In a country where food is held in such high regard, it's no surprise that some of Cairo 360's most prolific categories include the restaurant and cafes sections. We say 'no surprise', because it's estimated that one new restaurant or café opens every minute in Cairo. No, we're kidding; that's of course an exaggeration, but it sure does feel true.
Cairo 360, of course, approaches dining reviews though the eyes of a discerning and informed diner, but there still exists a profound appreciation to what happens behind that lonely kitchen door. So immersed are we in the scene, that you very quickly come to realize the hard work that business owners and restaurateurs plough through in order to reach their culinary-based dreams – because there's so much more to it than waking up at 3AM with a gastronomic brainwave and undertaking an impromptu food experiment that goes on to be a trademark that wins you a Michelin Star. That's a plotline for a pretentious coming-of-age film about a young chef looking for his or her place in the world – that's not real life.
This is where Caféx comes in; as the only specialised fair in Egypt for restaurants and cafes, the second annual edition of the three-day event is set to take place one again at the Cairo International Conference Center, this year between Thursday 16th and Sunday 19th of April and is shaping up to be bigger and better than 2014's inaugural edition.
While it's unlikely that the average diner considers such things as equipment, furnishings, supplies and services in the realm of business when it comes to restaurant and cafes, Caféx has proven to be a hit for so many culinary entrepreneurs. While F&B business is in good shape in Egypt, it's a minefield industry that has taken many a victim in recent times.
What Caféx provides is a more transparent access to the supply and demand chain, allowing those in the industry – especially those new to it – to deal with all the practicalities of running an F&B business with minimum fuss, so that they can go ahead and play out that coming-of-age film.
Last year's events saw up to seventy different exhibitors covering everything from equipment and decor, to food supplies and external services set-up shop and there will be even more this year. But more than just a very specialised shopping trip, Caféx provides a platform for a meeting of minds, where you can engage in a very real way with the people and the services that could make the difference for your food-based ambitions.
Operating between 11AM and 8PM each day, entry to what is an event that no established or rising restaurateur should miss is free. For more information, check out the official Caféx Facebook page.