Food business…five years on

Rupkatha Bhowmick

Food is big business today and is likely to remain so. We had a chat with Robert Trota, president of Max’s Group International and Sajan Alex, vice president, Tablez Food Company about the future of food business.

What connects Trota and Alex is the Filipino brand Pancake House belonging to Max’s Group franchised in the UAE by the Tablez Food Company.

Delivery and takeaway is already a big part of doing food business. It will continue to be big, even five years from now, both agree. “In the Philippines, delivery accounts for 30% of our business. Alongside setting up bricks-and-mortar stores for dine-in, giving access to customers to delivery, take-away as well as online order and pick-up will be critical,” Trota opines.

“Real estate prices are rising, while there is a need for brands to expand reach. These are leading to the emergence of the central delivery-only kitchen,” adds Alex. “Many brands, internationally and regionally, are seeing success in this format. Even we are thinking of experimenting with the ninja format since we have a huge central kitchen in Dubai Investments Park. Consumers have become quite value conscious, and the ninja kitchen model will allow us to offer them better value while increasing efficiency and higher return of our real estate space.”

“Service is an important part of any food business,” states Trota, adding, “Sharing of assets and knowledge is also essential to remain profitable.”

“Year-on-year the cost of doing business is going up. Our partners – brand principals, real estate developers, vendors as well as third-party aggregators – should understand that we all have to jointly contribute towards creating differentiating concepts for guests. As an industry, food service will always remain vibrant, innovative and big on identifying new trends and expand consumer base but it will require a fair bit of collaboration. We must exchange information and ideas with each other to grow and sustain,” Alex concludes.

The full article will be published in our July-August edition