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Chef’s Platter A plateful of experience High Sprits Tools never go out of fashion Management Lean is mean Life Pairing creatively Corporate Office:

Amoda Comfort Linen

(A Division of South India Linen Manufacturers (P) Ltd.

# 1, Ground Floor, 1st Cross, Koramangala, 6th Block, (Opp: Indian Oil Petrol Bunk) Bangalore - 560 047 (KA) INDIA Tel: +91 80 25 744 766, Cell: +91 94800 25000 Email:

Vol 8 No.19 JULY 16-31, 2013

Chairman of the Board Viveck Goenka Editor Reema Lokesh* Assistant Editor Steena Joy


Associate Editor Sudipta Dev CONTENT TEAM Mumbai


Lean is mean


Sayoni Bhaduri, Kahini Chakraborty Kolkata Joy Roy Choudhury Editorial Associates Marcellus Baptista, H A Mishra, Harpal Singh Sokhi, P S Sundar, M S Ram Advisory Board Anil Madhok, Rajeev Chopra, Santosh Shidhaye, Homi Aibara, Param Kannampilly, K V Simon, Jiggs Kalra, Jose Dominic, Raju Shahani, N S Bhuie, Nirmal Khandelwal, Muralidharan Menon, Narendra Verma, Prakash Mankar, M Narayanan MARKETING General Manager Sachin Shenoy Marketing Team Dattaram Kandalkar, Rajan Nair Marketing Coordination Darshana Chauhan Asst.Manager - Scheduling & Coordination Arvind Mane CIRCULATION



Ireo ties up with Ascott for serviced apartments in Gurgaon PAGE 08

A plateful of experience


Tools never go out of fashion

Mohan Varadakar PRODUCTION General Manager B R Tipnis Manager Bhadresh Valia Layout Ratilal Ladani, Kiran Parker Asst. Art Director Surajit Patro Chief Designer Pravin Temble Senior Graphic Designer Rushikesh Konka Photo Editor Sandeep Patil

Published by Vaidehi Thakar on behalf of the Proprietor The Indian Express Limited from Express Towers, 2nd floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 and Printed by her at the Indian Express Press, at Plot No.EL-208,TTC Industrial Area, Mahape, Navi Mumbai 400 710 (Editorial & Administrative :The Indian Express Ltd, 1st floor, Express Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai-400021). Editor Reema Lokesh* (* Responsible for selection of matter under PRB Act) Copyright @ 2011

The Indian Express Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner, electronic or otherwise, in whole or in part, without prior written permission is prohibited.



LIFE Pairing creatively

Di Bella Coffee aims to open 50 stores pan- India in 3 years PAGE 09

Svenska Design Hotels to open 4 properties by 2015-16 PAGE 10 PAX Hotels looks at growth in tier II locations

Express Hospitality Reg.No.MH/MR/SOUTH-44/2013-15 RNI Regn. No.MAHENG/2005/21391.


Kairali Ayurvedic Group to guide investors in wellness PAGE 08

Lords Hotels & Resorts aims for 35 hotels by 2015 PAGE 10


Toshali Resorts to promote Buddhist study tours and academic conventions to Odisha PAGE 13



TABLEWEAR SPECIAL The table is set


Plating it right


‘Technology will play a larger role’


EDGE Decoding digital marketing PAGE 42 Virtually viable


‘A white round plate is like the black dress which is always in fashion’


Trends in tableware


Arc International launches new products


Jensons appointed as sole


distributors of Sunex in


‘The mid range restaurants

Editor’s Note Product Tracker New Kids on

are upgrading their

The Block











July 16-31, 2013


Safe and sustainable


ypical to its nature, the monsoon season has always been viewed as a dampener especially related to businesses. It is that time of the year when sales and offers are dished out aggressively to bring in the moolah. It seems like a fair deal as the giver and the taker seem to benefit when it rains offers. Our cover story this issue puts into focus what strategies the hospitality industry is using to try and make hay even when the sun is not shining. This issue also features our introductory series called Hospitality Insight. The maiden topic is on the Tableware industry, providing our readers a quick look into what’s on the table for the industry. Take your pick, as today’s restaurants are also about being cool, classy and contemporary in décor, ambiance and style. The industry is slowly and steadily welcoming change across categories when it comes to inventory development and product development, which is very encouraging. However, the need of the hour is to develop and expand one's footprint with a responsible and sustainable approach. When tragedy strikes, especially natural disasters, many 'ifs’ and 'buts’ come to the fore along with opinions and debates galore. It’s an endless blame game without a solution. The catastrophe in Uttarakhand has once again warned us and hopefully taught us the lessons of responsible development - keeping pace with the place and not abusing it with criminal concretisation and industrialisation. Some places have a fragile disposition and an eco-system that should not be tampered with. Such places perform best when development is undertaken in a steady, sensible and sustainable way. Rapid and mindless expansions, short term policies and unwanted deforestation will only bring harm and the only way to bring harmony is through responsible actions.


For over a decade, responsible and sustainable tourism has been a priority topic at global conferences. The few torch bearers of this very serious issue have mentioned time and again how vital it is to activate responsible tourism plans into real-time workable action plans. It is crucial for the local communities to take responsibility on improving their towns and villages. It is about grassroot mobilisation and taking action against any unhealthy development in the region that can lead to future devastation. Safe, sustainable and responsible tourism is the only answer and solution for long term development. We need to be our very own tourism police and act with discipline and concern. A careless and commercial approach toward tourism can only lead to disaster and we will have only ourselves to blame, and not nature, for what unfolds.

Reema Lokesh Editor

Our Associate: Dinesh Sharma Mobile: 09810264368 E-mail:


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Di Bella Coffee aims to open 50 stores pan- India in 3 years PG 9 Lords Hotels & Resorts aims for 35 hotels by 2015 PG 10 Svenska Design Hotels to open 4 properties by 2015-16 PG 10 PAX Hotels looks at growth in tier II locations PG 11 Toshali Resorts to promote Buddhist study tours and academic conventions to Odisha PG 13


Ireo ties up with Ascott for serviced apartments in Gurgaon ABHISHEK CHAKRABORTY New Delhi


reo, a private equity fund dedicated to the Indian real estate sector, has entered into management agreements with serviced residence provider, Ascott, for India’s first Ascott-branded serviced residence in the upcoming master planned Ireo City complex on Golf Course Extension Road in Gurgaon. A team from Ascott led by Alfred ONG, managing director, strategic development, officially announced the collaboration. Ireo City, is a world class mixed-use project spread over approximately 800-acres—a resort city within a city—that includes schools, hospitals, parks, offices, shopping

malls, art centres and theatres. Located adjacent to the planned two-storey Ireo City Central retail zone and entertainment hub, Ascott Ireo City Gurgaon will offer approximately 220 units in the configurations of studio, one BHK and two BHK apartments. This will include 160 serviced apartment units and an additional 60 units of private residential apartments. The luxury of these apartments is further accentuated by their close proximity to the 50-acre golf park in Ireo City. Being in the heart of Ireo City, Ascott Ireo City Gurgaon will connect with the Open Living ecosystem of this master planned township. With easy access to NH8, the residences are well connected to the airport and

commercial districts of Gurgaon as well as Delhi. The work will start soon as Ireo and Ascott plan to finish the project by 2016 or early 2017. Speaking on the project, Pankaj Dugar, hospitality head, Ireo, said, “Gurgaon has emerged as a fast growing commercial hub on the international map, attracting business travellers and expats from across the globe but lacks good international quality branded serviced apartments.” Ascott Ireo City Gurgaon will primarily cater to the burgeoning demand for serviced residences from travelling business executives and corporate houses. It will be built around a distinctive concept of offering the owner the choice to either

use the fully serviced apartment as residence for self or rent it out commercially through Ascott. The premium hospitality brand will maintain the units to worldclass standards and market them for optimal revenue generation. Lee Chee Koon, CEO, Ascott said, “With the launch of Ascott Ireo City Gurgaon, we now have a total of eight properties in India, with six underdevelopment in India; the two operational properties being Citadines Richmond Bangalore and Somerset Greenways Chennai. Now, travellers to India will be able to choose from our three brands of serviced residences - Ascott Residences, Citadines Apart’hotels and Somerset Serviced Residences.”

