Anand Mallikarjun: A Change Specialist, Identifying & Growing Innovative Strategies To Drive Growth In The F&B Industry

Anand Mallikarjun: A Change Specialist, Identifying & Growing Innovative Strategies To Drive Growth In The F&B Industry

Anand Mallikarjun , COO

Anand Mallikarjun


Asia’s once-flourishing F&B industry un­derwent massive turmoil following the drastic effects of the pandemic. But this hiccup has not stopped its food and bev­erages leaders from making a difference and tak­ing the initiative to build services to keep pace with the rapidly changing consumer preferences. They are leaving no stone unturned to bring new, original, and self-sustaining concepts into the food space, giving this industry customer experiences that meet and exceed that of industry competitors. Anand Mallikarjun (COO, Mamafri Restaurants) is one such accomplished business leader of the F&B industry who paved his way into this sector in 1996, and since then, has been continually proving what it takes to be the driving force in such a com­petitive market.

Anand is a dynamic, versatile, and revenue-driven hospitality, and food & beverage leader with unrivaled experience in managing operations and setting up high-value food and beverage establish­ments across UAE, India, Kuwait, and Bahrain. With every new project, he comes equipped with fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and the motivation and passion to seamlessly turn unique concepts into reality. For over 26 years, Anand, in the food and beverage space, is leveraging his excellent rela­tionship management skills and inspiring positive change in several different ways. At Mamafri, Anand is leading high-performance teams in the ideation, and execution of impactful and scalable go-to-market strategies to meet suc­cess in uncertainties & challenges in this sector. Let’s hear it from him.Define Mamafri Restaurants and its position in the food and beverage services market.

Mamafri is a uniquely positioned Pan Asian con­cept offering a bespoke dining experience and each item on the menu is curated to satisfy the taste buds of the regional population. We are currently in the pre-opening stage of two more stores - one at DIFC Dubai and another at Mamsha, Abu Dhabi. Our ex­cellent service and quality of food has been creat­ing huge demand in the market pushing us towards opening more stores across GCC and other regions. We have a strong relationship with our patrons and stakeholders who have been playing a significant role in the success of Mamafri. How do you provide an exquisite culinary experience for your customers? What are the food safety norms and quality checks you follow at every level?

Maintaining freshness and quality assurance starts from the time we chose our vendors. We are ex­tremely particular about the source of our ingredi­ents and also have quality control systems in place at every stage. Maintaining the necessary tempera­tures ensures that we are able to preserve the es­sence of each flavor. Moreover, our entire team has been certified in Basic Food Safety training and we have advanced trained persons in charge in each outlet. Our chefs are passionate about serving the tastiest food and never fail to add a piece of their soul to the output.

Tell us about your leadership approach.

I strongly believe that more than food, we are in the people business where employee motivation is key to ensuring customer satisfaction. I have open-door communication with my team and most stressful issues are usually solved over a patient hearing. When there is a defined career path and perfor­mance assessments are shared regularly, I find that employees are willing to go the extra mile.

Great companies are built by people who never stop thinking about ways to improve customer service, hence, everywhere I go, I am about delivering exceptional food & beverage experiences

Where do you see yourself headed in the upcoming years? What is your future roadmap?

I look forward to developing new concepts and managing a larger team across the region down the line. Post-pandemic, we realize that most timelines and plans could go for a toss. However, I plan to achieve this goal in a span of two years. Moreover, I believe, great companies are built by people who never stop thinking about ways to improve the business, hence, everywhere I go, I am about delivering exceptional food and beverage experiences.

What is your anticipation about the market going forward? What would be your advice to budding industry leaders?

With consumers having so many options and choices, the market has become highly competi­tive. As the internet and social media have become a part and parcel of daily routine, people have be­come more aware and are willing to spend more on unique experiences. I do see an increase in travel and exploration of new dining experiences; the food industry can experience a boom in both the comfort and luxury sectors as people would want to maxi­mize their time from busy schedules. For young professionals, my advice is to be com­mitted and dedicated to the goal. Hard work and perseverance will pay off in the long run. Do not chase short-term benefits.

Anand Mallikarjun, COO, Mamafri Restaurants

A hands-on chef and business development specialist, Anand holds a Diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Mumbai, and has 26+ years of experience in reinvigorating businesses and bringing new and fresh approaches in the Hospitality and F&B industry.

Hobbies: Reading, cooking

Favorite Cuisine: Italian, Thai

Favorite Travel Destination: Bali, Goa

Favorite Book: Jeffery Archer, Ken Follet, Dale Carnegie

Awards & Recognition: Senior Member at Emirates Culinary Guild, Marshall at Salon Culinaire and Junior Chef Competition in Dubai, HACCP Intermediate, Attendee at Global Restaurant Leadership Conference

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