How did you know Dusty’s would be such a huge success?
We planned the concept and the launch phase for months in advance, and after bringing together key partners, we developed our ideas – always keeping the core simple – we sell good quality food, drink and service.
We are lucky with our location that we have the luxury of a DIFC location with a huge outdoor terrace that is perfect (and more importantly fully) in the winter months.
A motto I swear by and follow religiously is, ‘Failure to prepare is preparing to fail’
I love the artwork that you have on display. Why was this an important investment for you?
The inspiration for the artwork came from my favourite city – New York. Jeffar Khaldi was chosen for his creativity and he shared the vision of our concept. We made sure we implemented the theme throughout, even down to our bathrooms!
You opened Dusty’s nearly 2 years ago, but have been through a rebranding in this time. Can you please explain why and the lessons that you have learnt from this?
We have not re-branded as such.
Last year we opened the terrace for the first time, which gave our guests an additional outdoor offering. This followed the success of indoor – a movement into al fresco socialising gave us the opportunity to increase our clientele even further.
In this time, you must have experienced some ups and downs with the business…
The hardest challenge we have found is being in a city surrounded with big well known brands. When we launched we had to establish ourselves and turn the venue into a go-to destination.
In creating an identity, it has always been important that we stick to our core values.
What does your business day look like?
I wakeup at about 8am and after my morning routine I tend to arrive at the restaurant by about 10am. My day normally consists of many meetings, what customers see is only the tip of the iceberg… each customer is treated individually and no comments go unattended by my team and myself.
In the evening, I like to spend time with friends and play football for fitness and fun.
What do you think has been your secret to success?
I would say the fact that I have a hawk eye when it comes to details. My close management team work in sync with me to ensure the brand sticks to the core values that we hold so close to our hearts.
Who do you most admire in business and why?
Definitely, Warren Buffet, because he never follows market trends and most likely does the opposite at all times!
What is the best piece of business advice you have been given and from whom?
A past employer once said to me, “The only way to progress and be a success, is to sustain and scale up”.
If you could give the ‘start-up you’ one piece of advice that you have learnt over the years, what would that piece of advice be?
To have more confidence in the products/offering that you have worked so hard to create.
What do you think the secret of your success is?
Always stick to your core values.