Kairali Ayurvedic Group to guide investors in wellness SUDIPTA DEV - Mumbai




airali Ayurvedic Group has plans to expand across its different verticals Ayurvedic Destinations, Wellness Destinations and Ayurveda Centres. The group has also started a consultancy division and is also taking up management contracts with other resorts. “We prefer to own and operate our properties, the consultancy division just came about because we saw a huge market where people want to invest in wellness sector and Ayurveda. Our aim is to guide people in the right way so that they do not just start anything in the name of Ayurveda,” said KR Abhilash, director, Kairali Ayurvedic Group. The different verticals in

the group include Ayurvedic Destinations (Ayurvedic Healing Village in Palakkad and Om Beach Ayurvedic Resort in Gokarna) and Wellness Destinations (Estuary View Resort in Karwar). Two upcoming properties are in Khajuraho and Goa. “We want to cater to different markets in unique locations. Khajuraho is a temple town, we want to cater to that market, with a holistic approach by offering the same things that we provide in our Ayurvedic Healing Village in Palakkad. The other location is Goa, which is going to be a health retreat, however it will not be pure Ayurveda,” he stated. The properties are all owned and run by the group. The expansion, asserted Abhilash, will not be rapid

but more organic. “We do not raise external funds. We do all internal accruals itself so while the expansion won't be very rapid the scale is still there and it is big for us,” he added. The group currently has 35 Ayurveda Centres, in India and overseas, with plans to add 15 more. Over the next five to 10 years there are plans for another 20 more centres. “The target is about 75 centres. We are starting two in Mumbai, Alibaug this month, the other upcoming ones are in Corbett and Rishikesh. Abroad we are looking at one more centre in Saudi Arabia and few other places as well,” mentioned Abhilash. There also also plans to add 10-15 more high-end rooms in Kairali Ayurvedic Healing Village.

KR Abhilash

“We are also adding more treatment options and Yoga programmes there,” he said. Regarding the marketing strategy Abhilash pointed out that the group has a strong focus on customer retention. “We already have many corporate tie-ups. We have also made significant investment in our online strategy,” he informed.

July 16-31, 2013


Di Bella Coffee aims to open 50 stores pan- India in 3 years KAHINI CHAKRABORTY-Mumbai


July 16-31, 2013

fter commencing its India operations in 2012, Di Bella Coffee plans to have a panIndia presence by expanding its services to Chandigarh, Bengaluru and Delhi in the next one-two years. Presently the company has 10 outlets in Mumbai and two in Hyderabad. Speaking to Express Hospitality, Sachin Sabharwal, managing director, Di Bella Coffee India said, “Efforts are in full swing to continuously add to the existing number of outlets in Mumbai and Hyderabad. We will also be setting foot in Pune and Dehradun by opening two stores in each of these cities by the next quarter. With over a year of starting business in India, we have established outlets in malls, high-end locations, and corporate offices.

Sachin Sabharwal We plan to have a pan India presence by expanding our services to Chandigarh, Bengaluru and Delhi in the next one -two years.” The company is targeting to achieve 50 stores across the country in the next three years

(60 per cent owned and 40 per cent franchise owned). He added, “As the company is only 15 months old in the Indian market we are still in the process of planning our business and investment strategy.” Di Bella Coffee has also collaborated with Yoforia which is a top quality frozen yogurt chain from the US. There will be special kiosks serving yogurt and smoothies at all Di Bella Coffee outlets in Mumbai. “For the first time in India, a coffee chain aims to deliver the highest quality frozen yogurt to its customers. We are looking forward to this collaboration with Yoforia,” he informed. On their business strategy for the expansion, he stated, “We have achieved a consistent growth having set foot in India last year and intend to further increase our presence through an exclusive franchise

proposition. We have now begun to invite select investors/franchise partners who understand the credentials of our organisation. In India, Di Bella Coffee has opted for the franchise pathway as it provides brand recognition, economies of scale, and most importantly a localised management structure.” The company has also launched a mobile application. Giving details on the same, he mentioned, “The launch of our mobile application (for Android, iPhone and Blackberry devices) will take this digital platform to another level. Customers will be able to locate their closest Di Bella Coffee outlet, invite a friend for coffee, get loyalty rewards (via QR code), learn about specialty coffee growing regions and order their favourite Di Bella Coffee anywhere, anytime.”




Lords Hotels & Resorts aims for 35 hotels by 2015 KAHINI CHAKRABORTY Mumbai


ith a vision to have a pan-India presence, Lords Hotels & Resorts is aiming to have 35 hotels by 2015. The company has many properties in the sign up stages but amongst the few which are at the opening stage at Porbander, Sansan Gir, Salvi, Lucknow, Jodhpur are all expected to be operational before year-end. PR Bansal, CMD, Lords Hotels & Resorts informed, “Lords Hotels & Resorts aims to have an approximate of 1000 more rooms to be included in its inventory. The recent properties that are going to be launched by the group would be adding 200 plus rooms to the group.” The company has aggressive plans to open additional sales offices in strategic cities and also is looking for growth in terms of development of human resources. Presently the company is looking at investing in brand building and additional visibility. The organisation is focusing more on resource management, man power and strengthening its marketing with both conventional and unconventional ways, while enforcing its efforts more on digital and modern day marketing. “At Lords we firmly believe that sustaining is very important and yet developing further is the key to success. The company is looking for pan India presence, while sustaining the current portfolio,” he added. Commenting on the current challenges faced by the hospitality industry while development of new project, Bansal opined, “While setting up a hotel project in India it becomes one of the most tedious tasks for any promoter as there are so many licensing involved, government approvals are required. In addition, having hotels in tier II and tier III cities has problems like manpower issues, frequent power cuts and other handicapping factors. A better network of roads, power and availability of single window clearance would go long way in bettering the industry in general.”



Svenska Design Hotels to open 4 properties by 2015-16 KAHINI CHAKRABORTY Mumbai


venska Design Hotels, Swedish boutique design hotel company which launched in 2011 in India, is going to launch four new properties - in Delhi, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Kolkata by 2015-16. Presently the company has two properties in Mumbai and Bengaluru and aims to establish 10 hotels pan-India by 2020. Speaking exclusively to Express Hospitality, Zia Shiekh, CEO and CMD, Svenska Design Hotels said, “The four new upcoming properties are currently in the early stages of development. These would be small format upscale luxury hotels with a 60-70 room inventory. For the same, the company will be investing about `50 lakh per key and a total of `30-35 crore per property.” With a target of launching 10 hotels across the


country by 2020, the company is also looking at opportunities in smaller cities such as Raipur, Chhattigarh, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Trivandrum and Goa. “These have not yet been finalised. We are open to opportunities through either management contracts, leasing out properties or acquiring land parcels, etc. With each property being 60-700 room inventory, the company is looking at having a total of 600-700 room inventory by 2020,” he said. Opining about the potential in smaller and metro cities in India, Sheikh added, “There are opportunities in metros and smaller towns. If we take Mumbai as an example, we would like to have three hotels operational in Bandra, ThaneMulund, Chembur. We see the the opportunity for multiple format properties as the cities have the capacity to absorb new hotels in to the market. We are also looking at entering into tier II cities where there is demand and competition is comparatively less. Our concept will remain to be small format upscale luxury hotels. For now, we see a huge potential in the Indian market to invest our resources into. But in the future when we look at establishing our presence abroad, we would consider the Middle East, South East Asia and Sri Lanka.” July 16-31, 2013


PAX Hotels looks at growth in tier II locations After Lucknow and Manali, upcoming hotels in other north Indian cities SUDIPTA DEV - Mumbai


AX Hotels that recently launched two properties, namely The Continental - PAX Hotel, Lucknow and PAX Retreat - Thakur Dass, Manali, has plans for upcoming hotels in Agra, Banaras, Jaipur, Delhi and Nepal. “Our promoters are our partners. We have already set our goals to achieve maximum revenue for hotel owners and investors. Our Lucknow hotel has satisfied the investors by giving those returns from first month. We have achieved the occupancy by 65 per cent from the opening month,” said Anirudh Raithwan, director, operations and planning, PAX Hotels. The company is looking at tier II locations to expand before entering the metro cities. Raithwan pointed out that a city like Lucknow caters to more business

July 16-31, 2013

guests as compared to leisure travellers. The city, he believes, has got huge potential for both rooms and F&B. “In recent times, the city has become a key MICE destination catering to large incentive tours, corporate residential meetings, and weddings. It's accessibility to Varanasi, Agra and Dudhwa National

Park, much-improved highway, train connectivity and increased number of flights to and from key destinations in the country has made the city far more accessible than the recent past. The hotel welcomes business and leisure travellers into the cozy, modern atmosphere of a private club,” he stated.

