Time to promote F&B

    Outlets looking to boost business during the current economic downturn should look to proactive promotions, according according to one industry professional.
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    Cascades restaurant at the Fairmont Dubai.
    Cascades restaurant at the Fairmont Dubai.

    Outlets looking to boost business during the current economic downturn should look to proactive promotions, according according to one industry professional.

    Fairmont Dubai director of food and beverage Sunny Joseph explained: “Unfortunately during times like these, the knee jerk reaction is to scale back and not invest heavily in promotional opportunities.

    “But we see this as an opportune time to let diners know that authentic experiences are still available and to reinforce their loyalty to our brand, as a hotel and as a dining destination in the city.

    Commenting on the variety of promotions staged at the Fairmont recently, Joseph said they had “impacted the business positively in every way”. 

    “One of the most rewarding areas is how these promotions affect our colleagues. They truly get inspired and are interested when we unveil new culinary experiences, especially when guest chefs are involved,” he added.

    The hotel’s first promotion of 2009 will be a Singaporean focus in its Spectrum on One outlet, running from February 19 to 28, with visiting chefs Henry Wong Jee Hiong from The Fairmont Singapore and Roslan Bin Maswan from Swissôtel The Stamford.

    Fairmont Singapore’s Wong Jee Hiong commented: “What we hope to achieve during this exclusive promotion is to expose the diversity of Singaporean cuisine to a larger audience. Dubai is known internationally as an emerging culinary market, where you can find almost every kind of cuisine and every type of culinary style practiced.”

    Swissôtel’s Bin Maswan added: “It is very important to educate diners in global cuisine, especially in such a market, where you have a dining culture ready to try new culinary experiences.” 

    The chefs’ specially devised menu will boast authentic cuisine such as Seafood Mee Goreng, a Malay-inspired dish of curry spices, crushed chillies, seafood, tomato and noodles, and Kopi Tiam Laksa — thick rice noodles with prawns, fish cake slices and a spicy rice broth.

    This is just the start of Fairmont Dubai’s 2009 programme. Over the next few months, Spectrum on One will also play host to various promotions including a focus on Chinese cuisine in April and the outlet’s trademark ‘41 on One’ offer, paying tribute to the outlet’s original 41 employees by offering 41% off the food bill from 6.30-8.30pm. 

    Considering the challenge of devising a successful promotion, Joseph said the main criteria were “finding that balance between innovation and sourcing new audiences, as well as appealing to your existing clientele”.

    “There are a lot of things to consider, including investing the time and research to see whether introducing a new type of cuisine will work and whether or not you have the operationally capability to showcase it successfully,” he said.  

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