A celebration of innovative restaurant concepts, culture and knowledge, GRIF-Saudi Arabia, as part of the Future Hospitality Summit (FHS)-Saudi Arabia, will bring high-level industry experts under one roof for a three-day conference from May 7th to 9th
Dubai, United Arab Emirates The Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) 2023 is returning to Saudi Arabia as part of the Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) Saudi Arabia to be held between the 7th to 9th of May at Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh. The event will see attendance from select high-level industry executives, investors, franchisors, and restaurateurs, who will come together to share best practices, trends, insights, and innovations to further the growth and development of the restaurant industry in Saudi Arabia.
GRIF is a platform that facilitates investment decision-making within the restaurant space. Founded in 2014, GRIF was built with a strong sense of community and passion for the industry, and it has hosted 3-day conferences in the likes of Dubai and Amsterdam in the past. For 2023, GRIF will once again head to Saudi Arabia, running it parallel to the hotel investment-focused content. There is immense focus on the location of this year’s conference, as Saudi Arabia has come to be recognised as the new hospitality hub of the Middle East, with its F&B sector growing at an immense speed.
It is crucial to recognise the speed of evolution of the F&B space in Saudi Arabia, as until 2018-2019, Riyadh had only two upscale restaurants. Cut to the present, where the city is now brimming with many local and international outlets, catering primarily to a savvy local audience. The energy and enthusiasm are contagious amongst restaurateurs in Riyadh, and there is a passionate restaurant community full of people working to drive the industry forward and evolve it in terms of Saudi-led talent, concepts, supply chain, and cuisine. Even with imported concepts, there is the desire to infiltrate the experience, menus, and service with a touch of ‘Saudi Hospitality’ that seeks to evolve the local market.
The Mingora Foodservice Consumer Confidence Survey 2023 for Saudi Arabia brings to light some positive statistics that show high levels of optimism for a promising future for the country’s hospitality sector. 58% of the respondents expect significant or somewhat better financial situations in the coming years. The study also showed significant optimism amongst respondents about Saudi Arabia’s future leading up to 2030, indicating that they are very confident that vision 2030 will be realised.
Jennifer Pettinger, the Managing Director – Middle East of The Bench and Founder of GRIF said, “It is fascinating to watch the rapid development of the F&B scene in Saudi Arabia and the enthusiasm of those driving it forward. The focus on developing Saudi-led talent, concepts, and cuisine, as well as showcasing the country’s culture and people, is a positive step towards shifting the global narrative around the country. It is also interesting to note the desire to incorporate ‘Saudi Hospitality’ even in imported concepts, indicating a commitment to adapting to and evolving the local market. The opportunity in the premium casual and casual dining sector is a promising area for growth, and it will be exciting to see how the restaurant scene in Saudi Arabia continues to evolve in the coming years.”
The Global Restaurant Investment Forum 2023 (GRIF) – Saudi Arabia will bring together investors, restaurant and concept owners, franchisors, and high-level industry experts to this hub of opportunities, and it will become a forum for the future of this promising industry. Expert speakers from across the world will also host insightful sessions over the three days. Some of the confirmed speakers for GRIF include Khalid Saud Abuhaimed – Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Al Khozama Investments; Simon Wright – Founder & Chairman, TGP International; Mohammed Jawa – Founder and Chairman, MJS; Roaya Saleh – Founder, Villa Mama; Deem Albassam – Co-founder & Managing Director, The Independent Food Company; Tariq Al Tuwaijry – COO & Managing Director, SISBAN; Jasir Al-Harbash – CEO, Heritage Commission; Tom Aikens – Michelin Star Chef and International Restaurateur; Sinan Al Saady – Founder & CEO, Cool Inc., and Stefan Breg – Managing Partner, KEANE Consulting
This is an exciting time for the Saudi restaurant industry, and GRIF-Saudi Arabia is a great opportunity to learn from industry leaders, share insights, and drive the sector forward.