Head to Head: El Sur

El Sur’s restaurant manager and head chef dicuss how the Spanish restaurant chases customer loyalty
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Restaurant manager, Lloy Rubio.
Restaurant manager, Lloy Rubio.
Head chef, Juan Carlos.
Head chef, Juan Carlos.

What makes El Sur special in comparison to its competitors in the market?

Lloy Rubio: I can guarantee that the service you will experience at El Sur, you will not get it anywhere else in Dubai. We focus on the individual needs of each customer that comes through the door, ensuring that they have everything they want and more. The atmosphere is relaxed yet authentic and the terrace is great for the winter months to enjoy the sunset.

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Juan Carlos: We pride ourselves on the authenticity of the food that we serve; we preserve the flavours, ingredients and methods from the Spanish cuisine, reminding people of the true origins of the dishes they are eating. Alongside these traditional favourites, we also offer ‘new era’ dishes incorporating innovative concepts to keep the menu varied and interesting.

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

Lloy Rubio: Ultimately we are one team and one family; we believe in unity and understand the importance of fluid communication between the kitchen and the floor staff. If things are really busy, we work harder to support each other, both in the kitchen and in the restaurant.

Juan Carlos: We have amazing communication — it’s one of the main things we concentrate on during the training process as we believe it holds huge importance when offering great service to our guests. This allows our teams to overcome any situation. We don’t like to think of it as front-and-back-of-house teams; we are all one and we work as one.

How do you ensure the outlet is busy and profitable?

Lloy Rubio: By keeping things interesting. We have a selection of themed nights that run every week and these evenings are attractive to Dubai’s residents. I strongly believe that a key factor in keeping a regular guest is being consistent in both service and food. We like to remain ahead of the competition by offering the best quality across everything we do.

Juan Carlos: We make sure that every dish we serve uses high quality products so that the authentic flavours keep guests coming back time and time again; it’s all about the food and drinks. It is also essential to provide high quality service to keep our guests happy so that they spread the word — that’s how we remain busy and profitable.

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What are the biggest business challenges you face?

Lloy Rubio: One of the biggest challenges any restaurant will face is to transform a new guest into a loyal and a regular one. Encouraging guests to come back time and time again to our outlet is the ultimate goal, and this is achieved through hard work, great service and unbeatable food.

Juan Carlos: Dubai is an ever-changing and transient place, so visitors to El Sur are people from all over the world — with different cultures, tastes and preferences. The biggest challenge is creating an impact from the first visit, by giving customers the best experience possible, so that we can build a community of regular guests.

What does the future hold for El Sur?

Lloy Rubio: Only great things that’s for sure — we are planning a lot of exciting new promotions to really differentiate our offering, with the introduction of new themed nights alongside adding new innovative dishes to the menu.

Juan Carlos: We look forward to introducing a range of new and exciting dishes, and new cooking methods, while always striving to surprise our guests with innovative flavours and modern twists on traditional Spanish cuisine.

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