Hospitality News Middle East - June/July 2019 (Issue 124)

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Key players whose efforts are growing the industry of tomorrow share their insight on learning and development

ADDRESSING TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES Today’s hospitality industry is rapidly changing leaving people in HORECA scrambling to teach their existing employees new tricks and to recruit new staff. How can they do this effectively and successfully?

Tony Ramy, President of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafés, NightClubs and Pastries in Lebanon, elaborates on the steps being taken designed to breath new life into Lebanon’s F&B scene

The Lebanese workforce, is the sole pillar of the hospitality sector. Restaurant visitors expect a warm Lebanese welcome as part of their eating-out experience coupled with terrific service and authentic food. To ensure and maintain such quality, the Syndicate inked a memorandum of understating with the Lebanese Franchise Association. The agreement is aimed at enhancing synergies, as well as exchanging information and expertise in order to boost economic growth of the restaurant industry. Another aspect tightly linked to this initiative is the promotion of high standards of employee recruitment and retention practises by focusing on long-term growth rather than short-term profit. This process will include thorough candidate screening and testing, background and reference checks, and multi-level interviewing rounds. More importantly, the priority to any opening in the hospitality sector will favor local applicants. Pertaining to training and employment, the Syndicate is cooperating with the Ministry of Education

to renovate the School of Hospitality established by the hospitality guru Nohad Damous in 1957 in Dekwaneh, Lebanon. This school actually offers a high-level hospitality curriculum that teaches and trains students to the fullest. Upon graduation, individuals are already 'Maîtres d’hôtel' or 'Chefs', all that they need is a small amount of training to acknowledge the culture and the spirit of the company they are willing to work for. We are also working on the reactivation of the national employment office, which will greatly contribute toward facilitating proper candidate screening thereby offering recruiters more relevant access to job seekers. On a similar note, much has changed in this Uber and Airbnb era. Yet what has dramatically altered is the food delivery market primarily propagated by mobile apps. In other words, while an increasing number of concepts are failing, those that are succeeding have greater opportunities to grow than ever before. For that very reason, it has become paramount to invest in concepts based on a solid structure and we are preparing to lend investors our experience in the hope of introducing innovation, decreasing unemployment and growing the biggest revenue-generating sector Lebanon has.

INNOVATING CHANGE Rami Z. Sayess, Regional Vice

President & General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Beirut sheds light on the approach envisioned by a brand that has proven itself synonymous with true hospitality If you had the authority to institute any kind of change you see fit to drive the industry forward, what adjustments would you make? Today and in the future, the guest experience will remain the name of the game in hospitality. As RVP & GM of Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, my mission is to bring increased value to the company and differentiate it from competitors by offering guests more memorable experiences than ever before. This will be done through:



- A new approach to design, with an upcoming renovation project, guests will be immersed in an exclusive experience thanks to new designs in beautiful surroundings. - Supporting sustainability, especially with guests becoming increasingly sensitive to environmental and social issues, it is thus critical to become more sustainable, not just green, but truly sustainable. - A new approach to restaurants with cleaner takes on old classic offerings, aiming to attract the next generation of diners concerned about health, climate change and animal welfare. - Technology and virtual experiences will be at the core of the hotel experience both in room, before and after the trip. - Offering increasingly personal, uniquely tailored experiences for every guest on every visit.

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