Anirudh Raithwan The hotel is perfectly suited for a tier II market with 42 rooms including premium/executive rooms and suites. The meeting / banqueting facilities can cater to as many as 150 people. F&B facilities includes one banquet hall, board room, multi–cuisine restau-

rant and Terrace Grill rooftop restaurant. Raithwan concedes that being a hospitality management company at PAX, the core team is the USP. “Everyone is a share holder and specialised in different fields. Our team has handson experience in revenue management/room division, F&B production/service and project management. Our team is our strength and that’s what I would say is our USP,” he asserted. The company is focused on providing international luxury to every Indian at competitive price. “Understanding our customer needs is very important, to provide them high service standards and comfort. A portfolio of boutique hotels focused on style, comfort and customisation, the PAX collection offers an unpretentious and authentic hospitality experience with broad appeal,” he said.



PRODUCTS TRACKER arttd’inox arttd’inox is offering a chic range of serve ware with simple designs and a natural appearance, ideal for indoor and outdoor feasts. The collection is a hearty, durable set of serve ware designed to last. Made from sturdy stainless steel, the arttd’inox serve ware collection is ecowise and allows for the serving of all foods—hot or cold. Soft, rounded corners and gently contoured surfaces allow the

Chenin Blanc from Myra Vineyards

Acolade Vanity S’lon from Acolade Care Cosmetics

Myra Vineyards has launched its Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is a lightbodied, crisp wine with tropical fruit

Acolade Care Cosmetics has announced the launch of ‘Acolade Vanity S’lon’ nationally. Acolade care cosmetics

characteristics. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif or alternatively can be paired with South East Asian and Chinese cuisines.

KAPP, Turkey

presently offer wide range of beauty products which are 100 per cent organic and natural. The products are currently offered at over 2000 upscale salon communities across the country.

KAPP, Turkey has launched its line up of the latest technology, high quality kitchen and catering equipments in India. KAPP is a gobal leading brand in supplies

Salt and pepper mills by Peugeot

collection to fit easily in hand during stand-up cocktail parties and other upscale events where guests move about. The collection is also corrosion free.

Automatic Cloth Drying Racks from Ozone@Homz Ozone@Homz has introduced Automatic Cloth Drying Racks for hassle free and quick drying of clothes. Automatic Cloth drying rack from Ozone can easily be installed on the ceiling or can also be used in cloakroom or laundry

Peugeot is offering its uniquely designed range of salt and pepper mills for the Indian kitchen. Peugeot salt and pepper mills have been a benchmark worldwide. Their mills and grinders have made their way into world class kitchens and are the preferred by top chefs. Peugeot designs its mills and grinders with spice specific mechanism to obtain the most out of each spice. The Peugeot salt and pepper mills are priced at `2000 each and ranges up to `7500.

DC Fans from Anemos Anemos has now introduced the latest technology in fans that are 70 per cent more efficient and consume lesser

rooms without occupying much space. It comes with UV disinfectant function which does not allow harmful germs and bacteria to grow in clothes due to moisture during rainy and winter reasons. Handling heavy clothes becomes easy with this Automatic cloth drying rack. The anti-odour function keeps foul smell of wet clothes at bay. The X-shaped stainless steel structure can hold up to 85 kg of weight (Safety loading for the product is 35 kg).



of high quality kitchen and catering equipments which encompasses a wide array of categories of preparing, cooking, serving, buffet services, beverage and bar, table tops, carrying and dishwashing. The range offered is at par with the best of European specifications and the brand is now recognised across 45 countries around the world with its presence across Europe, Middle East, Far East, Americas and Africa.

electricity than the regular fans. This range of fans called the DC Fans are forerunners in the revolution of fans and are a combination of design and efficiency.

July 16-31, 2013


Toshali Resorts to promote Buddhist study tours and academic conventions to Odisha EH STAFF - Mumbai


oshali Resorts International, which manages four properties in the Buddhist circuit of Odisha plans to attract Buddhist scholars and academicians to the state. The company is in talks with the embassies and universities of countries with a large Buddhist population like Sri Lanka, Japan and Thailand to see increased visitor numbers to the Buddhist heritage sites in Odisha. “Only few of the Buddhist heritage sites have been unearthed till now which creates lot of excitement among the visitors due to its artistic beauty. Scholars and archaeologists have taken lot of pain to unravel these hidden treasures

erty. Special packages & rates are also being devised for academic workshops, seminars and conventions in these sites. All the three properties at Ratnagiri, Udayagiri and Lalitgiri are

upgraded with star class amenities. The flagship property of Toshali Ratnagiri situated in front of the museum of Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) is equipped with 19 rooms and

a state-of- art library cum interpretation centre having a rare collection of books on art, culture, history and religion. The Toshali Udayagiri Convention Centre which has a conference hall for

350 pax has recently hosted the three-day International Conference on Buddhist Heritage of Odisha which was attended by a total of 1,547 domestic and 66 foreign delegates.

WE ARE HOPEFUL OF A SURGE OF 100 PER CENT IN TOURIST TRAFFIC TO BUDDHIST SITES OF ODISHA FROM DOMESTIC AS WELL AS INBOUND SEGMENT THIS YEAR because of lack of infrastructure in the past. With the up gradation of accommodation units at these heritage sites to international standards and good connectivity we expect to see lot of research and excavation in near future which will showcase the glorious past of Kalingan art and Buddhism to the world. We are hopeful of a surge of 100 per cent in tourist traffic to Buddhist sites of Odisha from domestic as well as inbound segment this year,� said Harihar Patra, directormarketing, Toshali Resorts International. Toshali has worked out special discounts and a free access to the state-of- art library cum interpretation centre at its Ratnagiri propJuly 16-31, 2013



NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Taj Coromandel, Chennai

Mirador. The restaurant has live cooking stations and has been designed by TID International of Singapore & Bangkok and offers its patrons signature dishes like the Tom Yum Goong, Thai Crispy Chicken with Basil, Steamed Chicken Rice in Lotus Leaf along with some buffet and brunch deals.

and special cuisines across the country. A unique interior décor with Bollywood theme in its 2200 sq ft area has the capacity to serve 150 patrons at a time.

Kkrust, Mumbai

Aman New Delhi has renamed itself as The Lodhi by the DLF Group. Revamped in 2013, this boutique property with 40 rooms and suites, all with private plunge pools, offers a sense of casual luxury and comfort. The jali-screened expansive terraces, giving both privacy and views, extend the space of the already large rooms. Situated on Lodhi Road at the edge of Lutyens Delhi, The Lodhi offers spectacular views of Delhi’s green landscape from its rooms, along with restaurants, bars, a spa, health and recreation centre.

Kkrust opened in Andheri offers the traditional wood fired oven pizzas. Kkrust pizzas will have a unique fusion of flavours like use of burnt lemon in shrimp pizza, feta cheese in Kkrust special, salsa in medium vegetarian, Tango, Indian flavoured Achari Paneer and Mexicano with re-fried beans The Taj Coromandel, Chennai has re-launched the ballroom which is 13,000 square feet. From an exquisite décor that is further enhanced with a stage, coordinated overlays, chair covers and table pieces, to floral-shaped chandeliers, terracottainspired wall fabric and ‘kolam’ inspired interiors, the venue reflects a fabulous mélange of tradition and modernity. Adding to this experience is stateof-the-art lighting technology where the entire banqueting space is fitted with layered lighting with a range of colour spectrum through LED lights and remote controlled pin spot lights, which offers various dramatic and mood settings to suit the occasion – an experience that is unique to this ballroom. This exquisite facility also comes with an exclusive VIP room. The partition is completely sound-proof making it possible to hold two conferences simultaneously.

