Relationships between owners and operators is of paramount importance to a restaurant's or nightlife venue's success, according to the experts.

Industry professionals were speaking at a panel during the Caterer Middle East Bar & Nightlife Forum 2015, which dealt with the relationship between outlet managers and their owners and investors, and was moderated by Kroma managing director Nicholas Couvaras.

Three Dots general manager Hayan Abou Assali said the first step towards success is to “first understand what the owner’s vision is”.

He continued: “To see what a successful venue is, you need to understand what he means by a successful venue. Is it just his ROI, or is it only to make a statement in Dubai? You need to make sure you’re managing their expectations.”

Also understanding what liberties the outlet manager has is essential from the outset. Zero Gravity general manager Peter Skudutis advised: “As a manager, before you jump into it, you need to understand how much freedom, how much leeway you have to lead the business.”

Fling Bar Services operations director Andrew Mullins added: “Some places exist where owners let the managers do their job, and at others you get owners who want to change things every two weeks. In my experience, owners are a bit more flighty, if you like. It doesn’t work immediately, so then they change their mind and try to change the whole thing again.

“On the flip side, the manager has to manage that process by understanding the owner’s vision. The manager can do himself a lot of favours by recognising that vision and trying to help achieve it.”

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