Global Restaurant Investment Forum

Part of FHS Event Series | Riyadh

Part of FHS Event Series | Riyadh

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Younique Concepts on the importance of staff engagement in the hospitality industry

Published 07 February 2020

Sven Sallaerts is a hospitality entrepreneur who has the intent to change the industry and create the hospitality of the future. He has developed concepts, worked and lived in Madrid, San Fransisco and Southern Africa. Sven started Younique Concepts in 2016 and developed two concepts in Amsterdam: 'De Tulp' and 'Pesca'. Pesca, an innovative fish-concept, won several hospitality awards and will be growing internationally in the coming year. Sven shares what he is looking forward to the most at GRIF 2020.

GRIF: What are the key trends transforming the current restaurant investment landscape and how?

SVEN: Partnerships are key factors for long term ventures. How we see it is easy. An operator, an investor, architects & local operators. We all combine know-how and pour it into a project that is current and sustainable. I guess a true diversified business community.

GRIF: How is the future of the restaurant industry in Europe going to be different from what it is today?

SVEN: Food has become available in any form and at any time to anyone. This makes foodies make more precise choices and you will see this change faster and faster in the market. The other part of this is that you will see more and more business will join each other in an effort to create products that are specialized yet more diverse. I assume specialisation and speed will be the key factors for change.

GRIF: Tell us a little bit about what you look forward to discussing at GRIF 2020?

SVEN: The classic hospitality industry has changed radically. One of the things is the staff shortage that we must contend within the hospitality industry. With Younique Concepts/Pesca we draw a little outside the lines and want to make a statement in the hospitality industry. We do this with our profit sharing and our HR policy of staff engagement. This results in a low staff turnover, low absenteeism and the sense of responsibility during an evening in the restaurant. Everybody in the hospitality industry should have the priority now to change the image of the hospitality industry, to be able to grow with the best possible people.

GRIF: How do you benefit from being a part of GRIF?

SVEN: As a company that is about to make its first international step, GRIF is the place to find the right partners. But to enter an international market you should be able to keep up with developments. To grow, it is important to know your market, what are the needs? As a GRIF partner, we get connected to interesting parties, broaden our network and stay up to date with the trends of tomorrow. The benefits are immense hence, I don’t even know where to start but the obvious is the crowd of course. Their energy, ideas, their perspectives & incredible know-how is mind blowing to say the least. Not to forget the relationships we all create whilst being there. All in all it is a great way forward for the hospitality businesses all around the globe. 

GRIF: What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s event?

SVEN: The absolute killer speaker line-up and upcoming talent! Looking forward to meeting everyone! And of course, the new feature Launchbox.  I am part of the Launchbox judging panel. This time GRIF is going to involve more young talent. We can not only learn from them, it is also up to us to motivate them to be successful in our beautiful industry!