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June 27, 2021 | 10:00 AM

'Thriving Through Disruption' With Laura Everest

Written by Lynn Soubra     Last week, we had the pleasure of welcoming professional leadership development consultant and international best-selling author Laura Everest to our UAE offices to tell us all about her journey with 'thriving through disruption' and to discuss what it takes to 'win from within.' The Start Before an audience of dozens of gripped Bidfoodies, Laura tales her story, which started on September 11 eight years ago: Just as she was at a place in her life where she thought she had it nailed, on a fateful September day, Laura was invovled in a traumatic accident in Dubai which left her with severe injuries throughout her body - but more importantly - riddled her mind with debilitating emotional scars. This was the beginning of her journey to recovery: she was determined not to give up to the trauma.   Despite the 17 surgeries she underwent and the emotional rollercoaster she was strapped into over the last eight years, Laura went back to work. Unfortunately, shortly after, her father passed away. That was when she was asked a life-changing question "What's the point?"   That was Laura's AHA moment, that's when she realized that we spend so much time just doing, but do we necessarily think about our purpose? It was up until that moment that Laura's life changed from pure survival to downright resilience.       Why Resilience Is A Strategic Process Curious about what resilience truly meant for her and the Human race, Laura worked with the University of Pennsylvania to find out more - these are some of her learnings:   - Strategically, resilience is being able to do something repeatedly when you're in a difficult place, knowing you'll find a way to bounce back. - Every person has a system specific to them; resilience is not a one-off recipe. - When one is emotionally hijacked (i.e., unhappy, stressed, or anxious), all rationality goes out the window. Individuals must find a process of what works for them and that they can rely on. - Rather than looking at deficits, we must focus on what wedo well - that's when the mind opens and moves them away from threat. - Unless we recognize how they're feeling and what it's doing to them, they cannot begin to move forward. - We must push the right buttons to get to where they're supposed to be.    "We Are All Here To Put A Dent In The World" Laura understood that to unlock her full potential as a person and as a professional, she must find, recognize and appreciate her strengths.   Thanks to CliftonStrengths Assessment, she was able to identify Achieving, Activating (don't talk about it, make it happening), and Focusing as her strengths, which she used to her advantage every time she was feeling down. " We are all here to put a dent in the world," Laura insists, "We all have incredible inner resources that we don't know we have." According to her, people are so busy doing what they are conditioned to do that they forget about the incredible amount of talent stored within them, which remains untapped: this leads to our talent being undervalued and underutilized. "We're all born with a predisposition for greatness," she adds.  In A Nutshell The road to resilience and introspection can be summarized into: - Humans tend to get stuck doing what we think we're supposed to be doing without understanding our purpose and strengths - which almost automatically leads to burnout. - Trying to fix a weakness is a vicious cycle - we must find their strengths and make a conscious effort to leverage on them - Success comes from our strengths. Are we tapping the right buttons to make things happen? - We must dissect our issues into tiny manageable pieces - only then will we realize we are a lot more in control of things that trouble us.   Rebuilt To Last: Choose To Flourish A mixture of her personal story and studies to help people in time of stress, Laura's best-selling book, Rebuilt To Last: Choose To Flourish, describes her ever-evolving journey of beating the odds as well as her trials and tribulations along the way: which hopes to help readers recognize that resilience is much more than just 'feeling better' or 'getting over it' but instead, is a personal journey of introspection and effort to stand up each time we are knocked down.     ------------ About Laura Everest v  International Best-Selling Author v  Gallup Certified Strengths Coach v  Master of Resilience v  Leadership and Professional Development Consultant v  Motivational Speaker v  Top 5 Strengths: Maximiser; Achiever; Arranger; Communication; Focus v  Highly energised, passionate about her work; she injects enthusiasm and inspiration into every Keynote and Learning Journey v  Married. 1 cat. 2 kids. 3 dogs. v  A baking fanatic; coffee lover, and loves to have fun   What she does She highlights where organisations and their people are at their best, recognises what makes them uniquely powerful, how to manage what is getting in the way of their success and how to leverage their strengths to develop resilient, authentic leaders and high-performing teams, who thrive in today’s business. She has been working closely with Dubai One TV during the last few months to promote Resilience, Well-being, and Engagement during this challenging time.  Laura Everest's LinkedIn Profile Laura Everest's Website   If Laura could solve her biggest issues, what would her future look like? "Wouldn’t it save you so much time and effort if you knew exactly what buttons to push, the self-assurance in knowing where your greatest potential lies, enabling you to focus on the right things to accomplish your goals?"   THANK YOU, LAURA, FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH US AND INSPIRING OUR BIDFOODIES TO "WIN FROM WITHIN"
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June 25, 2021

