From collecting things to collecting experiences: Sunset Hospitality expands despite F&B restrictions


February 9, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair

Sunset Hospitality Group is stepping into 2021 with optimism and a load of ambitious projects in the pipeline. With two new concepts, one hotel and resort, a clubhouse, and at least 20 other projects in the works, they’ve got their schedules packed for 2021.

“In January, we have introduced two new concepts – Goldfish Sushi & Yakitori and RAISE Fitness & Wellness. We have also partnered with Nakheel Hospitality & Leisure and will be operating the Jumeirah Islands Clubhouse that will serve the communities of Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Village Triangle and Springs. In April, we will be welcoming guests to METT Hotel & Beach Resort Bodrum. With over 20 projects in the pipeline, we will continue to pioneer new openings in the market and add new brands to our portfolio”, said Antonio Gonzalez, CEO of Sunset Hospitality Group.

During the pandemic, consumer behavior underwent a near-term dramatic shift and the majority of them reduced dining out and started ordering in. Although once the restrictions were eased and there was an appetite for going out, caution still prevailed. If there is an option of getting the same (or similar) products and experiences online – or in this case, by ordering in – then consumers would be opting for the safer option and staying indoors. And that is the core and crux of retail’s transformation today.

It is no longer important to get out of the comfort and convenience of one’s home for purchases or transactions as e-commerce facilitates that. People are looking for experiences that make it worth their time, money, and energy.

“Today, people have moved away from collecting “things” in favor of collecting “experiences. People will go out for a truly memorable dining experience where they feel safe and can expect an experience, not just a meal”, he said.

“I see dining destinations where customers can have a high-quality experience with a bit more space to themselves booming. Between the need for open spaces and restrictions on international travel, I think that domestic and drive-to destinations will become much more popular in 2021”, he added.

F&B retailers will now have to be creative and innovative in their offerings, where they are not just thinking about the food they serve but also the ambiance, facilities, and more importantly a “wow-factor”.

With malls across the region realising that and treating their spaces not just like real estate but as venues open for events and programming, F&B will have a key role to play in that.

“F&B outlets are now being identified by mall developers around the world as the next wave of making shopping centres stronger and a vital component of its sales growth. It has been the case in the UAE where we’ve seen new malls creating spaces for stand-alone restaurants where customers can dine before and after shopping. In some cases, new dining concepts that end up in malls are being visited for their F&B offerings”, he said.

The pandemic changed the way consumers shop, socialize and entertain, according to Gonzalez, but it did not change their view of dining out. Although cautious, consumers would want to go out and dine as it has become a fabric of Dubai’s culture.

However, it is only the operators and players that keep up with the trends that will survive in an oversaturated, over-competitive, crisis-stricken market.

“The pandemic delayed some of our projects and we had to stop operations during the lockdown, but we managed to open new outlets like the Black Tap in The Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates, Azure Beach in Lebanon and launched a new dining concept, Cloud Restaurant and Lounge in Dubai Studio City”, he said.

“The crisis has crippled many businesses across the globe, and I believe that it will take some time for the economy to recover but it doesn’t mean we ignore the most important elements of the business – our people and our customers”, he concluded.

Comments

comments

Previous Article Next Article

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE /



Union Coop has opened its 23rd branch within the UAE in Jumeirah 

Continue Reading

August 2, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

Nando’s has revealed their revamped Sheikh Zayed Road outlet where newcomers and 

Continue Reading

July 8, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

UAE-based Al Maya Group announced that it will be boosting import of 

Continue Reading

June 24, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based grocery retail chain, Grandiose has opened its first hypermarket in Abu 

Continue Reading

June 2, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based Carrefour announced its theme and plans for Ramadan 2021. The brand 

Continue Reading

March 31, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Locally owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the 

Continue Reading

March 9, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
Almarai, Carrefour, Emirates have the most loyal customers

UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels 

Continue Reading

February 22, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

The Organic Farmers’ Market is back in Bay Avenue for its 12th 

Continue Reading

February 17, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based  Lulu Group recently inaugurated its first-ever all-female staff store in Jeddah, 

Continue Reading

February 15, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
Jones the grocer

Jones the Grocer, the gourmet grocer and cheese retailer launches the Jones 

Continue Reading

February 1, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets is hosting a two-week food festival at select 

Continue Reading

January 17, 2021 | By Lawrence Pinto

Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has launched its ‘Power of Plants’ initiative in the 

Continue Reading

January 17, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau




Download Images RetailME Magazine