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Diners buy into world food

A retail arm is set to enhance customer satisfaction at Fiesta World Cafes.

Customers at Fiesta World Café’s three Dubai restaurants can now take a taste of their culinary experience home with them, following the company’s decision to launch a retail arm, Fiesta Gourmet Store.

The new part of the business sells luxury food items including pickles, oils and jams, from across the world.Muzaffer Akturk, managing director of Fiesta World Cafés, decided to establish a retail side to the business in order to offer diners a chance to buy luxury food products that are not available in supermarkets or any other outlets in the area.

“We had this idea last year,” Akturk told Retail News Middle East. “We went around in the trade fairs and we selected certain products from certain countries. “You don’t find these products in the supermarkets. Most of them are award-winning products and are not available in the supermarkets,” he added.

“We have about 150 products including jams marmalades, preserves, different cooking sauces and sauces for different pastas, which are all homemade. Most of the items are award winning in the UK, and we have agreements never to sell these products in the supermarkets.”

While Akturk is clear that the restaurants will remain the main focus of the company, he has high hopes for the retail side of the business, which he thinks could contribute about 20% of the company’s turnover within a few years. “The idea is not to become a retailer completely but at the same time we want to make our customers satisfied with certain products they know we have available.

“We want our retail arm to be one part of our restaurants and we plan to open one small corner of gourmet products in all of the restaurants we’re going to open. We’re planning a few more in Dubai in the next few years and we have two or three more planned for the region.”

To leverage sales of the products, the restaurants are also selling the products to order in hampers, and this is attracting significant gift sales, according to Akturk. “Our customers select the items they want and we put it all in a basket which they buy as a gift,” he said. “Right now we’re working to make different price ranges of hampers, from AED50 to AED500. We want to put this on our Internet site. A customer will be able to call us and order a specific hamper, so we will offer a complete service.”

The concept also looks set to spread, with Fiesta World Café planning to open cafés in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the next few years. Fiesta World Cafés was established in 2002 by Akturk and some close friends who wanted to bring a new style of café restaurant to the region. It has restaurants in Mercato Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall and Knowledge Village.

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