5 Events and Catering Food Trends in a Post-COVID-19 World

The year 2020 was a tough one for all because it was filled with changes, challenges and uncertainties that affected everyone’s routines. Out of all the industries, the event catering business has perhaps experienced the greatest challenges to date. Most events were canceled or postponed; dining establishments were likewise closed. That is why thoughtful contemplation regarding the industry won’t just help restaurant owners, caterers, and food and beverage suppliers like you to cope, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to successfully shape a post-COVID-19 world. Everyone’s fear of catching the virus is the main concern of event organizers and attendees. Luckily, with the widespread distribution of vaccines and various safety measures implemented, events and catering businesses are beginning to operate once again. However, a vaccine is not the only solution that will help events flourish once more. There’s also the need to regain public confidence that you can organize gatherings safely in a way that people won’t feel overly sanitized. If you are thinking about how your food and beverage business can adapt to serving customers in a post-COVID world, here are five things to remember for holding safe and successful in-person events moving forward. 1. Risk mitigation and high levels of cleanliness are expected of you. In terms of figuring out your risk, you have to consider several things. Perception of how you host your event plays a critical role in whether the gathering pushes through. Other important considerations will include attendee demographics, current government mandates and guidance, event venue, and supplier service. With all the risks and restrictions involved, you need to carefully assess whether you will be able to meet your event’s objectives. The well-being of guests must be at the forefront of your events. For instance, you should also adapt to having a visible sanitation staff. The key is to rethink all aspects of the event planning process and incorporate health and safety risk mitigation in each of them, including the menu, attendees, space, decoration, service, and entertainment. 2. Communication and transparency will help address attendee concerns. Having a robust and transparent communication plan in place is crucial for addressing the heightened concern about health and safety standards. The public will want to know if your event adapts to new sanitation and safety protocols before confirming their attendance. Make sure to give all pertinent details to the current situation and anything specific to your event. For instance, there will be setbacks to eco-friendly catering practices because safety will be prioritized. These may include individually packaged desserts or appetizers and condiments, bottled beverages, and use of disposable packaging and dining utensils. Don’t forget to explain your reasoning behind such decisions, as this implies thoughtful consideration is given to ensure their health, well-being, and comfort. 3. Attendees will demand lots of elbow room. Event planners should be more strategic in terms of mapping out the venue space. Food stations, bars, and seating will all need extra space so the attendees and staff can safely distance themselves from each other. The flow of the event should also be considered. For instance, you can implement staggered meal times for events with an agenda to allow for appropriate distancing. Doing this will also minimize exposure to the sub-groups and help you manage the venue better. Wide outdoor spaces will be sought-after event venues because they enable more distancing. Though indoor options may be less preferred, you may need to opt for large, indoor spaces too when hosting events in destinations with a warm climate like Dubai. 4. Technology plays a vital role in your next event. The pandemic has increased the need to integrate contactless technology in different industries, including the food and catering business. The use of tech service strategies for your events will have a practical and long-lasting use in the post-COVID-19 world. Using an event app, for instance, can help you convey the details of the upcoming gathering in advance. You can include details on the agenda or theme of the event, entertainment, food and beverage service, and menu options. It can also assist you with seat assignments and in personalizing service meals and drinks. At the same time, an app can keep guests engaged throughout. They can use it to communicate their dietary requirements when they enter their orders. You can also eliminate long lines because you can serve food and drinks right at their seats, thus minimizing waste and improving customer satisfaction and service. Technology can also help you create connections by allowing your guest to add some personal details, including their pictures. Guests will most likely engage with your app if you provide a seamless user experience. 5. Attendees will still look for a memorable experience. Despite the need for social distancing, you still need to make your guests’ experience memorable. For instance, you can transform the customary self-service buffet into a fun, grab-and-go station. Attendees can still get their desired meals without handling the food selections, thus creating a safer, more comfortable catering experience for employees and guests alike. Should you need to keep some of your staff members to attend to food stations, you may need to install clear glass on one side of the station to limit any contact from attendees as they serve themselves. Another great idea is to elevate the guest experience with motion menus or vertical food stations, such as using a conveyor belt to serve food and beverages. This allows for increased selection and maximized space. Getting creative with your packaging can also enhance your attendees’ experience at your event. For instance, you can opt for bento boxes or wooden takeout containers. While businesses in the event and catering industry still experience the effects of COVID-19, it is crucial for you to look towards a good future in a post-pandemic world. Start by embracing the upcoming changes and bringing innovation in everything you do. As people begin to plan gatherings, they will value the efforts and steps that food distributors, event planners, and caterers take to give a safe and comfortable catering experience.
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June 08, 2021

