France in 2013 where he started as one of the first Operations Manager, building what’s today one of the largest market for the company. In 2015, he moved to a regional role, serving as Strategy & Planning manager for Western Europe, before moving to Amsterdam to lead the S&P team for the entire EMEA region in 2016.

    Since December 2016, Damien leads the UberEATS business in the United Arab Emirates.

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    Anis Harb
    General Manager - Deliveroo G.C.C

    Anis Harb

    General Manager - Deliveroo G.C.C

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    Anis Harb is General Manager at Deliveroo G.C.C., where he is responsible for scaling the brand’s presence in the region by applying his expert business development learnings and operational experience.

    Prior to his role with Deliveroo, Mr. Harb spent over five years working in B2C technology businesses. Most recently, he served as Category Manager at Amazon UK, where he drove growth via improved product selection, pricing structures, customer experience and operational efficiency. Previously, he has spent two years as an investment banker with J.P. Morgan located in New York, where he acquired his renowned business acumen and market know-how.

    Since Deliveroo’s launch in Dubai in 2015, Mr. Harb has supported the brand’s rapid regional growth by securing new and exclusive restaurant partners, strengthening the brand’s quality food offering, and improving the reliability and speed of its now popular delivery service.

    Mr. Harb holds a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.

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    David Singleton
    Vice President – Hospitality - Al Tayer Group

    David Singleton

    Vice President – Hospitality - Al Tayer Group

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    David leads Al Tayer Retail’s multi branded restaurant group of twelve International franchise and own brands including Armani Caffe, Almaz by Momo, Caffè Nero, Magnolia Bakery, Serendipity 3. As part of the Group’s Senior Executive team he is also responsible for the F&B new concept development in Bloomingdales, Harvey Nichols and Macy's in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait.

    The Al Tayer Group are curators of some of the world’s most desired brands of up to 200 luxury and lifestyle brands to the Middle East including the only online home of luxury fashion, Ounass.com.

    Previously to Al Tayer, David worked in Russia as Brand Director for Rosinter Restaurants and as New Brand Concept Development Director on behalf of Mercedes Benz (Russia) charged with developing a new innovative restaurant concept. Prior to Russia, David spent over 25 years in the UK running, and building equally interesting restaurant brands.

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    Alborz Toofani
    Founder & CEO - SnappCard

    Alborz Toofani

    Founder & CEO - SnappCard

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    A dedicated entrepreneur with the passion of starting projects in the online as well as the offline space. Alborz was born and raised in Germany and that is where he started his entrepreneurial journey at an early age. He founded a real-estate business before moving to Dubai to start SnappCard – a consumer engagement and business intelligence tool that is tailored to Food & Beverage sector. His passion is everything startup, food, coffee and sneaker related.

15:15 - 15:45

TECHNOLOGY IN F&B

How can restaurants evolve to adapt to a new customer who is digitally focused? What technological innovations should the Food & Beverage industry be considering?

Moderated by:

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    Rohit Sachdev
    Managing Director - Soho Hospitality

    Rohit Sachdev

    Managing Director - Soho Hospitality

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    Rohit Sachdev is the Managing Director of Soho Hospitality and is responsible for the overall strategic vision for the company’s diversified hospitality business.

    Soho Hospitality’s portfolio includes the 163 key Fraser Suites Sukhumvit property and 4 f&b outlets including Above Eleven, Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology, Havana Social and Cantina Wine Bar & Italian Kitchen. Soho Hospitality will introduce new outlets as part of its f&b expansion including the opening of its flagship Above Eleven in Bali, Indonesia and Brasserie Cordonnier in Bangkok, Thailand, both slated for opening in May 2017

    Soho hospitality also operates an interior design services and f&b consulting arm which designs hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars and nightclubs for the likes of Starwood, IHG, Accor, Taj Hotels, Moevenpick, Dusit International and Anantara. Soho Hospitality has received numerous accolades and awards including the World Travel Award in 2011 and the Asia Pacific Property Award in 2015 and 2016.

    Rohit is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University and is regularly invited to participate as a panellist in key hospitality and F&B conferences across the region including the Hotel Investment Conference South Asia, Hotel Management Summit, Global Restaurant Investment Forum.

In conversation with:

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    Emmanuel Clavé
    Vice President Gulf Countries & India - Xn protel Systems

    Emmanuel Clavé

    Vice President Gulf Countries & India - Xn protel Systems

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    Emmanuel Clavé leads a new, strategic product division of Xn protel Systems focusing on the development and delivery of integrated Mobile Guest applications, which are complementary to core PMS, POS, CRS and leisure systems. Emmanuel is also responsible for the Group’s activities in the Gulf Coast and India region.

    Emmanuel joined Xn protel Systems from Rocco Forte Hotels where he held the position of Group Information Technology Director for twelve years. Prior to joining Rocco Forte Hotels he worked for various hospitality and hotel organisations, including Hilton Hotels and Thistle Hotels. He has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Emmanuel is a former Board Member of the Hotel Technology Next Generation (“HTNG”) industry association. He continues to work actively with HTNG representing Xn protel Systems.