House of Asia, Hotel Mirador, Mumbai The latest addition to Mumbai's pan-Asian speciality restaurants is 'House of Asia', at Hotel

The Lodhi, New Delhi

The White Owl, Mumbai The White Owl, a warehouse-like brewery bistro has opened in Lower Parel at One Indiabulls Center (in the Lobby of Tower 2). The White Owl was conceptualised by two young

are some of the reinventions. For the non-vegetarian pizzas, the meats are marinated and cooked in the wood fired oven to impart distinct flavour.

Oye Pape, Navi Mumbai Kambala Hospitality has launched its Oye Pape – Mood bhi, Food bhi restaurant at Raghuleela Arcade in Navi Mumbai. The restaurant offers vegetarian, non-vegetarian, multiple

entrepreneurs: Javed Murad and Kunjan Chikhlikar. At The White Owl, old world objects, iconic of Bombay in the 50s come together in unexpected ways. The space is an amalgamation of industrial elements with basic rudiments like antique smoked-mirror table tops and metal chairs combined with patent leather upholstery, creating a grunge yet chic atmosphere.

INTERNATIONAL Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, Abu Dhabi

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has announced the opening of its fourth property in Abu Dhabi – Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort. Comprising of 30 luxurious beachfront villas, Al Yamm, meaning ‘The Sea’, resides on the eastern shores of Sir Bani Yas Island, set on beaches renowned as the finest on the island. The 21 one bedroom villas can be found on the beach, while seven one bedroom pool villas and two- two bedroom Anantara Pool Villas, each with private plunge pools.

Anantara Vacation Club Phuket Mai Khao Anantara Vacation Club, a unique shared own-



ership concept launched in 2010 by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, has announced the official opening of its first purpose-built Signature Club

July 16-31, 2013

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Resort – Anantara Vacation Club Phuket Mai Khao. The property comprises of 70 one, two and three bedroom apartment suites and 30- one and two bedroom pool villas, with resort facilities including a swim up lagoon pool, a kids club, a gym and restaurants and bars, all in a lush tropical environment adjacent to Mai Khao Beach.

each guest, ensuring both a unique and tranquil experience.

Shangri-La Hotel, Shenyang Shenyang’s Imperial Palace is the inspiration for one of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ newest mainland China properties. The Hong

Kong-based hotel company will introduce Shangri-La Hotel, Shenyang along the city’s 'Golden Corridor' on August 1, 2013. Shangri-La Hotel, Shenyang’s 424 guestrooms start from 42 square metres. Decorated with Chinese accents, the rooms offer panoramic city views and areoutfitted with ShangriLa’s signature amenities.

Vivanta by Taj Bentota – Sri Lanka Vivanta by Taj -Bentota, Sri Lanka, an exclusive beach and spa resort on the southern coast of Sri Lanka has announced the completion of

its US$12.5 million ( `65 crore ) extensive renovation. Each of the 160 rooms offer ocean views or the beautifully landscaped gardens with private sit-outs or terraces. The look and feel of the rooms was inspired by the adjacent beaches and the rich colours and heritage of the Bentota region. The cerulean waters, cinnamon spices and carved elements of the local architectural traditions are combined together to give a sense of place. Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, Sri Lanka has over 6,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for meetings and conferences.

Shala Spa at Dream South Beach, Miami Shala Spa at Dream South Beach opened its doors recently. The Ayurvedic spa meaning 'Sanctuary,' this cosmopolitan-chic Dream South Beach is located on South Beach’s iconic Collins Avenue, offering 108 modern guestrooms, a restaurant serving up local fare and an intimate destination rooftop pool lounge with views of the Atlantic Ocean. The spa offers several signature experiences tailor-made to fit

July 16-31, 2013



Cleaning & Hygiene Solutions Food safety during monsoons During monsoons when diseases and infections are rampant, it is important for people working in food industry to ensure a high level hygiene in food related areas, says A Ganesh





he cooling showers bring with them an i n c r e a s e d susceptibility to a lot of diseases that are peculiar to the monsoon. Also monsoons are not free from their share of food problems. The hot and humid climate gives viruses and bacteria an ideal environment to survive. One of the gravest and life threatening dangers in the kitchen largely comprise of food borne illnesses. And moreover, during monsoons when diseases and infections are rampant, it is very important for people working in food industry to ensure that the level hygiene of hygiene maintained in food related areas is high. Food borne illnesses are caused largely by disease causing bacteria or by poisonous toxins, which they produce. These bacteria can quickly spread and find their way into food via the food chain, i.e. from soil and water - raw produce - kitchen surfaces - hands of food handlers – food handling equipments – food service utensils – food served. The top three reasons for food poisoning include poor time – temperature controls, cross contamination and poor personal hygiene. This is something that any food handler cannot afford to overlook. Kitchens are hotspots for such opportunistic microbes. Diseases that are spread during monsoon may be water borne, air-borne or vector-borne. These include the water-borne gastro intestinal infections like typhoid fever, acute diarrhoea diseases like cholera and non-cholera gastroenteritis, dysentery, jaundice due to hepatitis A&E, airborne diseases like influenza, mosquito borne disease like dengue fever, malaria and Japanese encephalitis. Other diseases are leptospirosis (Weils Disease rat fever), conjunctivitis etc. Here are a few tips on preventing food borne illnesses in commercial food preparation areas

especially during monsoons

Food safety for kitchens The chef or the receiver in a kitchen should take the following precautions/ measures to ensure maximum food safety: Supplier safety assurance While food safety starts

with the Supplier, ensure that food materials and ingredients are purchased only from reputed, known and approved suppliers. Ensure checking of all consignments as per specifications. Be selective about certain seafood like prawns, crabs, shellfish, etc

Ensure safety conditions for water Water is an essential component of the human body and is consumed in its original stage and as a food ingredient. It is also used for washing foods and food

must be thoroughly filtered and treated to render it bacteria safe at household level (water purifiers may be used) or in the absence of the same water should be disinfected (a residual chlorine level of 0.2 ppm at a minimum and 0.5 ppm at a maximum should be available in drinking water at point of use).

contact surfaces. Contamination of distribution water can be rampant in rains due to leaking pipes and contaminated water at source which if not adequately disinfected and treated can harbour infectious microbes. All water consumed as a drink

Disinfection of food contact surfaces Use separate chopping boards and utensils including cutting and trimming implements for vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. These should be disinfected between uses especially for non-vegetarian food and before being used to handle ready to eat foods. Disinfecting can be carried out in boiling water for 2 minutes or in a solution of 200 ppm chlorine for 20 minutes after washing. Do not forget to disinfect knives and cleaning cloths.

which can harbour infectious germs.

July 16-31, 2013

M|A|R|K|E|T lined with polythene and lidded when not in use to discourage flies and prevent cross contamination. Ensure that all drains are protected with drain traps for cockroaches. Conscientious hand washing Use soap and water with a rubbing action for 20 seconds to clean hands. The rubbing action should include the palms, the dorsal side of the palm, and the area

between the fingers and around the fingers, the nails (could also be done with a nail brush), thumbs and the exposed part of the hand upto the wrist or beyond as applicable. The nails need to be short and rounded in any case. Wash hands after using the rest room, after break, before start of an activity, after touching body parts or garbage handling or any activity that could contaminate your hands. Remember, hands are an

active carrier of microbes from the environment into your kitchen. Hand disinfection after thorough washing is best carried out with alcoholic rubin hand sanitisers . Thus a little effort on your part coupled with care and caution will ensure that your customers get healthy and hygienic food to eat and return with a smile on their face. The writer is Director - Marketing, Diversey India Pvt. Ltd.

