Food and entertaiment with the bull­dozer

Bull­dozer Group’s im­pres­sive port­fo­lio com­prises sev­eral F&B and nightlife des­ti­na­tions in Dubai, in­clud­ing Cipri­ani, Novikov, Sass’ Café, Down­town Toko, So­cial­ista, Eshak, and VIP Room. Evgeny Kuzin the group’s founder and man­ag­ing part­ner, gives his tak

Hospitality News Middle East - - CONTENTS -

How would you de­scribe the F&B scene in Dubai?

When we look at Dubai’s F&B in­dus­try, we re­al­ize com­pe­ti­tion is at its fiercest. Dubai has un­der­gone dras­tic changes and rapid de­vel­op­ment over the years. It’s vi­tal that we keep push­ing the boundaries and avoid be­com­ing com­pla­cent with our brands and end of­fer­ings to the con­sumer. We are con­tin­u­ing to ex­pand our port­fo­lio by not only tapping into the finest F&B brands that we can bring to the GCC, but also ex­plor­ing lo­cal, homegrown con­cepts. How­ever, we are well aware that it’s not only about the brands we bring in, but also the of­fer­ing it­self, which needs to be unique and cre­ate a mark in Dubai. The emi­rate al­ready boasts the best brands in the world, so we al­ways eval­u­ate the value propo­si­tion of the of­fer­ing and how it can dif­fer­en­ti­ate it­self.

What im­pact has Bull­dozer Group made on the lo­cal F&B land­scape?

At the Bull­dozer Group, we pride our­selves on the con­cepts that we in­tro­duce to the Mid­dle East, but most im­por­tantly, the fun­da­men­tal fac­tor be­hind our suc­cess to date is our abil­ity to em­ploy and part­ner with the best tal­ents in the mar­ket. There’s no sub­sti­tute for a team that has years of knowl­edge and hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence; with part­ners of this cal­iber, we are able to not only nav­i­gate, but also set trends in this fast­paced in­dus­try.

What makes you stand out?

It's a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors, from the core of­fer­ing of the food and en­ter­tain­ment, to the de­signs, ex­te­ri­ors, at­ten­tion to small de­tails and sen­si­bil­ity. We also be­lieve that cre­at­ing the right am­bi­ence is es­sen­tial if a des­ti­na­tion is to be­come the ul­ti­mate hot-spot. For ex­am­ple, peo­ple might not nec­es­sar­ily en­joy ex­cel­lent food if the ser­vice is poor or the set­ting unattrac­tive. Due to the in­tense com­pe­ti­tion across the F&B and nightlife scene, it’s vi­tal that all the el­e­ments work to­gether in har­mony.

What chal­lenges have you faced and how did you ad­dress them?

The ma­jor changes ev­i­dent in Dubai’s F&B scene have taken place in less than five years. The emi­rate has be­come home to nu­mer­ous new and di­verse con­cepts that

span the spec­trum of F&B and nightlife of­fer­ings. In 2012, you could eas­ily open a club or restau­rant and were guar­an­teed some de­gree of suc­cess, but that’s not the case to­day; the mar­ket is sat­u­rated with F&B and nightlife venues and brands have to be very clear in their vi­sion and of­fer­ing if they’re to sur­vive. We con­tinue to re­tain our lead­ing po­si­tion in the mar­ket be­cause we know who our tar­get au­di­ence is and what we can of­fer them. More­over, we are al­ways adding new el­e­ments for our guests to ex­pe­ri­ence. En­sur­ing that our guests don’t be­come bored with us is an on­go­ing ex­er­cise.

What ad­di­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties are you ex­plor­ing in the mar­ket?

Aside from bring­ing high-end, well-es­tab­lished con­cepts to Dubai, we’re also fo­cused on homegrown con­cepts and the ca­sual din­ing scene. These have tremen­dous po­ten­tial to grow or­gan­i­cally, if ex­e­cuted cor­rectly.

As a Rus­sian group, did you en­counter chal­lenges in­te­grat­ing in Dubai?

Dubai is mul­ti­cul­tural, with most of the emi­rate’s pop­u­la­tion made up of ex­pats of dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties from var­i­ous coun­tries, so in­te­gra­tion was not re­ally an is­sue. The emi­rate has proved it­self a re­cep­tive mar­ket and busi­ness there con­tin­ues to boom, mak­ing it an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for new, in­ter­na­tional en­ter­prises as well.

The mar­ket is sat­u­rated with F&B and nightlife venues and brands have to be very clear in their vi­sion and of­fer­ing if they’re to sur­vive

What up­com­ing projects do you have in the pipe­line?

Our cur­rent port­fo­lio con­sists of 10 F&B and nightlife con­cepts and we’re plan­ning to open eight more in the UAE, to­gether with an ad­di­tional out­let in Saudi Ara­bia, be­fore the end of 2017. These out­lets will in­clude a mix of in­ter­na­tional, re­gional, lo­cal homegrown and pos­si­bly ca­sual din­ing con­cepts.

Do you think F&B and hos­pi­tal­ity projects re­main an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for in­vestors and investments?

The hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor in Dubai is not only ex­pand­ing, but ever chang­ing. A grow­ing num­ber of hos­pi­tal­ity com­pa­nies are mak­ing in­roads into the emi­rates. The num­ber of tourists, too, is con­tin­u­ing to rise, with even more vis­i­tors ex­pected for the up­com­ing Expo 2020 Dubai.

Which re­gional mar­kets in­ter­est you?

Saudi Ara­bia has a thriv­ing econ­omy and af­flu­ent pop­u­la­tion, which makes it one of the most at­trac­tive mar­kets in the re­gion. Its F&B in­dus­try is grow­ing, which sig­nals great po­ten­tial for us to tap into.





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