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    Sarah Hawilo
    Chief Executive Officer - serVme

    Sarah Hawilo

    Chief Executive Officer - serVme

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    Sarah is the co-founder and CEO of serVme, a data focused CRM platform that helps restaurants improve operations and deliver superior guest experience. The platform integrates with key systems and aggregates real-time analytics to provide restaurateurs with greater insights to optimize operations and identifies guests’ habits and preferences. serVme’s focus is to measurably drive increased average spend and footfall, meanwhile reducing operational inefficiencies.

    Prior to launching serVme in 2015, Sarah spent five years working at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) servicing the Digital Business and Technology practice in the Middle East, where she worked on several digital and IT projects related to business intelligence, big data, and analytics.

    Sarah was selected as one of 18 women globally for the Cartier Women Initiative Awards, an international business competition in joint partnership by Cartier, the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD Business School, acknowledging her for the business plan and a leading entrepreneur for the MENA region.

    In 2017, serVme was chosen as a startup disruptor for the hospitality industry by the Dubai Future Accelerator program; a government program dedicated to accelerating startups and building relationships with their government entities.

    Sarah collaborates with many organizations in Dubai and Beirut that support and promote women entrepreneurs especially across the tech industry. Sarah enjoys traveling and is an avid food lover.

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    Ian Ohan
    Founder & CEO - Freedom Pizza

    Ian Ohan

    Founder & CEO - Freedom Pizza

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    A later in life entrepreneur, husband and father of three, Ian has lived, worked and created in the Gulf Region for the past 19 years.

    Most recently Ian is the CEO and Founder of Freedom Pizza, a UAE based, all natural carry out and delivery pizza chain with over 200 employees, an airline packaged product division (developed initially for Emirates Airlines and soon now VOX Cinemas) and seven locations in the United Arab Emirates.  Freedom Pizza is part of KRSH Investments, a food and beverage investment platform (also owned by Ohan) that is in the process of developing additional UAE founded food concepts in the healthier fast and fast casual food sector. In its quest to satiate its need for high-quality, all natural ingredients, KRSH has also become a regional distributor for high-quality/value food products and through its IT subsidiary Big Dwarf, has developed its own, bespoke leading edge e-commerce platform for the fast casual and delivery sector, partnering with companies like Visa to be the first merchant in the Middle East to offer Visa Checkout.

    KRSH Investments has a dedicated and growing corporate team of 15 food service professionals with a passion for excellence in service and operational excellence. At the heart of its mission is its ever and always increasing drive and capability to develop its multi-national workforce offering rewarding and often life changing career opportunities.  

    The company has a passion for supporting and developing relationships with high-quality local companies and suppliers to provide value to its customers. By way of example, three years ago, KRSH partnered with Greenheart Organic Farms in an experiment to see if it was possible for a local-UAE organic farm to provide daily-fresh, organic produce grown in the UAE desert to a fast food company – the result being the Freedom-Greenheart Organic Garden which not only supplies KRSH Investments’ with all of its farm-fresh, organic produce but works closely with its Chef to develop seasonal menu items based on a natural growing cycle. It also works closely with Skinny Genie, a local gluten free kitchen, Savarin Desserts, a recent UAE start-up offering high-quality, low added sugar desserts and Italian Dairy, a UAE based artisanal cheese supplier.  Where local suppliers are not available, KRSH seeks out and develops relationships and in some case products with international companies like M&J Chickens from Australia (KRSH is now their regional distributor) and Dairy Partners from the United Kingdom.

    Prior to establishing his food and beverage and IT companies, in 2006, Ian joined two partners and established RSP Group a real estate and hospitality investment advisory firm based in Dubai and Middle Eastern clients’ interest in the region and internationally – which was sold to Jones Lang LaSalle in 2009.  He went on to establish and became Regional Vice President for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Middle Eastern Capital Markets group and executed landmark capital raises and cross-border transactions totaling over USD 1 billion, before deciding to leave the firm in 2010.

    Ian has also held senior positions in KPMG’s and Arthur Andersen’s Real Estate and Hospitality group’s in Canada and the Middle East over a period of 10 years. He also worked for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts for four years where he became fascinated with exceptional service delivery through people and technology.

    He holds a bachelor of commerce degree in hospitality and tourism, is a qualified sommelier and in his free time is an avid international motor biker and cyclist (in that order).

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    Marc Robitzkat
    Global Director Marketing Technology - Sealed Air Diversey Care

    Marc Robitzkat

    Global Director Marketing Technology - Sealed Air Diversey Care

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    Marc Robitzkat is the Global Director of Marketing Technology at Sealed Air Diversey Care. His team is responsible to drive the strategy, development and implementation of technology based applications to market and bring the company's digital vision to live.

    His background is in sales and marketing, where he has held leadership roles in various countries including the UAE, The Netherlands and is now based in the USA.

15:45 - 16:00

CLOSING REMARKS

Wrap up of the key facts and trends to pull from the event.

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    James Hacon
    Development Growth and Brand Strategist -

    James Hacon

    Development Growth and Brand Strategist -

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    James Hacon is a tenacious restaurant leader based in the UK, specialising in growth, development and brand strategy. Having built up considerable experience working with more than fifty companies in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sector in six countries, he is now Brand Strategy Director at Thai Leisure Group and continues to work with a select group of investors and operators. His brand experience includes some of the biggest and best names in the restaurant sector from independent Michelin-starred properties to national and international groups.