Hakkasan Doha general manager Milos Zekovic is quite pleased with his team. And why not? After three years of operations in the Qatar market, Zekovic claims that 2015 was the outlet’s most successful year since opening.
He tells Hotelier Qatar that the 210-cover outlet, located in The St. Regis Doha, has been growing from year to year. “Everybody knows that Hakkasan is on the market, and we have a lot of regular guests. Hakkasan Doha has just finished the most successful year in 2015 in terms of growth, and we are looking forward to improving that in 2016. The footfall has consistently increased, which is driving the business’ profitability.”
It’s a bold claim to make; while Doha is a nascent market (compared to the UAE for example) in terms of F&B, there’s no doubt that the food scene is growing. With a number of new hotel openings over the last year, and more to come, the number of restaurants in the market is increasing. It’s not easy to keep market share in a growing sector.
Zekovic is aware of the competition, and says: “For the past year, there are a lot of restaurants coming up in the market; we are witnessing a growth in general. There are new concepts, ideas, restaurants as well as hotels opening, which is great to see. But Hakkasan is a brand which is not only in Doha. Many people know Hakkasan from their past travels, from the UK, US and UAE, which sets us apart from the competition in the market. I am confident when I say that Hakkasan is among the preferred dining places in Doha.”
The expansion of Doha’s foodie scene is actually a good thing — it helps the supply chain. Zekovic notes: “There is always a search for new products on the market. Chefs usually work months in advance to ensure that product is available prior to launching new menus.”
He added: “With more restaurants and Asian-themed cuisines coming on the market, there is an increase of products imported into Qatar which makes supply easier. We also rely on special imports for both food and beverage, for which local suppliers are very supportive.”
And with the outlet now in its third year, Zekovic shares the news that the restaurant has extended its outside bar area to create another destination for guests, with a seating capacity of 30.
He adds: “We’re constantly working to provide the stability and consistency of the product that will set us apart from the competition.”