Elias is a passionate hotelier and a Cardiff University MBA grad who has an implacable desire to become a trendsetter in the F&B industry by always raising the bar in whatever he does. His 23 years of experience is a great achievement to the industry in United Arab Emirates as he has given many important millstones to the industry.
Furthermore, his passion and dedication in business development using novel and unique methods and new techniques to improve the Food & Beverage industry standards without confining to traditional approaches is worthy of recognition at a national level where it could set an example for many budding Food & Beverage professionals to think out of the box when it comes to empowering the fellow colleagues in order to set positive trends which everyone will benefit from.
Here are 5 takeaways from this remarkable hotelier who generously shared his key leadership lessons:
- Sell food items that you wish you could eat all day long
Bab Al Qasr hotel is a rare example of a well-known 5-star hotel and an immediate market fit, and according to Elias, that’s because he trusted his gut. “All I did for research to grow the hotel was to initiate a menu that I wished existed throughout my career.”
- Entrepreneurship is a willingness to throw yourself into the newer markets
There can be a lot of discomfort in being an entrepreneur. The thing that you do the best at is the thing you will do three percent of the time. The other 97 percent of your time is spent doing things that you have never trained for or that you might not feel confident in. For example, if you’re a builder who buys his own plot, picking a good locality, building the house, designing the decor, it’s all just because you’re a builder. But as a new entrepreneur, you need to learn to take ownership of those things.
- You need a unique idea to be successful
Elias gives this advice to anyone who asks about their startups. “If you don’t have one unique idea, don’t try to raise money. You do not have the momentum, you just have an idea. Seventy percent of startups never get to $1 million in revenue because they’re already working in crowded markets, but that is the best proof that you have a real business. Now if you ever get to a million, congratulations. You have truly cracked the code on something, and that is a tremendous milestone.”
- The leader’s job is to tell the truth
Elias says that telling the actual truth means doing so consistently and calmly, even if it feels belligerent. It’s important to give constructive feedback the moment after something difficult happens. Telling the truth is explaining to someone what level they are really at, and how far away they are from the next level.
- Price is just a lever of opportunity
Most entrepreneurs Elias talks with are undercharging for their product. They get afraid to ask for full value, and they do not understand their customers’ price insensitivity. Elias believes that it all comes down to confidence: “It is more of an insecurity that they have on if what they built is good enough. They don’t have the perspective. Just believe in yourself.”
With multiple Award wins for being a top-rated hotelier, Elias Saad has created an accessible and powerful roadmap for the success of Bab Al Qasr.
Follow Elias Saad on Instagram @elias.a.saad