Time – temperature controls The temperature danger zone (TDZ) for disease causing bacterial build-up is from 5 – 60 deg C. Hence the Golden Rule: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. For frozen foods, the holding temperature should not exceed -12 deg C or temperatures that permit thawing. ● If your fridge is not equipped with temperature monitoring device one needs to leave one inside to ensure that the temperature does not exceed 7 deg C. ● Do not leave perishables / ready to eat foods in the temperature zone for over four hours. ● Cook food properly. If microwave is used to prepare food, one must ensure that food is heated to at least 70 deg C. ● Never allow food to thaw on the kitchen work surface but preferably in the microwave or refrigerator and always in a dish. Clean as you go Keep all food handling and storage areas clean and remove unwanted materials. Ensure that hidden and inaccessible areas are kept to a minimum and maintained clean to guard against pests which can spread diseases. Apply targeted use of an antimicrobial cleaning product for work surfaces which come into direct food contact like chopping boards, work tables, etc; dish sponge, dish cloth and cleaning cloth; fridge shelves, handles and gaskets; and electrical kitchen appliances which come into direct contact with food. Food service and preparation utensils should be cleaned within two hours. Waste handling Do not leave garbage out in the open. It needs to be disposed off as quickly as possible in a proper manner. Get rid of decomposing food debris. Garbage bins may be July 16-31, 2013





A plateful of experience From West Africa to the Far East and now to Goa, Shane O'Neill, executive chef, Grand Hyatt Goa has had his plate full, managing and directing numerous kitchens. He shares how his expertise is coming in handy at Goa and how he is adding new experiences to his kitty. By Sayoni Bhaduri


Shane O'Neill



ith 15 years behind him, Chef Shane O'Neill is no novice when it comes to orchestrating and managing multiple restaurants and banqueting facilities of a hotel. He is incharge of seven restaurants and extensive banqueting at Grand Hyatt Goa, where he joined last year as the executive chef. While challenges aren't something that bother him, banquets for the hotel are something he has to constantly work at. He says, “Banquet menus require

regional tastes that cater to the journey of India ie different foods from different Indian regions, South Indian or Chaat dishes served along with North Indian/Moghlai food. Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge to offer a variety of cuisines in a larger quantity. Sometimes we do get carried away with offering the Goan food considering that Goan cuisine is our forte.” From West Africa to the Far East, Chef O'Neill has gathered myriad

ences before he came to India. Notably, he was the executive sous chef of six restaurants at Atlantis - The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, comprising a combination of all day dining, two beach restaurants, club lounge, IRD and the cold kitchen. As a part of the original team, he was also entrusted with the task of hiring, training and directing over 550 chefs. Prior to this, he was with the award winning hotel in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace, as the chef de cuisine of five restau-

rants and three kitchens. He personally hired, trained and directed all 29 chefs in the establishment. Continental cuisine which is Chef O'Neill's speciality was the most popular cuisine and produced a whopping US$ 4.4 million in revenue for the hotel.

Food philosophy Success like that is not easy to come by and needs a thought process behind it. Chef O'Neill describes his, “My food philosophy is to make food that tastes beauJuly 16-31, 2013

C | H | E | F’ | S | P | L | A | T | T | E | R tiful and to be open minded about the produce and ingredients ie to use fresh locally available produce and ingredients characteristic of the region.” At Grand Hyatt Goa, he takes pride in offering food options that are good for guests, good for the community and good for the planet. “Food from natural, local and sustainable sources,” he says. He further adds that he and his team are always striving to honour the individual requests of guests – the menu feature plentiful, healthy options alongside more indulgent ones. “Our newly introduced children’s menus encourages kids to eat well and be well with right-sized options. So no matter what our guests order, a great deal of thought and care goes into each dish as we believe that our guests deserve nothing less,” Chef O'Neill adds. He isn't worried that his area of speciality, French and continental cuisine, aren't very popular in India. “The lack of popularity of French/continental food is not important, as a business the most important thing is that guests are happy and comfortable while enjoying a meal. Personally, I feel that it's more important for people to enjoy themselves at a casual dining set-up, rather than fitting into a formal fine-dining restaurant setup,” he says. Since he has spent time in other Asian nations, he draws similarities between Chinese and Indian cuisine. “I would say it is the culture of socialising with family and friends which greatly influences the culinary habits in both these countries,” Chef O'Neill says. The family unit is a central part of any dining experience with regards to the cuisine. The food is exceptionally varied and the difference between Indian and Chinese cooking is that Chinese cooking involves instant fresh cooking in the wok while Indian cooking is a slower process. “Indian cooking involves using masalas and dry chilli powders while Chinese cooking involves using fresh chillies,” he explains as the major difference.

local favourites that are prepared to an original recipe. “Authenticity is the key. When we implement an authentic ethnic buffet, we ensure that the set up and taste is the same as it would be served in the country of origin,” he says. It's his practice to see that the team always listens to the guests and offer selections that meet/exceed their expectations; dishes are created with an 'a la minute' philosophy. “Chefs at live cooking

stations interacting with our guests give the guest a chance to get involved in the preparation of a dish. We rotate our menus daily giving our guests alternatives to taste different selections every day,” he adds. Bakery and pastry products, garnishes, vegetables and side dishes, salads, soups and sauces are prepared fresh on a daily basis. “We are always trying out new recipes and experimenting with varied

cuisines,” he quips. And being in Goa, local flavours are part and parcel of this process. He speaks of The Goan Culinary Club – a non profit organisation of likeminded professionals of hotels and restaurants who believe in preserving the authenticity of Goan food which was the mainstay of every Goan kitchen. The club not only keeps the traditional Goan cooking methods alive but also supports the local Goan community

and farmers who grow local produce. Grand Hyatt Goa is part of the club and are greatly benefiting from the learnings. “Goa is known to be a true paradise for food lovers with a treasure of culinary delights to offer all tastes,” he says further adding that there are a host of cuisines - European, Pan Asian, Mediterranean and now even specialty cuisines like Burmese and Japanese are slowly becoming popular in Goa.

Visit us at : 18th to 20th May 2013 Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai

Authenticity is the ingredient At Grand Hyatt Goa, Chef O'Neill believes guests, both Indian and international, will appreciate the opportunity to indulge in July 16-31, 2013




Tools never go out of fashion On its 40th anniversary, the world’s first wine friendly glass line presents itself in a new attire tal. To raise the bar of glass making further, the stem of Sommeliers 'R' Black Series was upgraded by adding a fine red glass string which is jacketed in clear crystal. The three collections will be sold via the company website in an elegant '40th Anniversary' tube packaging bearing the portrait of Claus J Riedel (ninth generation), who introduced the Sommeliers Series to the world in 1973. In addition to the limited edition offer, two of the original clear designs, Bordeaux Grand Cru (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Burgundy Grand Cru (Pinot Noir), will be sold in sets of two glasses, a first for the specialty, luxury series in the Riedel collection.

A glass empire

Georg Riedel


iedel Crystal, credited with revolutionising glassware for the enjoyment of wine, celebrates the 40th anniversary of its Sommeliers Series with a limited edition of six varietal-specific Sommeliers Series glasses in striking black crystal. For the first time in its 300-year history, Riedel will offer six mouthblown varietal specific Sommeliers designs in all black: Bordeaux Grand Cru (Cabernet Sauvignon),



Maximilian Riedel Burgundy Grand Cru (Pinot Noir), Champagne, Riesling Grand Cru, Montrachet (Chardonnay) and Vintage Port. Riedel achieves the black crystal by the introduction of manganese oxide to the molten glass used for standard Sommeliers Glasses, which, when heated, produces a visually striking, opaque deep black. Two additional limited editions of this series offer the black glasses with electricred stems or clear bowls

with red stems and black bases. Forty years later out of the Kufstein factory, which is the original birthplace of the Sommeliers collection, the sons of the original glass makers are carrying out the Sommeliers Black Series. For the trained and experienced glass maker to blow the bowl and pull the stem of such a glass, is an additional challenge as this composition cools and hardens much faster than clear crys-

Maximilian J Riedel, head of Riedel Crystal, reflected on his family’s heritage of innovation and game-changing design when developing the limited edition collection. “Riedel has long led innovation in glassware, but the three most recent generations, including my grandfather Claus Riedel and my father Georg Riedel, have revolutionised the world with their unexpected, function-driven designs,” he says. “The Sommeliers Series represents perfection of varietal specificity in design, and this exclusive reimagination of the collection in black brings a new level of elegance, but also playfulness, to our most luxurious glasses.” Since its introduction in July 16-31, 2013


