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October 05, 2021 | 10:00 AM

Harnessing The Power Of People And Culture

  Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of welcoming Lucy d’Abo to our Bidfood office in the UAE. Lucy is a business advisor to companies around organizational excellence, brand culture, talent acquisition, succession planning, and preparation for acquisition and growth strategy. The session started with Lucy walking us through her inspiring journey of how she co-founded and built a market-leading creative communications agency DABO & CO, how she successfully secured an acquisition, managing a merger and subsequent earn-out.   What stuck with all of our Bidfoodies after just a few moments of interacting with Lucy was her take on workplace culture and her passion for building connections.   During the hour, we learned that the key to building a superpower culture revolved around a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that bind us as an organization. Moreover, good company cultures are prevalent in those organizations where every person in the company believed in the purpose of the business and its values.     It was here that we got the chance to reflect upon Bidfood’s own purpose and how we play our part to achieve it.  "To enable food operators to provide an amazing dining experience to end consumers."   Lucy highlighted how successful company cultures lean on multiple pillars - from workforce and leadership to communication and strategy. We discussed, collectively, the importance of raising one's own voice, taking accountability for actions and every person's role in being responsible for a company's culture.   The excitement hit the roof when Lucy's team proceeded to conduct a series of fun-filled group activities that had all our Bidfoodies completely engaged. We were made to perform tasks that reiterated the core of practising good cultures that focused on:  Progressive Leadership: Fostering trust and breeding a culture of ownership Communication: Sharing is power – access to information is empowering and so is listening Care: Caring for your people to build loyalty, camaraderie and resilience   Reflecting back on Lucy's insightful words, we collectively echo the sentiment that each person is responsible for the culture of the company and continuously work hard to make Bidfood the best company to work in and with.   
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September 29, 2021

5 Non-Boring Ways to Give Your Drinks Menu a Health Boost

68% of consumers shared that they are now more concerned about their health and well-being, according to the Bidfood Trends 2021 report. Additionally, 51% of consumers are more inclined to go for healthier choices when eating out. If you own or run a café, restaurant, or hotel that offers the usual drink menu to your customers, don’t you think it’s high time to consider the numbers above? Would your regular house drink be enough to satisfy a more health-conscious customer? From finding new ways to enjoy a healthy cup of illy coffee to offering more nutritious beverage choices, we at Bidfood are ready to support your shift to a healthier, more sustainable way of serving your customers. Stirring Up Healthier Options As a food service provider, statistics such as those mentioned above are crucial when developing a new approach to creating menus that complement the way people eat and drink. In addition, it’s imperative to explore how you can adapt to the evolving ways that consumers lead healthier lives. With health being such a broad topic, however, it is easy to get overwhelmed. You have to wade through and analyze a wealth of niche concepts and fad diets to determine if developing a healthier drinks menu is sustainable for your business. You also have to consider if it’s the right fit for your market. Finding a balance between offering healthy choices and maintaining an appealing and exciting menu can be a challenge. Will concocting a mocktail using calorie-free sparkling water fare well with bubbly-loving customers? Will switching to tree syrups make a difference with clients who have a sweet tooth? Below, we offer you some ideas on how you can keep your drink menu exciting while also giving it a health boost: 1. Go Light and Low Calorie counting is back with a vengeance, especially with consumers who are looking to improve their health. In some countries like the United Kingdom, calorie labeling will be introduced in big food service establishments starting April 2022, which may translate to more widespread awareness. If you want to attract health-conscious customers, you can add low-calorie options to your drinks menu. Guilt-free coffee concoctions like low-calorie alcoholic drinks or fruit-infused water are some excellent examples of items that can shave calories off your menu (and your customers’ diet). Of course, good old water is still the best zero-calorie choice. But to make it more fun, you can offer sparkling natural water with a few slivers of lemon or a squeeze of seasonal fruit. 2. Swap Sugars Instead of simply serving soda and other carbonated beverages, you can add some zest into your drinks menu by swapping artificial sweeteners with healthier alternatives. With the wellness trend on a high, a wide range of naturally derived sweeteners is available such as agave, coconut nectar, date, Jerusalem artichoke syrup, monk fruit, stevia, and yacon root. Sparkling fruit beverages such as the San Pellegrino line have also switched from sugar to stevia leaf extract, making it a low-sugar, low-calorie drink. You can also offer “jeltzers,” a combination of healthy fruit juices and seltzer or sparkling water. Opt for grape or pomegranate juice for their antioxidant properties. 3. Offer Low- or No-Alcohol Options To expand your drinks menu, include healthier zero- or low-alcohol drinks. Doing so will also widen your market as it can cater to those who love to party without the heavy buzz. Mocktails are popular options with healthier alternatives, such as a Ruby Sparkler Mocktail that combines chilled sparkling water, rhubarb-plum syrup, and agave or honey. Other mocktail options make use of apple cider, blood orange, cranberry, and strawberry. Sangria is also a no-alcohol option. You can get our Blackcurrant and Hibiscus Fruit tea as your base and add chopped fruits like apples, clementines, oranges, peaches, or pomegranates and serve it chilled. You can carry alcohol-free sparkling wine as well, like Martini Dolce for those who want the bubbles without the lousy hangover. 4. Think of Wellness-Inspired Themes Another idea to add some pizzazz to your drinks menu is to create one with a specific theme. For example, consider holding wellness-inspired concepts with seasonal beverages such as Summer Smoothies or Winter Melons. You can also hold special “healthy” days such as Mocktail Mondays or Fruity Fridays, where you highlight your healthier offerings. You can even put a twist on your fruit or vegetable smoothies by using sparkling water instead of still. It gives the fizz that you want from fun beverages like soda without the added calories or sugars. 5. Consider Functional Drinks Functional drinks are also gaining traction and would be an excellent addition to your menu. Focus is trained now on the link between gut health, immunity, and probiotics. Digestive health is also a key area where fermented food such as kefir, yogurt, and kombucha fit in. Kombucha tea is especially getting its fair share of attention that has inspired various drinks ranging from warm, soothing teas to iced and fizzy concoctions. You can also tailor your functional drink menu to specific life stages. For example, creating drinks that cater to kids, pregnant or menopausal women, or adults in their senior years can also open up many opportunities. Working Towards Wellness Going the healthy route and developing a drinks menu with nutritious beverages can help your brand and business. The pandemic has brought on a more robust community spirit, with consumers patronizing companies that invest and give back to the community. Expanding your menu to include healthier choices can also open your doors to more patrons and better opportunities. Contact us today for more information on beverages that can help give your own drinks menu a healthy boost.
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September 20, 2021 | 04:00 PM

