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THE FOOD INDUSTRY STANDS AT AN UNCERTAIN ROAD. A SURVIVAL GUIDE BY CHEF FAISAL AHMED ALDELEIGAN

In a time like 2020, with the Coronavirus pandemic hitting the restaurant business hard, chefs and restaurant owners are sceptical about what’s in store for them. The dining business will take a lot of time to recover and even more time to bring back the faith of the consumers. It’s a tough time for the restaurant industry as fear looms. We seek answers and guidance from Chef Faisal Ahmed Aldeleigan who is a world renowned banker turned chef, food influencer and the founder of his international consultancy firm- ‘Chef Faisal Consultancy’ which guides more than 100 restaurants in KSA and Bahrain along the lines of operations, engineering of menu and cuisines. These are tough and unpredictable times and Chef Faisal instills hope and says, “Through powerful and intelligent strategies we can formulate our success mantra”

He lays down some valuable insights for what’s in store for restaurant holders:

1) Stay visible: Chef Faisal says the pandemic has made a lot of restaurants doubt their ground. He is a strong advocate of practicing generosity in these trying times. You can create regular videos and post them online, strategize your outlet, keep in touch with consumers and continuously research. Chef Faisal mentions- “Staying relevant is the key. You can’t slip away at this time because the competition is going to be extremely tough.”

2) Significance of gastronomy: The world needs gastronomy. It is the art of choosing, cooking and eating good food. There will be the highest demand for clean, hygienic food which is preservative free. Chef Faisal says it will be useful for restaurants to focus on the nutrition value and hygiene aspects of the food they want to put out. Right now is the perfect time to hone skills and to prepare for what the market wants.

3) Incorporation of social responsibility: At a time of crisis, social responsibility is one of the key areas which every business needs to work upon. Chef Faisal is of the opinion that chefs, cooks and restaurant holders can form a community and help the needy with cooked food and clean water. While this serves the purpose of serving the society, it would go a long way in establishing brand image and loyalty. It would also help professional kitchens function again.

Chef Faisal who is a food entrepreneur understands the pressure and uneasiness that comes with such a huge change overnight but he also believes that staying dynamic is the key to surviving it. He reminds the restaurants of the challenges the industry has always handled- be it the ever changing demands and tastes of the consumer or the government regulations. ‘Stay kind, careful and adapt quickly and you’ll go through this smoothly’ were his parting words. Instagram @Cheffaisalco

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