The Future of ‘Eating Out’ shaped at GRIF 2016
Posted on November 19, 2017
The three-day event was a sweeping success, and promises brand new opportunities for innovation in an already dynamic and burgeoning global F&B marketplace
The world’s leading event for the restaurant investment community, the third annual Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) was held between 14 to 16 March at The Address Dubai Mall, Dubai. This year saw a significant new development in GRIF’s strategic partnership with the MICHELIN Guides, establishing a stepping stone for both businesses to foster each other’s ability to change and innovate in the global F&B sector. Interesting connections were made on riveting culinary tours showcasing the latest in Dubai’s culinary scene, and at buzzing networking receptions held for the participants.
Bringing together investors, owners, franchisors, and senior hospitality professionals from across the globe, this three-day event culminated into gripping sessions chaired by a diverse line-up of high calibre speakers comprising prestigious names in the industry. Day 1 featuring a Franchise Masterclass by expert Babette Marzheuser-Wood, morning and culinary tours hosted by hospitality giants like EMAAR and Nakheel eased the participants into the conference and proceedings officially kicked off with a fabulous opening reception at Intersect by Lexus hosted also by LXA, formerly Luxe Interiors and The Cutting Edge Agency. Day 2 was all about expanding your knowledge base – with a session on ‘Trends and Innovation’ by Michael Ellis, International Director, MICHELIN Guides; informative talks on the latest in American, Middle Eastern and Asian Markets; an engaging conversation with Britain’s youngest Head Chef Luke Thomas; case study discussions with the famous Pascal Aussignac, Executive Chef & Co-owner of Gascon Connection; to name a few. The day wound up with an exclusive GRIF evening at the multi-award winning Japanese restaurant, OKKU.
Day 3 saw a grand finale with ‘The GRIF Deal Den’, an exciting session where a panel of expert judges evaluated the attractiveness of a selection of new investment concepts; and the much anticipated Global Restaurant Awards held at the iconic Burj Al Arab, Dubai. These awards recognised and celebrated the vision and accomplishments of stakeholders, investors and architects behind the world’s leading restaurants and F&B brands. This year’s winners were:
Design Award - Winner: Berners Tavern - Location: London
Food Excellence Award- Winner: Hakkasan - Location: Multiple Locations Globally
Hotel F&B Excellence Award- Winner: Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo - Location: Monte Carlo
Sustainability Award - Winner: UMASS - Location: Massachusetts
Investor Award - Winner: Ferit Sahenk, D.Ream - Location: Istanbul
Regional Award - Winner: Zuma Dubai - Location: Zuma Dubai
Following the unprecedented success of GRIF 2016, an extremely delighted Managing Director, Bench Events Middle East, Jennifer Pettinger- Haines, remarked, “It was the first year for GRIF to be powered by Michelin, and this has marked the start of an exciting chapter in the development of GRIF. Moreover, it provided a platform for the industry to come together and take stock. Discussions were upbeat, and globally the eating-out industry seems to be performing well.”
All in all, this three-day forum offered the perfect concoction of business and pleasure, and as a result was much appreciated by guests and attendees. The significant attention to detail that went into its organisation was reflected in a perfect execution, which was the general theme for every event, however big and small, every day.