Startup MGZN

We asked Bahraini restaurant owners what Tamkeen can do to help restaurant businesses and here’s what they had to say.

Based on a recent survey, food and beverage sector come as one of the most popular investment choices in Bahrain. The Kingdom of Bahrain has seen a sincere dedication towards promoting tourism and choosing it as a promising event destination. The results of these efforts are already visible, confirmed a survey by the Bahrain Economic Development Board. In 2006 alone, the country welcomed 12.2 million tourists.

Jarad Bachar, the executive director with the board’s tourism and leisure development department confirmed that the local food scene was constantly evolving. There are growing developments in the F&B industry with new creative restaurant concepts popping up, added Bachar. According to him, the pure market demand helped the government policy grow this sector. The recently released figures state that restaurant business amongst others have expanded up to more than 7% year-on-year in the first half of 2017.  

Tamkeen has been doing a terrific job to help local food & beverages entrepreneurs turn their startups into successful businesses, what can the organization do to further support restaurant businesses in Bahrain. Startup MGZN talked to a few of the most successful Bahraini restaurant owners to find out more about it.

We spoke to our community and asked them about their thoughts on the F&B industry and what can Tamkeen do more to support it here in Bahrain. Here’s what they said:

  • Cooking is not enough. Know how to run and manage a restaurant. Tamkeen could continue to improve and curate its training options. According to Hussain Haji (@iamhussainhaji) co-founder of the startup Inagrab, while being a skillful and excellent cook is a must, but sorry to break it to you, it is not quite enough. He suggests that every entrepreneur needs some F&B training to know how to run a restaurant. In addition, he suggests that educating the public about working the F&B industry would be of great help, “I think it would be nice to see a local serve you with a smile,” Hussain says. Hussain also adds that there should be some training in developing a brand guidelines and franchise manual for the restaurant especially if it succeeds and plans to scale up. We hope that Tamkeen would expand its support portfolio to curate on its professional certification offerings to allow better training to happen for the F&B industry.
  • “Amendment process needs to be fluid and easy to achieve”. Sinan Khatib (@sinankhatib) owner of Noodle Wok, Burrito Loco and Sandwich Guys believes that there should be a greater flexibility for changes and reality on the ground dynamics. “The quotes received are subject to lots of changes, amendments, and replacements,” which means that it shouldn’t be a challenge for a restaurant owner to change and modify bits and pieces of his plans.
  • “An anchor and a guide for restaurants.”  Wafa Obaidat (@wafaobaidat), founder and CEO of Obai and Hill mentions that Tamkeen can enhance the impact of its service to these restaurants if they provide companies with access to mentors, that teach them how to raise funds and how to operationalize business. This, in turn, allows them to grow and scale up.  
  • More programs that are going to make the F&B industry blossom. Doa’a Abdul Wahab (@doaaessa), owner of Salad Boutique and founder of Asma Consultancy believes that “Tamkeen can support the food and beverage industry through business assistance programs, research, and commercialization opportunities.” She also adds that there should be special services and programs that cater towards people interested in the F&B industry, for instance there could be seminars and workshops on exporting your products. Doa’a also suggests a range of F&B development programs such as: “Training programs and qualifications for F&B business owners and employees, Sharing the governmental charges and other overheads for a certain periods, taking a bigger share of the interest of BDB’s loans, provide a branding and franchising qualified services, and establish regulations for F&B vendors and suppliers to govern their performance and prices.”

Even though Bahrain’s F&B industry looks promising, however, there is always room for improvement and further government support as well as the training needed to make this industry shine brighter. Do you think that is the case?

And what about you? What do you think Tamkeen can do to help out the F&B industry here in Bahrain? Join the discussion and voice your opinion out by following @StartupMGZN on our social media channels: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Are you by any chance an aspiring chef, or are you planning on opening up a restaurant in the near future? Then check out these awesome professional certifications offered by Tamkeen.

Bayan Al-A'abed

Bayan is a writer for Startup MGZN