Bidfood UAE Gears Up for Expo 2020

Serving You So You Can Serve the World   With just 10 days to go for Expo 2020 for what is seemingly the largest event to ever take place in the Middle East, Bidfood is gearing up to serve the market for the 6-month long event. As the UAE is currently the global leader in vaccination rates and COVID-19 restrictions have significantly eased, it comes as no surprise that current reports highlight that the event is set to see over 15 million local and foreign visits. This is a clear indicator that the UAE’s foodservice sector is set to flourish, both, inside and outside the Expo premises.    Bidfood UAE plans to support its foodservice partners that have outlets inside and outside Expo with its wide range of food and beverage solutions. Bidfood boasts of an impressive portfolio – ranging from meat, dairy and condiments to bakery, beverages and more; supported by world-class brands like Heinz, Lamb Weston, Anchor, Bridor, Emborg, Mackas, San Pellegrino, Acqua Panna, Red Bull, etc.    “These are exciting times – we have successfully come out the other end of the pandemic tunnel and have been eagerly awaiting the launch of Expo 2020. We look forward to this once-in-a-lifetime event that will enable us to explore, learn, and grow together with our foodservice partners.”, says Hisham Al Jamil, CEO of Bidfood Middle East.    In anticipation of Dubai turning into the “meeting place of the world”, Bidfood has made a significant increase in its stock coverage and fleet capacity. This is a premeditated decision to ensure that their partners across the market are well equipped to serve their end-consumers and create amazing dining experiences.   Their latest digital solution, myBidfood, has gained significant popularity as the Middle East’s first foodservice e-distribution platform, allowing all customers to order 24x7 from anywhere. This robust platform enables suppliers to showcase not only their products but also allows them to include ingredients, recipes, additional specifications, and communicate with customers. Further to this, operators can live-track orders, discover exclusive promotions and manage their cost and supply chain through myBidfood’s menu planning feature.  To learn more about the platform, click here.      Amongst other initiatives, Bidfood is working toward the spectacular launch of a new, innovative and sustainable product in the market. More details will be revealed post the launch of Expo so stay tuned for more.    “We are taking a leap of faith. We are aligned with the UAE government’s vision and what they are bringing to the market with Expo. This event has allowed us to tactically plan initiatives that ensure we are ready to serve our partners and offer amazing dining experiences to the end-consumers over the months to come.”, Hisham echoes.     All in all, the air is electric with the excitement of Expo 2020 and Bidfood is ready to serve you so you can serve the world.     
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September 05, 2021 | 09:00 AM