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1973, Riedel’s Sommeliers series has been lauded as a triumph of design for its thin-blown, unadorned iconography and pioneering functionality proving that the shape and size of glassware affect how we perceive the taste and smell of individual grape varietals. In reducing the design to its essence of bowl, stem and base, Claus Riedel channeled the Bauhaus principle, transforming not only the glassware industry, but the wine culture through its focus on functionality, simplicity and luxury. To this day, every Sommeliers Series glass is mouth-blown and handformed. Professor Claus Riedel was the first designer to recognise that the bouquet, taste, balance and finish of wines are affected by the shape of the glass from which they are consumed. More than 50 years ago, he began his pioneering work to create stemware that would match and complement different wines and spirits. In the late 1950s, Riedel started to produce glasses, which at that time were a design revolution. Thin-blown, unadorned, reducing the design to its essence: bowl, stem, base. Working with experienced tasters, Riedel discovered that wine enjoyed from his glasses showed more depth and better balance than when served in other glasses. He laid the groundwork for stemware which was functional as well as beautiful, and made according to the Bauhaus design principle: form follows function. July 16-31, 2013

In 1961 a revolutionary concept was introduced, when the Riedel catalogue featured the first line of wine glasses created in different sizes and shapes. Before this, conventional stemware had used a single basic bowl shape, with only the size varying depending on use. The concept was illustrated to perfection with the introduction of the Sommeliers series in 1973, which achieved worldwide recognition. A glass was born that turns a sip into a celebration, fine-tuned to match the grape!

The future is crystal clear His son, Georg Riedel, further developed Claus's theories, producing grapespecific glasses, and mechanising the production of fine wine glasses with the benchmark Vinum crystal glassware series, the first machine-made varietal-specific fine crystal glasses in the world, making Riedel glasses far more affordable to wine lovers the world over. A milestone in the modern Riedel company is the founding of a Riedel company in the United States, which came about following an e n c o u n t e r between Robert Mondavi and Georg, showing real commitment to the US market. While Claus was a talented designer, as recognised by the National Olympic Committee when they commissioned him to design and produce vases for the 1968 Olympic Games, his son Georg brought a calming, analytical eye to the business, soon

spotting weaknesses in the corporate structure. Georg has made it his life's work to develop specific glasses to enhance individual wines, travelling around the world to carry out workshops with experts in their field to develop a whole array of glasses from Tinto Reserva to the Single Malt glass. His tremendous talent for strategic thinking led to the Riedel acquisition of the German glass company F.X Nachtmann in 2004. Georg took this momentous decision for the Riedel company because he sees potential for incredible growth in the machine-made glass sector. There will always be a market for fine, hand-made glasses, but on the machinemade side of things, there is far more competition and it is vital to remain ahead of the game. The three brands now in the Riedel stable Riedel, Spiegelau and Nachtmann will be positioned clearly in the market place. The plans for the next few years? Georg says, “It's a dream of mine to develop drinking vessels for nonalcoholic beverages which also create memorable experiences for consumers. I envisage vessels for high quality coffee, complex teas and even spring water. The sensuality of taste shows that designs of Riedel-calibre can be made for these beverages. At age 30 I began to run. I have completed ten marathons and now regularly undertake mountain hiking expeditions,” he explains. “They form a fundamental enrichment of my life. There I find the necessary calm to relax and think things through." Georg was born in 1949 in Innsbruck, Austria. Fittingly, it was a wonderful vintage year for Bordeaux.

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is mean

Hotels across all segments have adopted divergent strategies to ensure that they do not just tide over the lean period every year but also manage to get optimum market share. A study of the market behaviour and understanding the guest's ability to pay are among the key determining factors. By Kahini Chakraborty




n an industry where the inventory is fixed and perishable and the product is paid for before actual consumption, the demand comes from market fluctuations depending on the season. In such a scenario it is said that for a hotel its key performance indicators are market penetration index, average rate index and revenue generation index, which form the basis for developing any new marketing strategy and accounting profits. Marriott

Hotels is one such example which is particular about monitoring the hotels' market performance through revenue generation index (RGI). RGI is a culmination of both market penetration index and average rate index and to strike a balance between both these indices is key to the success of the hotel in the market. “The important thing is to understand the demand year-on-year or month-on-month and to understand the

July 16-31, 2013


Aliasger Lehry

Satya Prakash

Ajay Bakaya

market and its behaviour. This is an excellent indicator to assess whether the market would accept rate changes and to what degree,” mentions Aliasger Lehry, director of revenue management, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa. Hence taking into consideration hotel strategies undertaken during lean seasons, for them the focus is more on adjusting the pricing on guest propensity to pay as well as potential demand forecast for the period in question. And travellers with least flexibility in location and date and those who are willing to shell out the money, are their potential target clients. In most situations excess capacity is always available throughout the lean period for most hotels during mid-March to end August. Hence to ensure optimum market share and positioning for the period, it is often seen that hotels keep introducing long-stay packages, advance purchase offers, discounts on room rates, value additions, referral programmes, special promotions for higher category of rooms and suites, loyalty programmes etc, a few practices which have helped and proved productive at all times. But giving a word of caution, Anil Verma, director of sales, The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa, Gulmarg advises, “It is critical to strike the right balance between promotional and adhoc group rates, which are

usually picked up at lower rates than the actual room rates, and higher rates for the limited number of rooms remaining to sell. Only a certain percentage of rooms should be offered at low rates and it is imperative to build ARR by charging premium for a smaller percentage of rooms reserved to offer at high rates to last-minute arrivals. This mix could be different for various hotels depending on the business environment and location. Some hotels also offer lucrative promotions for their club rooms and suites to increase average room rates (ARR).” For example, to boost ARRs Sahara Star Mumbai added inclusions like airport transfers, Wi-Fi, late check out, upgrades rather than offering discounts and lowering the ARR. Their business development team pitched these offers through mixed mediums- online, print media, OOH and wholesalers. “Sahara Royale is a big hit where we pamper our guest like a king. The offer allows unlimited spa, food and beverages at any of our world class restaurants for the duration of stay. Once they get enrolled on to such a luxury experience, they become loyal and are ready to pay its price. A significant change in the luxury market is the shift in preference from owning luxury to experiencing it. With domestic tourists continuing to drive occupancy, these deals draw guests to premier rooms,” says Rajesh Mohan,

head strategy, planning and technology, Hotel Sahara Star & Aamby Valley City.


Strategising for demand and supply Strategic management is essential in all aspects - be it digital marketing, social media marketing, revenue management, distribution and channel management or mobile web marketing. The occupancy rate and revenue needs to be monitored daily, weekly and monthly for which hotels usually have meeting platforms apart from multitude of online monitoring tools. For some this is a part of the overall strategy development and starts during the budgeting exercise. Meetings and reviews are conducted more often as the hotel approaches lean seasons. “At our hotel, we have our internal revenue analysis meeting with all divisional heads once every fortnight so as to evaluate our strategies as well as plan our future strategies based on market intelligence reports as well as forecasts. Regular monitoring and staying up-todate with the activities and dynamic economic environment is must to ensure efficient revenue management is in place,” adds Shubham Chandra, director sales and marketing, Hyatt Regency Chennai. While at Alila Diwa Goa, the hotel monitors trends and keeps a close watch on tourist preferences with regards to choosing one hotel over another. Apart from monitoring trends, the team conducts weekly meetings to discuss strategies and comes up with offerings to match the changing demands of tourists to ensure they move ahead and constantly innovate. While in case of Sarovar Hotels, the revenue




