Brunch is back, but how will new regulations affect it?

Chris Wright of Secret Parties discusses the new landscape
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Brunch, Dubai

It’s a Dubai institution that has spread around the globe. Nobu Matsuhisu even told Caterer Middle East that viewing its success here led him to take it Spain and the UK. And now, after an enforced absence during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, brunch is back.

But will it ever be the same again? New rules and regulations designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 mean it might be back, but not quite as we knew it.

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Buffets have changed, tables must be socially distanced, and large group gatherings are banned.

Despite all this, Secret Parties founder Chris Wright said that in the first post-lockdown brunches it has held, customers don’t seem to be put off by the new rules.

“I don’t think people have been hesitant if they know a venue is sticking to the guidelines and disinfectant process for the restaurant. I also think it’s important to support your local businesses, so I know people are wanting to branch out and enjoy some fine-dining again.”

Wright admitted that “singers, dancers, and crazy entertainment are at the forefront of the Secret Parties brand”, but with live performances currently not allowed, his team have had to become creative to ensure guests still enjoy themselves.

He said: “We have managed to capture all the best songs from a carefully curated playlist, mixed together by our DJs, so guests won’t even know the difference. We still have our shot shows and hostesses celebrating birthdays. I think one of the main aspects, is that we want people to enjoy being sociable again, despite not having entertainment.”

The likes of Nobu, La Cantine du Fauborg, Mama Zonia, and La Carnita were among the first to get back to brunching, with the latter two hosting Secret Parties events, and Wright is confident the future of brunches in Dubai remains positive.

“I think we all just need to continue being responsible. In comparison to any other country in the world, our food and beverage industry seems to be ahead of everyone else, so that’s a positive thing. There might be some changes that continue for a while, such as after-parties where guests all continue the day at the bar.”

Some might say that’s a large positive.

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