Relevance of Chef’s in today’s environment and Investment Trends in the Restaurant Industry.

Panel discussion to discuss the evolution / de-valuation of chef's in restaurants due to changing customer preferences, technology-based food preparation systems, robotics driven cooking procedures & the future of the Chef in this highly mechanized & demanding environment.

Focusing on the various investment scenario’s, funding sources, appropriate utilization of funds and generating ROI’s for restaurants.

Malt & Salt Hospitality participated in the Gulf Host Restaurant Development Conference hosted by the Middle East Food Forum (MEFF) and International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA).

Speaking at the panel discussion, the other members and Akhilesh from Malt & Salt, discussed the importance of keeping the chef alive in today’s fast changing restaurant operating mechanisms.

Akhilesh stressed that even though most QSR’s & franchise brands have turned their reliance on chefs to a minimum on the front lines, expert & experienced chefs are nonetheless required for recipes development, training, creating procedures, menu & value enhancements.

Discussions also revolved around celebrity chef restaurants, where chefs rule the environment and such restaurants operate & are quite successful too. Leading hotels also have their kitchens run by senior experienced chefs and their large brigade of medium to junior level chefs.

It was widely accepted and agreed that even though large scale expansion of popular franchise brands has taken place by reducing reliance on senior chefs, the chef is as relevant and extremely important for any F&B venture’s creation, development, growth & ultimate success. It is the chef who creates and customers that devour. The Chef is here to stay.

Investment trends in the restaurant industry focused on who invests, where the money comes from, do first time investors understand where and how to spend the money in developing a restaurant, do first time food entrepreneurs know what to focus their spending on, how do restaurants make money, do they actually make money and how much ROI should investors realistically expect to make in today’s highly competitive landscape.

There emerged a fair amount of counter discussions on the topic, which also generated a lot of interest during the Q&A session from the audience. All in all, a very pertinent matter to be discussed and not to be taken lightly at all.