Plant-Based Food: Why and How to Add More Greens to Your Restaurant Menu

If you don’t have many (or even any) vegan dishes on your menu, then you are missing out. Now is the time to add more plant-based dishes to your repertoire. With the help of food suppliers in Dubai, this is easier than you might think. Here, we tell you exactly why you need to cater to vegan diners and give you some tips to get started. Plant-based eating is now mainstream Until recently, veganism was seen very much as a fringe idea. While restaurants have been used to catering to vegetarians for a long time now, the tiny numbers of vegans meant that few thought vegan dishes a worthwhile investment. However, all that began to change at the end of the 2010s. According to analysis by Google trends, veganism is now twice as popular as it was in 2015. Here are some other stats from The Vegan Society that show just how fast veganism is growing: The number of vegans in the USA grew 600% between 2014 and 2017. Vegan food and beverage companies received $3.1 billion in investments in 2020. That’s three times more than any other year. It is now estimated that 1% of the planet’s population is fully vegan. One percent may seem like a small number. However, in many countries, the interest in veganism continues to grow. The numbers of people who are “part-time” vegan are far higher. “Veganuary,” or the idea that you commit to only eating vegan foods in January, is now hugely popular. Over half a million people took part this year. A Nielson report suggests that nearly 40% of Americans are committed to eating less meat and dairy, and more plant-based foods on a regular basis, too. Why add vegan options to your menu? Veganism is now so popular that it’s got to the stage where restaurants can no longer afford to ignore vegan diners. Adding more vegan options to your menu will ensure your menu has a relevant, up-to-date feel. It will add to your appeal and extend your reach. Don’t miss out on attracting vegan diners and their friends to your restaurant. Whether people are strict, full-time vegans or part-time, temporary vegans, they all want somewhere they can rely on for tempting, interesting and satisfying meat, dairy and seafood-free options. Consider that when a large party looks to make a booking, they’ll be checking out the vegan menu options for the small minority of vegans in their group. Can you afford to miss out? How to add more plant-based foods to your menu for maximum impact There’s more to vegan menu options than soups and salads. Dull options won’t cut it. Here’s how to get your vegan dishes right, the first time. 1. Align your vegan items with the rest of your menu Your vegan options need to fit right in with all your dishes and have the same appeal. Think about what brings people through your doors and make sure it's represented in plant-based form. You need to make sure your key flavors run through your vegan dishes, that presentation is similar, and that everybody gets to taste what you are all about. 2. Be open-minded, flexible and patient To do the above, you’re going to need to get creative and you’ll need to do your research. There are lots of different meat, seafood and dairy alternatives out there, including jackfruit, tempeh, black beans, and vegan cheese. Give your chefs lots of time and space to experiment with the different options to make sure your vegan dishes are perfect in taste, texture and presentation. 3. Include plenty of variety across your menu All diners want choice, so make sure there’s plenty of variety in your vegan options for them to choose from. Don’t forget starters and desserts, too. Look at wholesale options for vegan, frozen cake supplies. There’s no need to have a separate vegan menu; lots of meat-eaters might be interested in your vegan starters or dessert, for instance. Let them mix and match as they wish. Just use a symbol to mark vegan-friendly dishes on your main menu. 4. Stay on top of trends Like everything else in the food industry, vegan food trends move quickly. The year 2020 was all about the plant-based burger. This year looks set to be the year of vegan seafood alternatives. Don’t get left behind. 5. Don’t forget gluten-free and allergies Restaurants are getting better and better at providing excellent food for people with restricted diets and allergies. Don’t forget this when you draw up your revised, vegan-friendly menu. 6. Train your staff Once you’ve decided on your new menu options, make sure your front-of-house staff understands them completely. Diners will have lots of questions about the protein alternatives used. Are your staff ready to answer them? 7. Promote You’ve invested a lot of time and effort into your new, exciting vegan options. Don’t forget to let everybody know they are there. Make sure you promote your new dishes through social media and other channels. Don’t be afraid to get more plant-based dishes on your menu. With some careful research and planning, you can soon have some excellent vegan dishes across your menu that are just as appealing and delicious as the rest of your menu.
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May 30, 2021 | 10:00 AM

