Having placed destination dining at the heart of its mission statement over the past few years, Jumeirah CEO Jose Silva says it is reaping the benefits, with its new restaurants significantly improving the company’s revenue from F&B.
Speaking at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum section of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, Silva said: “If you introduce destination dining, or an exceptional restaurant, versus a normal restaurant in a hotel, not only will you triple the revenue, but you’ll also triple your profit, and we’ve demonstrated that over and over in the past year and a half that we’ve implemented our new restaurants.”
Key to bringing in that extra revenue, said Silva, is ensuring the restaurant is attractive to not only hotel guests but to local residents. Highlighting Kayto at Jumeirah Al Naseem and French Riviera at Jumeirah Al Qasr, Silva said having these venues frequented by more than 75% of the local community “positions your hotel differently and allows you to gain market share” in terms of occupancy and rates.
He added: “I believe that delivering extraordinary food is one of the most difficult things to do in a hotel space. If you’re able to do it, what it does is it creates a huge barrier to entry for any competitors.”
When asked if it would therefore be less of a risk to put in an established brand, such as Zuma or Coya, rather than creating unique concepts, Silva said: “I’m not sure Zuma and Coya is available for every hotel in the country. You will have to step back to secondary brands and you will have to pay for it. And I doubt they will integrate it. They will pick venues that will turn over 3, 4, 500 covers a day, which is not really the mission of a hotel.”
Silva hired former Michelin Guide international director Michael Ellis to oversee Jumeirah's culinary and the American recently told The GM Debate by Hotelier Middle East that the brand would continue to look to hire Michelin-quality chefs to run its own concepts.