Tom Arnel, founder and MD of Bull&Roo Group, was crowned Restaurateur of the Year at the Caterer Middle East Awards 2019.
Beating out tough competition from the likes of Bhupender Nath of Passion F&B and Omar Saideh of Orange Hospitality, Arnel took home the prize sponsored by Al Diyafa.
Unfortunately, Tom was out of the country on the night so Al Diyafa director Adam Rahmani presented the award to the rest of the Bull&Roo team including other Caterer award winners Jamie Elfman and Matt Connell.
Bull&Roo’s Leith Matthews spoke to Caterer following the win and said: “Tom has a strong vision for his restaurant group, and leads his company with a focused, determined and always positive disposition. Being a chef, Tom builds a foundation around impeccable food. Suppliers, produce and ingredients are paramount, as are the kitchen brigades at each of the restaurants. Further to this, Tom has a sensitivity to true human interaction and how it plays into the hospitality and service of a restaurant. Staff at Bull&Roo venues are free spirited and approach each day with fresh enthusiasm, a culture created and nurtured by Tom.”
Our judges spoke favourably of Arnel being a true restaurateur, a man as comfortable in back-of-house as in the boardroom. His employee-first methods have ensured a happy working staff, including being one of the first in Dubai’s F&B scene to implement a five-day working week for his team. His varied brands are as distinct as they are popular, each of them becoming an integral part of the communities in which they are placed, and 2019 has seen no let-up in this success with several new concepts opened and in the pipeline.
Connell, who claimed the Restaurant Manager of the Year award on the night also, sang Arnel’s praises, saying: “Tom empowers his team with creative flexibility to be able to execute events and initiatives such as the recent EAT DXB. By having a genuine intention to celebrate, support and strengthen the Dubai food scene, it becomes infectious to every layer within the Bull&Roo team and throughout the city. As a very successful young business entrepreneur and leader, the relentless determination Tom portrays inspires the Bull&Roo family to go out there and chase their dreams and turn them into reality.”
Bhupender Nath, founder and MD, Passion F&B
Akshay Dosaj, managing director, Purple Honey Group
M. Oliver Zeitoun, founder and managing partner, Maki Group
Nicky Ramchandani, founder and managing director, Streetery Food Hall
Omar Saideh, founder, Orange Hospitality
Panchali Mahendra, managing director Atelier House Hospitality
Paul Evans and Freek Teusink, group managing directors, Solutions Leisure