Head to Head: The Backyard, Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay Dubai
What is unique about The Backyard and how does it compare to its competitors in the market?
Andrew Vieira: With its highly Instagrammable interiors, colourful street art, graffiti, fabulous open view of the Dubai Water Canal and, of course, the mouth-watering food and beverage offerings, The Backyard has definitely created its own niche.
Anan Tumya: It has been our aim to create a place where guests can enjoy the true sense of Bangkok’s street food, and that is what we have brought to The Backyard. The food, style of cooking and ingredients are all authentically Thai and not easily seen before in Dubai.
How do the front-of-house and back-of-house teams support each other?
Andrew Vieira: With sometimes 400 guests waiting for their food, we have no choice but to ace our internal working. The only way forward is to work together harmoniously. I can proudly say that our 30-plus member team has mastered the art of team work, through daily meetings and establishing a clear flow of communication at all times, no matter how busy we are.
Anan Tumya: The kitchen has to be like a well-oiled machine. If there is no coordination between front-of-house and back-of-house, the poor result will be easily tasted in the final offering. It is most important to have a seamless flow between the two teams, who are essentially one team serving one common goal. We achieve this by proper planning, briefings, duty checklists and clear communication.
How do you ensure the outlet is busy and profitable?
Andrew Vieira: All activities planned at The Backyard are super fun, vibrant and constantly changing, based on what our guests enjoy. We host a variety of themed events such as outdoor movie nights, DJ nights, Bollywood nights, lip sync, a Thai food festival and a lot more.
Anan Tumya: While I thoroughly enjoy the creative side of my work, I must keep an eagle eye on the financial side of running a kitchen as well. It is crucial to keep food costs under check at all times to ensure the restaurant is profitable.
What are the biggest business challenges you face?
Andrew Vieira: I think our biggest challenge is also our biggest strength. Our guests want and expect more and more from their experience, but due to the intense summer, the venue has a short seasonality and is closed during the summer months.
Anan Tumya: Dubai is an ever-evolving gastronomic paradise, and to succeed one must follow their passion but also keep an eye on the quickly changing trends too. It can get challenging and tiring if you only focus on trends.
What does the future hold for The Backyard in the region?
Andrew Vieira: Let’s say that it makes us all very happy planning for the future months. All our events, be it the Thai Street Food Festival, Movie Nights, Bollywood Nights and so on, have been extended due to popular demand and that is a very encouraging trend.
Anan Tumya: The future is bright and colourful like Thailand. Based on the success of our Thai Street Food Festival in collaboration with Dubai Food Festival, I foresee many evenings, packed with Thai food aficionados. It is my joy and honour to feed them what they love.