A law school graduate, Daniel Khairallah, CEO of Rival Management Services LLC, found his calling in the world of hospitality. After launching a series of successful signature concepts worldwide, he opened his own project, Playa Beach Club, in 2022. Here he tells us how his concept has blossomed into one of Dubai’s hottest spots.
What has the feedback been like for Playa and what sets it apart from other beach clubs in the area?
Playa has quickly developed into a lifestyle destination for clients living on and off the palm. Our unique approach based on top quality Peruvian cuisine swiftly positioned us as a destination in a very competitive up-market of similar beach clubs and restaurants. We have served more than 13,000 guests during this period. Indeed, Playa has developed a large audience of guests, including singles and families. Our guests are treated like friends and family, they are called by their names, their preferences are acknowledged and memorized by our partners, Playa’s Team. The outstanding service coupled with innovative brand activations made Playa top of mind in both the proximity and further. We have guests driving in on a typical day from Abu Dhabi just to have dinner and head back home. This makes the team and me very proud in many ways. We currently monitor all social channels and online portals to be well informed of our guests’ feedback, accepting guests’ criticism in a constructive manner is the key to success in an ever-changing digital world.
What changes in consumer expectations are you anticipating and how are you catering to them?
As a restaurant and beach club owner, it’s important to stay attuned to consumer expectations and demands to provide a satisfying experience. Here are some perceptible changes in consumer expectations and demands, along with potential strategies to cater to them:
- Health and safety measures: Consumers now prioritize health and safety more than ever. Implementing visible measures, like frequent sanitization, social distancing and staff wearing protective gear, will reassure customers.
- Sustainable practices: Many consumers have become more environmentally conscious and seek businesses that prioritize sustainability. We implement eco-friendly practices.
- Dietary preferences and allergies: We’ve expanded our menu to include diverse options catering to all clients’ needs and training staff to handle special requests and cross-contamination risks.
- Enhanced outdoor spaces: We’ve invested in comfortable seating, shading options, beachside loungers and beach umbrellas.
- Unique experiences and events: Consumers are increasingly seeking unique experiences and memorable events. We organize themed nights, live music performances, beachside barbecues or yoga sessions on the beach.
- Seamless customer service: Our staff are trained to be attentive, knowledgeable and friendly, ensuring that they can handle enquiries, complaints and special requests effectively.
What are your plans for the future?
Our plan for the near future is to continue working extensively on Playa, further establishing it as a beach restaurant concept, focusing furthermore on the experiential part of dining, whether it is at the pool, the beach, or our renowned indoor restaurant, the experience is seamless. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have plans to expand the concept to other regions or territories. We are currently in talks with several prospects for expanding vertically and horizontally through similar concepts. Based on our cuisine and our customer experience, it is quite early to announce potential new projects, but several are in the pipeline, Playa remains our main concept with potential sub brands in the works, that would carry the same spirits but under a different scope.