Bidfood UAE observes International Day of Charity 2021

It is our humble pleasure to share that Bidfood UAE commemorated the International Day of Charity 2021 by partnering with Al Noor Rehabilitation & Welfare Association for People of Determination.    "It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving" - Mother Teresa   Staying true to our corporate values and outlook toward CSR as an organization, our Bidfoodies worked to donate more than 20 fully equipped first-aid kits to the Al Noor organization.     Al Noor is a non-profit organization that has provided a high quality of professional training to the Determine Ones community in Dubai for over 40 years. Our experience partnering with them to enrich the lives of determined students allowed us to reflect upon ourselves and feel grateful for all that we have.     We are humbled to have partnered with this commendable organization that works hard to integrate its students into mainstream society through its tailor-made, personalized learning programmes.     #InternationalDayofCharity #CorporateSocialResponsibility
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August 31, 2021

What Is Wagyu Beef? 9 Facts About the World's Most Expensive Steak

If you’ve been lucky enough to taste wagyu beef, you’ll know that this meat delivers incredible flavor and a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth feel. Its beautiful marbling and high fat content means it surpasses other steaks, hands down, for taste and texture. And as wagyu suppliers in Dubai, we know just how sought after this meat is by chefs here and around the globe. Want to know more about what makes this beef special? Read on for 9 fascinating factsabout wagyu. 1. Wagyu beef is a Japanese delicacy Did you know that the word ‘wagyu’ translates as wa-Japanese and gyu-cow? Wagyu beef originates in Japan. In fact, the cattle that produce this delicacy are considered a national treasure. They are so beloved and revered that the export of these animals or their genetic material is currently banned, although their meat is shipped worldwide. 2. Wagyu beef is known as the finest beef on the planet All wagyu beef, once processed at the abattoir, is carefully checked by no less than three inspectors. First, they are looking for the meat to have the perfect marbling that gives wagyu beef its unique flavor. They are also looking for the right levels of firmness, color and texture. Only meat that passes these stringent checks is certified as wagyu. It is these standards of quality control that have helped to build wagyu’s reputation as the finest beef on the planet. 3. Wagyu beef comes from only four breeds of cattle There are only four breeds of cattle that can lay claim to being responsible for Japanese wagyu beef: the Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled. Each of these is bred, raised and slaughtered in a specific prefecture of Japan. Only the very best examples of the breed are used to create the next generation of Wagyu cattle. To ensure the very best quality beef prevails, progeny testing is used. This involves examining the characteristic qualities of the progeny of various mating combinations to find the optimal pairings. Outside of Japan, wagyu beef is either exported or the result of small breeding programs happening elsewhere. American wagyu, for example, is the result of cattle bred from a select group of animals exported from Japan in the 1970s when exports were briefly allowed. The beef may be from purebred animals or from a crossbreed pairing. 4. Wagyu cattle were not always bred for their meat Wagyu cattle have been carefully bred over centuries. Modern wagyu cattle are the result of native Japanese breeds being introduced to some European stock. These infusions were closed to further mixing around 100 years ago, resulting in the four pure breeds that we know as wagyu cattle today. Breeding of these cattle originally concentrated on selecting animals for their endurance as draft animals. As it happened, this favored cattle that also produced the famous marbling that makes wagyu beef so delicious and so coveted. 5. Wagyu beef can be traced from farm to fork In Japan, the production of wagyu beef is so carefully monitored and controlled that it is possible to trace back your meal through the cow’s life cycle. Each wagyu-certified animal is given a unique identification number for this purpose. 6. Wagyu cattle are pampered animals Wagyu cattle are exceptionally well looked after. Farmers know that the extra steps they take to nurture their animals will contribute to the exceptional flavor of the meat. Some of their actions are closely guarded secrets, particularly the exact diet the animals are fed. However, it is well known that wagyu cattle spend a lot longer grazing on high-quality grasslands than other beef cattle before going to the slaughter, often double the time. Wagyu farmers believe that a stress-free lifestyle means they will burn less fat thus improving the marbling in their meat. 7. Wagyu beef can be bought in many forms You will have heard of wagyu steaks but have you ever tried a wagyu burger? Wagyu can be purchased in all the same cuts as other beef. At Bidfoods, we offer our clients wagyu striploin, topside, tenderloin, cubes, ribs, and ready-formed burgers, some of which are also available frozen. This means that wagyu is probably more accessible than you might have imagined. 8. Wagyu is healthier than most people realize Wagyu is known for its fat content; that’s where its special flavor comes from. If you are very health conscious this might have put you off before now. However, wagyu is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6, which also means it has a good ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats when compared to regular beef. 9. Cooking wagyu steak is easy Given that wagyu is nearly always the most expensive beef option around, many might be anxious to cook it for fear of getting it ruining a valuable ingredient. However, it is incredibly easy to serve up delicious wagyu steaks. All you need to do is season the meat well, brush it with a little oil and sear it for a couple of minutes on each side. All the hard work to achieve the flavor has been done by the farmers! Considering adding a wagyu dish to your restaurant menu? Contact Bidfood, leading meat distributors In Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and the MENA region, to find out how we can help you get started.
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July 12, 2021 | 01:14 PM

