Suiting tastebuds

May 23, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau

Chef Heyam Abdelhadi

In the world of hotels, restaurants and cafés, the ingredients they choose to use hold significant influence on customer preferences. That’s why Chef Heyam Abdelhadi, Executive Chef, Bel Middle East believes opting for top-notch quality and freshness isn’t just about making good food; it’s about upholding a stellar reputation. Regardless of budget, consumers consistently seek out excellence.

In this piece, Chef Heyam decoded the ingredient backbone of the food service industry.

The right ingredient mix

Fresh ingredients are essential to create delicious dishes that satisfy people’s cravings for flavour. With an ever-expanding variety of ingredients available globally, diners have come to expect diverse and exciting culinary experiences. Furthermore, ingredients play a crucial role in accommodating different dietary needs and cultural preferences. Whether it’s catering to specific dietary restrictions or honouring cultural tastes, the right ingredients ensure that everyone feels welcomed and satisfied.

In essence, careful selection of ingredients in hospitality establishments is crucial. It directly influences customer satisfaction, loyalty and overall success. As culinary tastes continue to evolve and diversify, the importance of thoughtful ingredient choices only grows, enriching dining experiences and fostering inclusivity. Ingredients used in the HoReCa sector play a major role in shaping customer choices. Quality, freshness and flavour not only affect the taste but also cater to dietary preferences and cultural sensibilities.

Balancing health with taste

Crafting a menu that’s both tasty and healthy is a delicate dance. We focus on using fresh, wholesome ingredients and smart cooking methods like steaming or baking with less oil. It’s all about finding that perfect balance between flavour and nutrition. When we achieve this balance, everyone can enjoy their meal knowing it’s both delicious and good for their health.

For instance, the Kiri Cafe pop-up was a tremendous success. Customers loved the chance to experience our brand in a unique way, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Our collaboration with Productive Families and the Social Development Bank in Jeddah garnered significant attention too, showcasing not only the depth of our cultural flavours but also our commitment to empowering local communities.

Customer-centric approach

To cater to future customers, we’re prioritising personalised experiences, convenience and use of advanced technology. Expanding into the out-of-home segment, we’ve engaged in various collaborations in regional markets, introducing limited edition products tailored to local tastes and preferences. These initiatives allow us to deliver culinary innovations that resonate with consumers and keep our brand relevant in an ever-changing landscape.

Our three-tier strategy focuses on sustainable sourcing, minimal waste in operations and support for local sustainability initiatives. By prioritising suppliers who adhere to sustainable farming practices and optimising our packaging to reduce waste, we ensure that our sourcing to delivery process is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Additionally, our partnerships with organisations dedicated to environmental conservation further contribute to our commitment to sustainability. When developing our product line, we integrate consumer insights, market analysis and culinary innovation. Customer feedback guides our product development, ensuring that our offerings meet the needs and preferences of our target audience. Market analysis informs us of industry trends and competitor offerings, while culinary innovation drives the creation of unique, trend-aligned products that resonate with consumers.

Keeping it competitive

Staying competitive amidst shifting preferences requires constant vigilance and responsiveness. We prioritise quality in our sourcing and production processes, ensuring that our products consistently meet high standards. At the same time, we strive to offer a diverse range of products at competitive prices, balancing affordability with value. By staying attuned to market changes and customer feedback, we adapt our offerings to remain competitive while upholding our commitment to quality and value.

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