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Industry Spotlight: Abdul Kader Saadi, Founder and Managing Director, Glee Hospitality Solutions

09 June 2021

Tell us more about some key developments and new openings at Glee Hospitality.
The year 2021 is proving to be an ambitious one for Glee Hospitality Solutions with a number of key impressive developments in the pipeline. We’re currently finalising the launch of PEKOE, a project due to open this summer in Dubai’s innovative industrial complex, AL Serkal Avenue.

In addition, we’re also launching Limou, which is a dark brand concept focusing on a Persian cuisine-based theme. Regionally, we’re working on an immense water park project in Jeddah that is due to open by end of the summer. The water park will host an extensive list of 4 F&B outlets and eight foodservice points throughout the park itself.

With Saudi highlighting its commitment to its tourism plan, how are your new projects in the Kingdom going to constitute an addition to the pipeline?
In terms of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to its tourism plan, it should be noted primarily that Glee Hospitality Solutions operates with a viable trade license within the Kingdom, and our KSA interests are handled directly within the market itself.

To this effect, we’re able to tender to the various government initiatives. With respect to the aforementioned it should be noted that all of the projects being announced are massive in terms of the scope that the various government and private entities are tendering for F&B elements/components. These will include, but not be limited to, all the various stages (i.e., concept creation, implementation and the development of future operations).

What will your partnership with FoodRazor bring to the market?
In terms of innovation, Glee Hospitality Solutions recently partnered with FoodRazor to bring yet another layer to the level of service to the F&B market. FoodRazor is a data-driven invoice management platform that makes it simpler and more economic to simultaneously access greater profits and lower costs.

By utilising SAAS solutions (i.e., software as a service), FoodRazor allows vendors to streamline their operations and optimise supplier invoice entry, processing and data analysis. This enables businesses to save time and gain greater transparency, thus allowing vendors to achieve higher profit margins and greater operational productivity.

In terms of operations, Glee Hospitality Solutions is effectively FoodRazor’s partner, on ground support and reseller in the region. This partnership enables Glee Hospitality to be perfectly poised to connect vendors and clients to the benefits of this innovative technological service.

How is Eighty6 going to help restaurants and B2B procurement in the UAE?
Continuing with this trend of technological symbiosis with the F&B market, Glee Hospitality Solutions has partnered up to launch a new B2B application by the end of summer, which will be dubbed Eighty 6. The Company is a part of the DIFC innovation hub enclave, with an allocated capital amount of nearly $800k for round 1.

Eighty6 will enable chefs to reduce the time they spend on procurement. To give an example of projected efficiency, chefs on average spend approximately seven hours a week on procurement and with the implementation of the Eighty6 we’re looking to drop that time by more than 50%.

Additionally, chefs will also be able to search for existing or new products via the application, further empowering them to shop and compare products/prices with greater clarity and ease. To supplement this, we will also incorporate a supplier dashboard which will seek to minimise the data entry process, handle aggregate orders and empower them to market their product.

In addition, Eighty6 will incorporate state-of-the-art AI tech to help chefs predict their procurement requirements based on par levels and consumption patterns. Eighty6 is currently recruiting the core team and working on the launch campaign.

What are your thoughts on the recent rehaul of the rules in Dubai and how is this going to benefit the industry?
The pandemic has enforced restrictions and bitten into the operations side of nearly every industry in the region. To that effect, all relaxations of protocols as mandated legally by the Government are welcome and will serve to bolster the operators in the F&B sector.

The recent rehaul of the Dubai rules will naturally be a source of relief to many vendors and operators in the industry. With operating restrictions that previously included limited opening hours, events and the enforcement of mandatory patron seating distance, this effectively created choke points for many operators profit routes.

With these implementations now being relaxed (seating distance reduced from 3 metres to 2 metres, for example) this will ultimately result in benefits that ultimately create better income opportunities. It may not seem like a great reduction, but any potential to increase the number the patrons per square foot throughout the course of its operating hours can prove paramount in terms of profitability.

To this effect, many operators predict a potential summer boom as the reduced capacity spacing will allow for greater footfall and restore previous elements of the overall ‘’lively’’ dining experience ambience.