The world is The Maine's oyster with Caterer Awards win
Racking up a second win for Joey Ghazal, The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill got a seal of approval with the title of Restaurant Team of the Year – Independent Outlet.
This restaurant is constantly busy - with a high turnover of guests. Not only that, this team has won over a high number of repeat guests, has seen a reduction in food costs, and increase in profitability by 55% from the previous year. Front of house manager Renata Gombkoto commented that the reason for the repeat guests is that “the place itself is very welcoming, it’s very warm”.
Another plus for the restaurant team was its decision to stock local produce such as Dibba Bay oysters. When discussing this move, head chef Saradhi Dakara commented: “This restaurant is a locally grown concept, and Joey always wants to support everything local. We are using [local] oysters, and lettuce mix and sprouts from Al Quoz.” The restaurant switched from international suppliers to local ones where possible.
Ghazal added to this point: “It’s all about supporting the little guy, and the UAE is surprising all of us with farming, hydroponics and vertical farming, and what the guys have done with Dibba Bay is something to really be proud of. We hope to see more, whether local fisheries or local lobsters.”
He continued: “These guys here and everyone at the restaurant will be celebrating because they really are the unsung heroes and are working day and night – because this business is hard. They really deserve this – this is a huge award, thank you.”
The award was presented to the elated team by Omar Bahar from TSSC, and Les Simmons from Precision Refrigeration.
The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill fought off tough competition from five other teams, with the highly commended gong going to Reform Social & Grill for the second time in a row.
This year's awards were supported by: platinum sponsor Emaar Hospitality Group; category sponsors A.Ronai, A&T Group Interiors, Bragard, Precision Refrigeration and TSSC, Pulsar Foodstuff, 1765 Gemini; dessert sponsors EMF, Cacao Barry, Callebaut; photobooth sponsor Mintano by Sketches; social media partner Tint; water sponsor Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino; and beverage sponsors MMI, Campari, Fever Tree, and Skyy Vodka.