Everything You Need to Know About myBidfood

A Digital Solution for the Digital Foodservice Customer!  Bidfood UAE proudly presents myBidfood - the first foodservice e-distribution platform to empower you, our current and future foodservice customers. Our team of dynamic specialists have created myBidfood to service all our stakeholders (customers, suppliers, and employees) every day in every way. Your online ordering experience has now become easier with the LIVE TRACK feature, enabling you to track your order anytime anywhere. All it takes is the click of a button!  So, what's in it for you? - Explore our wide range of products & search by keyword, brand, or category - Access real-time pricing & stock availability - Check out securely        - Live track your order anytime, anywhere* (Our latest update!) - View detailed product specs - Revisit or edit your shopping basket at any time - Manage your account including billing & order history                             - Discover exclusive prices & promos - Benefit from our loyalty program - Manage cost & supply with our menu planning feature Register in 3 easy steps 1. Click 'myBidfood' on the top-right hand corner of the Bidfood Middle East website landing page 2. Click 'Register Here' and fill the online form 3. Your login credentials will be emailed to you ---> Or visit mybidfoodme.com and follow the same steps mentioned above   For more information, reach out to mybidfood@bidfoodme.com  
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May 28, 2021 | 11:00 AM

Bidfood commemorates World Hunger Day 2021 with UAE Food Bank

Keeping in line with our corporate values to support our community, Bidfood UAE reached out to our partners at UAE Food Bank to honour World Hunger Day.    We donated 105 cases of food items (including rice, pasta, and ready-made dessert items) in support of 235 individuals of UAE staff accommodations.      UAE Food Bank empowers organizations like ours to partner with them and instills a sense of social responsibility, awareness, volunteerism and sustainability. This is our fourth collaborative project to bridge the gap in the community by donating food; since the beginning of our partnership in 2019.    In usual and admirable gusto, our team embodied the Bifood spirit and worked to ensure timely delivery and provision of all the material for those in need.         As we reflect upon the day, we are nothing if not grateful - for what we have and for our collective values toward CSR as an organization.   It is an honour to contribute to our community and to the UAE Food Bank's honourable mission: empowering organizations like ours to support those in need whilst eliminating food waste. 
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May 10, 2021 | 10:00 AM

Bidfood UAE Donates 1,000 Iftar Meal Kits To Underprivileged Communities

Bidfood UAE partnered yet again with Taste Studio to cook, pack and distribute 1,000 Iftar meal kits to underpriviledged communities in Jebel Ali Free Zone area.   In line with Bidfood Middle East's commitment to the community and in the spirit of giving instilled within millions around the world during the Holy Month of Ramadan - and beyond, Bidfood UAE has joined hands once again with Taste Studio, one of the leading catering companies in Dubai, to donate 1,000 Iftar meal kits to people in need around JAFZA.      Because everbody deserves to have a warm and filling Iftar to break their fast, nine of our Bidfoodies worked tirelessly together for six hours to prepare meals made with love and packaged with care.   On the menu:  1. Chicken Birayni 2. Dates 3. Cake 4. Water   The day started with preparing the boxes that would carry the food. All nine volunteers sat around a table, dividing tasks to efficiently finish building the boxes in time for the next step. They told anecdotes, craked jokes, sang along, and shared laughs.      Next up, food! Our volunteers split into teams, some handled the sweet station, some the savory. They scooped and packaged - all while showing the true spirit of being a Bidfoodie: working together as one for a greater cause.           Lastly, all nine Bidfoodies formed a human chain to package the delights into the boxes, including a bottle of water, which were then placed into Taste Studio trucks and delivered to those in need around JAFZA.     We are proud of our volunteers (Khurram, Fareed, Pamela, Jihad, Dina, Catherine, Charizma, Samer, and Lynn) for their selfless efforts and for embodying Bidfood's values! Special thanks to Hitesh, Zulekha and everybody from Taste Studio for having us over and for making it an unforgettable day.   Eid Mubarak!   
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