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At The Table With: Ben Gregoire

17 October 2022 by Food&HotelAsia


FHA Insider: Could you do a short introduction on yourself and your company?

Ben: Ben Gregoire – Principal/Founder of LEVELS

My hospitality career spans over 20 years, beginning in Vancouver Canada where I worked in operations roles for a world-class golf resort and international hotels before completing a degree in Hotel Management and transitioning my career to China. I learned a lot along the way, working in multiple roles as Food + Beverage Manager with Starwood Hotels. I then joined CKP Hospitality Consultants and in my role as Vice President lead foodservice design and F+B concept development on key projects in China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East for more than a decade before launching LEVELS in 2020.

LEVELS is a boutique food and beverage consulting agency based in Kuala Lumpur. We design exceptional experiences for environments where people eat, drink, and come together. We deliver holistic, end-to-end consultation, creativity, and execution that disrupts the ordinary to provide world-class hospitality solutions for our clients.

FHA Insider: What/who are you looking forward to seeing at FHA-HoReCa? Or which sector most interests you?

Ben: I primarily look forward to reconnecting with a number of people in our industry after so many years of only meeting online. I’m also excited to see the innovations foodservice equipment as this will be the first show that I’ve been able to attend since 2019.


FHA Insider: What will you be highlighting about the industry at the session?

Ben: I will be highlighting trends in hospitality and food + beverage design.

FHA Insider: What are your thoughts on the current landscape and what do you think is important for Foodservice and hospitality moving forward?

Ben: I think as a whole, the hospitality industry is still in a difficult position where it is difficult to recruit and maintain good talent, especially in the operations side of the business as many people lost their jobs or switched careers during the pandemic.

I think it will be important for owners/operators to think outside of the box when it comes to recruitment and compensation packages in order to incentivize people to rejoin the industry.


FHA Insider: Are there any peers or partners you are looking forward to seeing at the show?

Ben: I’m really looking forward to the round table speaking sessions at the FCSI event.

FHA Insider: What makes LEVELS stand out from other F&B Consultants?

Ben: We are f+b consultants that provide research and concept development for hospitality owners and operators. That being said, our strength is in operations and design of foodservice/bar facilities so we create concepts that are innovative and exciting but also can easily translate into design.


FHA Insider: What do you think is most important in maintaining the service standards amid the issues we face in the new normal environment?

Ben: Recruiting and maintaining high quality staff in both the front of the house and back of the house roles. Find out what makes these people stay with you and do everything you can to keep them happy.

FHA Insider: In your opinion has the foodservice and hospitality industry recovered from the pandemic?

Ben: It really depends on the market but in general I would say we are still feeling the effects from the pandemic and will continue to do so for years to come.

While some markets like the Middle East have rebounded faster and the construction boom has restarted, other regions are struggling to open back up and are finding it difficult to keep up with the demand.

FHA Insider: What’s next for LEVELS Studio or LEVELS Experience?

Ben: LEVELS is collaborating with a private client to launch a Progressive Japanese Fusion Restaurant called KATA (@kata.ae in Dubai mall in November 2022. Following that, we are going to expand our presence to the Middle East and we will open an office there in early 2023.