Marc Assar: Conquering the UAE and Middle East hospitality market
The UAE country manager looks forward to TableCheck's expansion across the Middle East; TableCheck secures its first client in Saudi Arabia
Since opening TableCheck's UAE office in 2019, Marc Assar had been at the helm of transforming TableCheck's global expansion plans in the UAE and the Middle East into a reality.
The country manager, who has more than two decades of solid experience in the hospitality industry, has steered the TableCheck UAE office from its early beginnings, all throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and now at a time of the country and region's recovery.
"TableCheck has made a very good decision at the right time to step into this free market, Marc says. There are now 13,000 restaurants in Dubai alone, according to the 2022 Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report. And with UAE's strong growth trajectory post-COVID, Marc looks forward to capturing more of the UAE's hospitality market and expanding the company's footprint across the Middle East.
Read the rest of our interview with Marc below:
1. What are the biggest lessons you've learned in your two decades of experience in the hospitality industry?
With over 18 years in the hospitality industry, I learned to be a technically-minded individual capable of working in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment. My experience has equipped me with strong leadership skills and relationship management abilities including Project Management. A multitude of relevant skills is not only in IT Telecommunication and 3rd party hospitality software platforms but also in running core areas of any project setup.
2. Why was it important for TableCheck to build its presence in UAE?
United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country you cannot ignore. TableCheck has made a very good decision–and at the right time–to step into this free market. With its stable political system, strong capital flow, favorable taxation environment, and liberal trade regimes, the UAE is now an attractive investment hub for the world. These ambitious goals continue to facilitate a hospitable, well-regulated, and secure business ecosystem.
3. What is most exciting about your work and your team?
Challenges in technology are a nonstop train, and that’s exactly what brings me to TableCheck–to help our clients embrace new technologies like ours to level up their guest experience. With our team, I believe the best way to achieve success is to motivate our human resources with well-defined objectives and at the same time empower them.
4. UAE office opened in 2019, what were the challenges during COVID and how are we doing today?
During the height of COVID, we learned new things, it was like a stopwatch, still and silent, and everyone started to think differently and find new ways to keep their business alive. And here we are, making business again!
5. Aside from Dubai, which other cities are we targeting in TC and why are they important to target?
In most cases and common question when we speak to new potential clients in different countries is “do you have a reference in our country?” That rings a bell, we should keep on opening new markets to win new deals. The sky is the limit for us!
6. What’s our ambition in the Middle East? We also got our first client in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia's market is huge, and the Saudi government is constantly implementing new rules and opening new opportunities to attract foreign investors. No doubt, we should spread our name in the region and introduce TableCheck to Saudi Arabia and newly developed countries.
7. Among all the TableCheck features, which one is the preferred choice of our UAE clients?
There is no ONE important feature. If we compare all restaurant reservation providers, there will be always clients who will choose a platform based on their specific needs. But when it comes to data handling, TableCheck provides an end-to-end ecosystem, starting from reservations to surveys to the newly launched TableCheck EDM (electronic direct mail) feature. We also have TableCheck Insight Analytics tools to help the industry to facilitate and re-use the F&B data.
In short, TableCheck is professional in that by far. And we are the best choice!
What we do
Let TableCheck manage your restaurant while you focus on growing your business and delivering what you do best – creating magical moments for your guests.