Head to Head: Bentley Kitchen Abu Dhabi

Updates on the brand change and menu upgrade
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(L-R) Argiris Tragoutsis, general manager and Praba Manickam, head chef
(L-R) Argiris Tragoutsis, general manager and Praba Manickam, head chef

What makes Bentley Kitchen special in comparison to its competitors in the market?

Argiris Tragoutsis: At Bentley Kitchen, we are all about people — we appreciate, we show that we care, and we maintain relationships. We are trying to create an exciting and fun atmosphere for visitors; a venue to relax, dine and have a good time with family, colleagues or friends. Our well-trained team and the personalised service, including attention to detail, creates memorable experiences.

Praba Manickam: For the new menu we wanted to create something unique, with that ‘wow factor’ when presenting the dishes. The plating behind the sliders, bao buns and tacos were all custom-made by our in-house team. We have a copper staircase for the sliders, an artificial garden for the tacos, and giant metal men for the bao buns. We feel we have definitely created ‘Insta-worthy’ dishes.

How do the front-of-house and back-of-house teams support each other?

Argiris Tragoutsis: Following our company’s values and ethics we are all one team, with common goals. Daily meetings with each department ensure  we all take the same approach at all times. We use various feedback channels and then share reviews across teams.

Praba Manickam: Clear communication is vital to successful operations. When launching a new menu, it is important the kitchen team understands what’s working. Customer feedback drives our decisions for product innovation, so front-of-house plays a huge role in this.

How do you ensure the outlet is busy and profitable?

Argiris Tragoutsis: We like to treat our guests as friends visiting our home and kitchen. Training in all departments is essential to ensure we are able to satisfy all needs and a mystery shopping programme helps monitor performance.

Praba Manickam: We strive to be a place you can go on any weeknight. The new menu items and two new happy hours are centred around this. We encourage our customers to visit more often. Innovation in F&B is extremely important, and it makes Bentley stand out.

What are the biggest business challenges you face?

Argiris Tragoutsis: One of the biggest challenges is the variety of cuisine options available. We update our offerings constantly to keep it exciting, impressive and keep our regulars satisfied. We strive for added value in special promotions or going beyond customer expectations.

Praba Manickam: While it’s been great to see the region’s food scene flourish over the years with new openings weekly, the market is now saturated. Another challenge is sourcing ingredients and maintaining authenticity. Getting the right product at the right time can be challenging.

What does the future hold for Bentley Kitchen in the region?

Argiris Tragoutsis: Consistent quality in ingredients and the level of service has kept us at the top of the game in our last five years of operations. With the recently launched new menu, the future for Bentley Kitchen is even more promising.

Praba Manickam: We will continue to deliver what Bentley has become known for: great food, friendly service and a fun ambience. We are also introducing a range of new and exciting dishes, and new cooking methods which include internal smoker units to our kitchen.

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