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Head to head: Sass Cafe Dubai.

What is unique about Sass Cafe and how does it compare to its competitors in the market?

Anthony Puddu, operations manager : Sass Cafe Dubai offers what very few places can. What makes it unique is the location and the view of Downtown Dubai from the outdoor terrace, the authentic Mediterranean fare, atmosphere and decor, and of course, the live music from the piano bar.

Alexander Stumpf, executive chef : Sass Cafe, which originated in Monaco, stands out in the crowd because of its reputation, service, food, entertainment and celebrity following. With the Dubai location, Sass Cafe will bring the same outstanding experience to the region by bringing this jewel of Monaco to Dubai.

How do the front-of-house and back-of-house support each other?

Anthony Puddu, operations manager : We are a small team and have worked together before so we know each other's needs and preferable ways to work. We have briefing meetings before each service to recap mistakes and changes to be made as needed. We feel this is the best way for all of us to work together and support each other. Communication is the key to a great team working well together.

Alexander Stumpf, executive chef : As we are a small team, that alone allows us to support each other. Many members of staff and management have worked together in the past, so that helps with the work dynamic. I personally meet with my kitchen staff before every service to brief them accordingly and front-of-house meet as well. Members from both teams co-ordinate with each other.

How is the pricing strategy justified?

Anthony Puddu, operations manager : We serve high quality dishes. In addition to offering guests high quality and fresh ingredients on their plates, we also offer live entertainment. These two concepts alone set Sass Cafe apart from the competition. Additionally, keeping true to its roots, it offers impeccable service to its guests.

Alexander Stumpf, executive chef : We serve high-quality products. Our beef comes from Ireland and is grass-fed, therefore it has more texture and a meatier taste. Fish is delivered in whole pieces so we can guarantee that we will be serving fresh ingredients to our guests. Our vegetables are sourced between Italy and France.

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How will you ensure the outlet is profitable?

Anthony Puddu, operations manager : By expanding our menu so that customers can experience additional Mediterranean delicacies along with dishes that have some regional influence. From a business perspective, we will review and update our marketing strategy frequently.

Alexander Stumpf, executive chef : From the kitchen side, in order to be profitable, first we need to be aligned with all food standards and safety guidelines. Obtaining fresh and quality ingredients from key suppliers is also needed to provide outstanding and fresh dishes from the kitchen - which will ultimately be a key player in profitability.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Anthony Puddu, operations manager : We have a very strong management team, whose members have worked all over the world. We all have so much experience and knowledge, it is a challenge to slow down, but we are trying to step back and work with the junior team and bring them up to speed to learn the Sass Cafe culture.

Alexander Stumpf, executive chef : I put a lot of pressure on myself to get everything right and to train and prepare my staff well, so that everything coming out of the kitchen meets my standards. As Sass Cafe is a new restaurant that has quickly become popular, it's a challenge every night, but a good one, and one I love to take on.

What does the future of Sass Cafe look like?

Anthony Puddu, operations manager : With the success and popularity of Sass Cafe in Monaco, we expect the same for Dubai - great food, impeccable service and outstanding entertainment.

Alexander Stumpf, executive chef : Given the popularity of the venue since it opened, Sass Cafe is here and will be for a long time.

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Publication:Hotelier Middle East
Geographic Code:4EXMN
Date:Jul 21, 2014
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