Amarendra Kumar

Shubham Chandra

Rajesh Mohan

Anil Verma

management teams sometimes even changes the rates three-four times a day. There is a general perception that Goa continues to be the getaway destination of domestic travellers during lean seasons who are looking for great deals in terms of discounts and complimentary benefits. But giving his observation, Chandra says, “Seasonality is subjective to location and geography. We see lean season in India with regard to internal guests mainly from April to August as most of the country faces summer during this time. The same would however not be the case for hill stations and up north regions of India. There is an incremental trend seen towards low budget tourism in the domestic sector even during summer months as the holidays for schools as well as government institutions fall during this period. This particular sector is now exploring unconventional summer destinations for holidays rather than the cliché hill stations.” Giving his opinion on the said trend about Goa, Amarendra Kumar, assistant director of Sales, Alila Diwa Goa mentions, “Seasonality in Goa is defined as – ‘peak’ from November to March, ‘shoulder’ from April to March and ‘lean’ from May to September. We have noticed a rise in the number of travellers choosing to stay in home

stays, villas etc. Many budget hotels now offer great accommodation at a very reasonable price. This attracts even a high paying customer who would now choose to stay in these accommodations and utilise the difference saved on experiences like excursions, food and beverage or spa.” Partially agreeing, Lehry adds, “During lean season the market of Goa starts to compete with other leisure destinations in the country due to softening of demand (lack of foreign travellers). Since domestic travel is at its peak during lean season, it leads to a price war not only amongst destinations but also within the market. Even though Goa Marriott Resort and Spa has all its facilities under one roof there is only a certain margin that the hotel can ask for beyond market average rates as other hotels reduce their rates to grab share from the shrinking market during lean season.” On the business aspect of operations, a close watch on the reservation movement helps to maintain a good ARR, emphasises Ajay Bakaya, executive director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts. “Most hotels have switched over to BAR (Best Available Rates) which move as the bookings increase or decrease. This operates on a principle similar to the stock market,” he adds. For Sarovar as bottom line is most important hence the company

does not take a short term approach. He reasons this by saying, “During the lean season the average room rate falls due to the interplay of supply and demand. What we try to do is arrest the fall to the extent we can. This is done by giving contracting year round rates with corporates and floating attractive packages during the lean period. In packages we do not reduce rates but give additional benefits. A good example is a late check-out. As the occupancy is not high, the hotel is not pressed for rooms so a guest overstaying for a couple of hours does not affect hotel commitments to other guests or an upgrade.”

present in the competitive game of pricing, hotels constantly monitor online rates of their competitors. Elaborating on some of the initiatives that the hotel undertakes, Kumar informs that apart from conducting flash sales to stimulate demand the hotel also tries to convert all prospective clients into confirmed bookings. “An update to all our travel partners on the available rooms on a regular basis is something we never miss out on. Keeping in mind the seasonality and high selling dates, for example over long weekends and festivals, we have developed a few strategies like ensuring our higher category rooms are kept available on our online channels. Our reservations and front office team further upsells room categories at the time of booking or check in. We constantly introduce new promotional offers that would entice tourists towards our hotel. In recent promotions, our packages have entitled 'kids to stay' absolutely free during the summer or guests could avail a fourth night complimentary on booking a three night package over certain days of the week. These offers not only help get more business but also repeat visitors,” Kumar informs. Alila Diwa Goa takes advance group bookings at competitive rates to generally fill the hotel up to 30 per cent of its occupancy still leaving room for guests to book at higher rates. While during weekends, the rooms are sold to groups at higher rates since the demand is high. And for this season -Hilton Garden Inn New Delhi / Saket, in order to boost its ARRs is promoting a special promotion called 'The Great Getaway' – Book now and avail 20 per cent discount on best available rates across



Varying demands Lehry points out that revenue is not just dependent on the type of room but also on how many rooms exist in a particular category along with the inclusions /benefits/amenities that the rooms offer, which differentiate one room type from the other. For example, in Sahara Star Mumbai, revenue earned from suites comprises of 10 per cent, club rooms - 20 per cent, Deluxe 40 per cent and Standard - 30 per cent. While for The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa, Gulmarg, it is the base category rooms that contribute maximum to the overall revenue during lean seasons. These are picked up first by the travellers because of lower rates and promotional offers. Some hotels offer special deals on suites to increase revenue. And for Alila Diwa Goa, their base category (Terrace room) brings in the major chunk of revenue as they sell the most followed by the club rooms in the exclusive Diwa Club, followed by the suites. Hence in order to be still

July 16-31, 2013


Asia Pacific. “This is an advance purchase offer, where the guest has to book five days in advance, full payment, nonrefundable, no change and no cancellation. These kind of promotions not only ensure more footfalls and increase in ARRs but also help hotels to forecast better and plan future strategies more effectively well in advance,” says Satya Prakash, general manager, Hilton Garden Inn New Delhi/ Saket.

Many challenges Many hotels rate their success by their occupancy levels or average rates, but it is observed that this is not necessarily the best measure of success. However, for many hotels some of the main challenges faced during the lean period remain-revenue loss, building occupancies, maintaining rates, retaining customers, staff motivation, low or negative profitability, etc. “A dip in the occupancy levels, decrease in the ARR are few challenges. But this is also a positive challenge if one is able to focus on alternative and innovative sources to balance the revenue imbalance like F&B promotions, suggestive space selling and more. Also this time provides an opportunity to revisit our plans and strategies so as to be able to anticipate and tackle the future lean season efficiently. The booking lean time becomes short, so it becomes hard to predict the level of business that we expect to do. Our expenses remain predictable,” informs Chandra. Since the profile of guests change from international travellers during peak season to domestic travellers in the off peak season, Kumar

July 16-31, 2013

advises that hotels need to cope with the change in nationality mixes as well as preferences of their guests. “This is one of the challenges we face. Meeting the budgets of other profit centres is another challenge as prices are further negotiated / discounted,” he adds.

Leveraging technology The mantra for all hotels during the season is to maximise RevPAR by selling rooms to the right customers, at the right price, at the right time. The convergence of media channels has led to the emergence of one single customer engagement channel. This new channel demands a completely new approach to hotel marketing and distribution. Mastering the direct online channel and all of its segments — traditional Web, SEM, SEO, email, social media, mobile web is also imperative. It is only successful revenue management which will lead to an understanding of what the guest wants as a hotel experience. Ability to measure group sales against the overall goals of the hotel and a knowledge of what will cause the market to fluctuate is important. Therefore, for the distribution strategy to be dynamic, hotels also have tieups with all major online travel agents like MakeMyTrip, Agoda, Travelguru, Cleartrip etc. Special last minute deals are available on mobile applications. It is estimated that around 15 per cent of the total gross bookings for hotels is generated from the online travel agents. “People nowadays have become tech savvy and rely more on the reviews posted by other guest on different web

portals. Our hotel runs promotions through Facebook, twitter and Pinterest. We also have different super saver offers on various online travel portals,” mentions Mohan. Providing important pointers that should be followed, and which seems to have worked for Sahara Star Mumbai Mohan says, “Managing and marketing of the company website should be the numero-uno priority but not at the cost of excluding other distribution channels. The website should generate the highest yield compared to any channel, but other channels can give access to markets that might be otherwise difficult to access. Be market specific to take account of the fit between product, market and market share. Have relevant pricing strategies — to suit both offline and online channels. Consider internationalisation of the website for relevant overseas markets for language, currency, imagery and search engine optimisation. Managing inventory across a number of channels takes time and commitment. Hence allocating time each day or set aside a day each week to manage online distribution by using an online channel tool is important. While being dynamic, make sure to maintain rate parity across all online distribution channels as the internet makes pricing transparent.” Hyatt Regency Chennai ensures that it is present and active on all major OTA and GDS channels. “Also we offer the best rate guarantee on our own website. This helps us in strengthening the traffic towards our website and at the same time enhances the positioning of the brand in the minds of the guests as being a reliable brand. Along with the same we lay huge emphasis on e-commerce activities, SEO and social media channels for promotions,” replies Chandra. The internet is still the most effective sales tool ever devised. “Although depending on the online hotel consolidators excessively can affect the contribution margin, it is critical for a hotel to create its own direct hotel online booking and optimise key work search to ensure that a traveller searching for accommodation is able to find the hotel website directly,” Verma concludes.





