Equipment giants staff up in the Middle East

Several of the market’s largest catering equipment suppliers have taken the opportunity to expand their operations in the emerging Middle East market over the past few weeks.

Manitowoc and Middleby have both opened sales offices in Dubai as they bid to capture a greater share of one of the world’s fastest growing hospitality markets.

Graham Veal, senior VP for marketing and strategic accounts EMEA at Manitowoc, said: “We are investing in the region with a new office in Jebel Ali, including a demonstration kitchen for our customers to work on new menus, ideas, sessions with food suppliers, and we are investing in resources in terms of sales service infrastructure.”

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The opening of the new office is being supported by the expansion of the local sales team.
A sales project manager, distribution manager, global and regional accounts manager, key accounts and distribution manager, and admin and marketing coordinator have all been appointed.

Veal said that the company plans to swell the ranks further by bringing a culinary specialist on board later this year.

Middleby has also recognised the opportunities that exist in the region, opening a sales office and warehouse with a full inventory of equipment and parts. The facility will serve as a hub for technical support and design services, and offer customers the chance to sample equipment in a state-of-the-art test kitchen.

The site will cover all three Middleby platforms: commercial foodservice, food processing and residential appliances.

“The office will be staffed with a sales team, service technicians and design experts, which will enable us to better support our distributors, consultants and restaurant chain customers in the Middle East,” said Douglas Dunn, president of Middleby Worldwide. “The Middle East is one of the fastest growing markets in the world where there is a huge demand for Middleby products.”

Elsewhere, combi oven manufacturer Rational revealed that it, too, has increased its presence in the Middle East over the past month by beefing up its regional team.

Rational now employs five regional sales managers in the GCC, as well as a dedicated service director and two administrative staff.

Chief representative Simon Parke-Davis said: “We are expanding the team — we now have nine people in the region and we are investing and we will monitor this quarterly. If we believe we need reinvesting, we’ll bring in more people.”

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