Head to Head: Catch Dubai

The restaurant manager and head chef explain what’s different about the seafood venue from New York
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Stephen Allsop, restaurant manager
Stephen Allsop, restaurant manager
Bobby Griffing, head chef
Bobby Griffing, head chef

What is unique about Catch Dubai, and how does it compare to its competitors?

Stephen Allsop: Catch Dubai looks to stand out with the food and style of service married with a vibe that is organic, energetic, and comfortable. Dubai has a superior level of hospitality and sophistication that is unmatched. Working to exceed the city’s expectations and looking to set new standards helps us stay competitive.

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Bobby Griffing: What is unique about Catch Dubai is that when you walk into the venue you feel like you’ve stepped out of Dubai into NYC. It’s very comfortable, and has incredible music with great food. Just a great combination of textures from wood, tile, cement, leather down to the different plates on which the food comes to you. The full package is what sets us apart from the other venues.

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

Stephen Allsop: There is no real front– and back–of–house for us. We are one team with specific roles in the fulfillment of our goal. The best way for us to operate and meet our goals is through constant discourse. Each position constantly interfaces with the kitchen. They are the brain and heart of this operation, with the floor staff giving it the soul.

Bobby Griffing: We have created a team environment here. I think what’s different about Catch Dubai is that you have different cultures from all over uniting as one. So it’s pretty cool. A great example is: while in the planning and testing stage we used to go out for pizza as a group. I think one time we had 23 different countries breaking bread, or pizza!

How will you ensure the outlet is profitable?

Stephen Allsop: Taking care of the employees and fostering a work environment people want to be a part of. We have a fantastic team and the happier they are, the more they are willing to train, learn and grow. Happy employees take care of guest with genuine sincerity and that’s our main focus — genuine hospitality.

Bobby Griffing: This is a tough question. But as a team we have come together and have a great plan. I think the market we are looking for, if priced correctly, people will continue to support us, and you will see us grow in the community. We will do our best to support local businesses.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Stephen Allsop: Being the new kid on the block. We are in a battle fighting to turn each guest into a regular customer the moment they walk through the door.

Bobby Griffing: The biggest challenge is still ingredients. Sourcing here is more difficult than I expected.

What does the future of the restaurant look like?

Stephen Allsop: Limitless. We have a great concept, and amazing staff members who care about what they do and why they are doing it.

Bobby Griffing: Our future at the moment looks very promising. I’m looking forward to staying in Dubai and growing with the restaurant!

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