Stepping Back to Take A Step Forward

We had the honour of welcoming Tyrone Reid to the Bidfood Middle East HQ where he shared his story on how he came to be the CEO of Alabbar Enterprises. His role enables him to oversee the evolution of retail, food and beverage and lifestyle concepts in the region. Our entire team of Bidfoodies were rapt with attention towards Tyrone’s history, his learnings and his advice on how to help build a legacy through the power of hospitality.   Early Years Over the course of the hour-long session, one thing became evident – it all begins at home. Tyrone refers to his childhood as the time during which he learned the most crucial lessons. Growing up in a large family as the youngest of 8 siblings empowered him with a strong voice and a sense of morality from a young age. He learned the true meaning of hospitality, humility, and a family bond from his family. He goes on to say that his learnings from his childhood are what translated into his personal and work ethics.   Keeping yourself grounded Growing up in a large home where the centre of all conversations, discussions and decisions took place around the kitchen and with food – it’s no surprise that by the time Tyrone was 7, he decided to be a chef. At 13, he was already had his first job at a restaurant: in the kitchen, washing dishes. He adds – “Even now, on days when we have large events and gatherings at work or home, I do the dishes to remember where I started from – the roots that keep me grounded.” Over time, he realized his passion did not revolve only around food – it centred around people too. This epiphany led to his decision to steer a change in his career by taking a step back. From working in some of the most dynamic kitchens and participating at major events, Tyrone travelled abroad and learned new skills in different kitchens to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.   Reigniting a sense of purpose He says, “Everybody has a purpose, it is the reason we take risks and change our lives. Mine is my wife and son. They are the reason I choose to do anything and everything every day.” His purpose fueled his drive to pursue the unknown. After working with Mitchell & Butler’s for nearly 10 years, Tyrone believed it was time for a change. Once again, he took a step back to move forward. He went from managing over 110 businesses in the UK to moving across the world to join Alshaya Group in Kuwait. The biggest task on hand was to quickly understand the style of business, skills and familiarize himself with the region while handling a completely new brand – Shake Shack.  Tyrone credits his sense of hope and confidence to the book ‘Setting the Table’ by Danny Meyer. A read he claims is necessary whether you are a manager, an executive, or a waiter. This book's story and philosophy are targeted toward making the reader more efficient and productive, while deepening their understanding and appreciation of a job well done.      Building a business that has a heart Staying true to himself, Tyrone decided to join a family enterprise, the Alabbar Group, and build a business that has a heart. He believes, just like us at Bidfood, that people are at the centre of any business and a leader's role is to see the people's creativity come to life - no matter what designation or role that person may play in the organization. Working with people and doing different tasks every day makes his work less mundane and more exciting. This excitement is what pushes him to always be at the top of his game. Some of his people-driven mindsets and initiatives are: Be There program – conduct CSR activities to build a sense of community not only outside the organization but inside as well Give a personalized birthday card to each employee with a short note specific to that person Set up a talent development program for the future leaders (be a mentor!) Be in the heart of it all, always with your people Work with integrity, honesty and ethics And most of all – have fun! 
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