Proven ways to succeed in an increasingly competitive F&B market
Priya Wadhwa
SME Stories

Proven ways to succeed in an increasingly competitive F&B market

In conversation with Sawan Ravani, founder and MD of Pressman's, Inspire properties and more

The competition in the food and beverage sector has been ever increasing. A report earlier in 2019 showed Dubai to have 11,813 operating restaurants and cafes in Dubai — recording a 9.7 percent growth from 2017.

Meanwhile, the food delivery segment has been posing tough conundrum: while they help restaurants cater to a larger segment of audience through their delivery services, they have been offering strong discounts and offers to customers to compete within the delivery sector. This has indirectly had a strong impact on restaurants as they can either sign up to those offers or risk losing customers.

In this competitive atmosphere, one restaurant — Pressman’s — has done particularly well.

From having just 3 outlets in 2017, Pressman’s now has 7, with 1-2 more outlets of their own opening up in Q4 2019. Plus, they are opening more 5 outlets with Kitopi, the cloud kitchen, by the end of 2019.

The recipe for success

Commenting on the growth, Sawan Ravani, Founder and MD of Pressman’s said “It requires gradual periodic success in order for you to keep growing, because if your existing outlets are not profiting or are not succeeding well enough, you will not be gathering strength or the resources to grow further. So, yes, we've been growing. We've increased our annual turnover by more than 150% over the [1-1.5 years]. And our outlets have been growing by more than 15% year-on-year in these market conditions.”

“F&B brands that have managed to do well over the years have got two things in common. One, they've managed to evolve with time. Whether it be with technology, or the food offerings, or simply operational and logistical efficiencies. [...] The second thing is consistency.”

He strongly believes that consistency in the quality of food and service provided by Pressman’s is one of the major contributors to the success of his outlets.

Another important aspect is that of constant involvement.

He says, “F&B concepts are sometimes being taken as a part-time business activity by a lot of people in this part of the world, which I believe is not an ideal way to manage an F&B business; because every minute and every hour throws up a new challenge.”

“70% of our customers are repeat customers.”
Sawan Ravani, founder and MD of Pressman’s

Managing challenges

Heavy discounts from food delivery apps increases demand. Many restaurants struggle to cope with the sheer amount of orders than come in. To manage this, Pressman’s often calls its customers who are likely to experience a delay and asks them if that is okay.

While the heavy discounts have changed consumer behaviour and expectations, Pressman’s maintains that it is an unsustainable policy to constantly have discounts. So while it does participate in discount weeks, it does so periodically instead of constantly having discounts. Ravani says that when they do offer discounts, they offer strong discounts that show their appreciation to the customers.

Moreover, they also run loyalty programmes, that has seen massive success.

Ensuring quality

Ensuring quality is one of the key focuses of Pressman’s. Sawan says that they have a lot of suppliers for international products such as cheeses and proteins. Moreover, everything is prepared fresh.

“None of our products on the menu, in any of our outlets, have a shelf life of more than 48 hours. Everything is delivered fresh every day.”
Sawan Ravani, founder and MD of Pressman’s

When it comes to ensuring quality with Kitopi’s cloud kitchens, Sawan said that the staff preparing Pressman’s menu “are effectively trained, monitored, and approved” by Pressman’s team. In addition, they’ll be conducting random surprise visits to Kitopi’s facilities.

He explains, “The staff that would be allocated for Pressman's station in their kitchen, would be not only trained by their managers, but will have to go through training and assessment at Pressman’s Central Facility, approved by our Outlet-in-Charge, and our Head Chef.”

A strong business plan, uncompromising quality, constant involvement as well as evolvement is Pressman’s mantra for success. As is it for most of the restaurants and food brands that have a strong customer base. We are of the opinion that delivering value at the right price will withstand even the toughest market competitions, as evident with Pressman’s success. While cloud kitchens and food delivery concepts are disrupting the space, F&B brands need to take what they’re offering in their stride and evolve to cater to the new market.