Plating it right PG 28 Interview with Raghav Khosla, founder & CEO, Skyra Professional Equipment PG 28 Interview with Burkhard Schmidt, director of hotel and restaurant division of Villeroy & Boch PG 30 Trends in tableware: Le Creuset PG 31 Interview with Oscar Fernandes of Oscar Hospitality Concepts PG 32 Jensons appointed as sole distributors of Sunex in India PG 33 Interview with Rafeek Abdulla, director, Wilmax India PG 34



The table is set With new trends, styles and innovations,tableware is ready to be the shoulders on which India's culinary story stands. By Sayoni Bhaduri


eeing is everything. The phrase becomes even more relevant for food and cuisine, especially with ‘one eats with their eyes first’ adage. Add to that the upsurge in both global and regional cuisines in India, F&B specialists can use all the help they can to lure business. As Shivankar Kodesia, Food and Beverage manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon-New Delhi NCR says, “A visual display makes great impact. People dine out at restaurants in order to enjoy a unique experience. They are looking for something special that they cannot replicate at home.” Enter the tableware segment. It is the first thing that a guest sees and touches when he is seated in a restaurant raising expectations manifold of the culinary delights that will ensue. The tableware requirements in the Indian hospitality sector have drastically changed over the past five years. This is all due to the fact that globalization has set in both in terms of hospitality brands as well as in the case of the Indian consumer. The quality standards expected by the consumer and the service providers have also evolved. Brands like Bauscher, Churchill, Rosenthal, Sambonet, Hepp and WMF have made their presence felt in India. A lot of these companies also offer the ability to customise according to new themes and templates. At DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon, they have customised the crockery matching the ambience and the theme of the restaurants. Kodesia also informs that an interesting concept of 'Go Green' crockery has emerged recently – companies are

coming up with new collections which are eco friendly and have low carbon emissions during manufacturing.

Colours and contours And while white remains the perennial favourite for food presentation simply because of the colour's ability to provide a neutral background to all forms and textures of food compositions and ingredients, almost all other colours that the imagination can conjure up can also be put on a plate. Jayaraj A Gopinath, sales manager, RAK Porcelain says, “White glaze is still been preferred by majority of customers as this enhances food presentation. Customisation of designs are also being recommended for thematic units. At the same time more region specific and cuisine specific trends are being introduced in the F&B industry.” The circular boundaries have expanded into rectangles and triangles. Brijesh Singh Food and Beverage Hygiene manager, Hotel Sahara Star says, “There are plates which have a thin rim or in-glaze design. New bone crockery has come up which is like porcelain.” Brothers-inarms to dinnerware are the cutlery which also have seen innovations like the use of titanium or two tone design. While Indian cuisines are getting more popular globally, the country is evolving as a gourmet hub. Keeping this in mind Mayank Sharma, GM, Arc International, India says, “Indian tableware trends are no different than those in other countries. Considering that India is one of the hottest tourist and trade

destinations in the world, the tableware standards in the country’s hospitality sector are at par with global standards.” Yet there are some trademarks which are easy to pick up. Kodesia has a list – Matt, rustic-looking, hammered and pewter finishes give a solid feeling of yesteryears; artisan flare in tableware; handcrafted look, rustic pottery and finishes; small portion bowls considering Indian cuisine, for example, bowls for dal, chutney etc. “That handcrafted look also reflects a trend toward more organic, earth-conscious dining,” he adds. Singh continues, “In India there is a mix of both metal (copper, brass) and crockery (porcelain or earthenware). Most of the Indian restaurants prefer to have show plate or their serving dish in copper or brass. Earthenware is originally from India and they develop very good crockery for Indian restaurants.” Most tableware manufacturers have a ready-made ensemble of products that cater to all possible needs of a restaurants but often it isn't enough. Themes and concept based restaurants need to have a set up which reflects the same. In Sahara Star, Mumbai their restaurants Aafrein and Namak have used customised tableware. Key highlight is the finger bowl where the restaurant uses a pot and surahi. Similarly, DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon's Moroccan restaurant, Casablanca, uses custommade crockery specially designed by Germany based premium crockery company, Villeroy & Boch. Burkhard Schmidt, director of

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Brijesh Singh

Shivankar Kodesia


Mayank Sharma

Jayaraj A Gopinath

choices, followed by stoneware, semi-porcelain, ironstone, majolica or faience. All products must be 100 per cent food safe and should be able to resist the blows of dishwasher and microwave use,” adds Sharma. With more and more new themed restaurants opening in the Indian hospitality sector, the future of the tableware segment is definitely on the rise.

hotel & restaurant division of Villeroy & Boch says, “Up to 20 per cent of all tableware we sell is decorated, even individualised decorated; since four or five years there’s a lasting trend towards individualisation that we can feel at Villeroy & Boch at least.”

Quality versus price While looks and appeal of tableware may be a primary deciding factor, equally important is the feasibility especially pricing. Compromise on quality is not an option hence its a mix and match game. Product innovation also comes into play in providing long lasting quality. Sharma speaks about Arc International's strategy, “Keeping the fact in mind that wear and tear is high in the hospitality business, some of our products are created for durability and strength and go through the full tempering process to make it 100 per cent food safe.” They use Zenix, Kwarx and Diamax materials which have been created to ensure three-four times strength, brightness and shatter resistance. These products offer excellence in design, quality and value for money. Singh adds, “Pricing is also dependent on the type of restaurant. For example, crockery used at specialty outlets will be expensive as compared to those used in a coffee shop.” Banquets on the other hand is all about durability. Kodesia says, “The usage is more than of the restaurants hence you need a product which is more sturdy.” “The breakage and pilferage is more in banqueting, while sit down restaurants are managed by trained staff who take care of equipments,” explains Gopinath, adding that high turnover hoteliers prefer to invest in sturdy and economical products. “Tempered glass, porcelain, bone China are popular

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Plating it right As many designs for tableware and cutlery are available in the market today, the primary aspect of selecting the cutlery for any restaurant depends on the cuisine theme and target clientele. By Kahini Chakraborty

Rahul Korgaonkar

Nitin Kapoor


t is said that the quality of a restaurant is much perceived through its choice of dinnerware, like its service, food presentation and flavours, along with the interiors, pricing of the menu, etc. But apart from these important pointers to be kept in mind, hoteliers look at five important aspects such as quality, function, design, range and service before zeroing down on any product. Nitin Kapoor, F&B manager, Optus Sarovar Premiere, Gurgaon says, “The product should be made up of finest raw material with innovative

technology involved resulting in a beautiful and robust end product. Not only the quality, but also the function of the product should be multipurpose i.e. stackable shapes, microwave and dishwasher safe, etc. Difference in unique character, attractive interplay of shape, colour and décor should match with the hotel’s standard and budget. And most importantly the supplier should be in reach and ready to service as per requirement.” While selecting the dinnerware it should completely coordinate with the dishes on the menu, food presentation, ease of use and durability of the product. “Hygiene is another factor that is considered in the choice of tableware as porous materials tend to imbibe bacterial growth in them; the chemical resistance to acids and washing detergents is also judged by hotels,” adds Kapoor. There are some amazing designs around like Asian

and Arabian inspired dinnerware, although stoneware is a lot in vogue these days, different textures are now used to present food like vitrified slate, wood and steel and many others. “White flatware is much in demand as the colour presents all food well and is a blank canvas for the presentation,” states Kapoor. Another perspective that Rahul Korgaonkar, F&B director, Goa Marriott Resort and Spa emphasises upon is the kind of clientele that the hotel would be catering to- be it family style, casual friendly or exclusive fine dinning, etc. Hence, it becomes essential to have the flatware and cutlery according to the cuisine of the restaurant. The choice of service ware, cutlery and crockery has to be in line with the theme and cuisine. There are specific lines available with suppliers such as ethnic designs for Indian restaurants, or oriental strokes for Pan Asian restaurants, which reflect the true feel of the restaurant to

the customer and end up being an extension of the mood and the design element. To which Korgaonkar elaborates, “For example, if you are opening an Asian restaurant, you would order chopsticks, small bowls for soya sauce, deep soup spoons, etc. If you are opening a Western restaurant, you would be sure to order a steak knife, bread and butter knife, etc. If you are opening a seafood place, then you must have marrow spoons and crab crackers, ouster shucker, ice baths, etc.” Among the popular tableware products available in the market, Kapoor observes that stainless steel is the most preferred for today’s customers because of its easy care, durability and low price and represents the future for flatware manufacturers. “Overall the way the hospitality industry is growing with new projects the future of cutlery business is optimistic in India,” feels Kapoor.

‘Technology will play a larger role’ With its innovative designs and future thinking, Skyra Professional Equipment has created a niche for itself in the segment. Raghav Khosla, founder and CEO, of the company gives his insights on the category and why his company is future forward. By Steena Joy




How has tableware evolved as a segment in the hospitality sector? Professional tableware category consists of four elements – Drinkware, Dishware, Flatware and Serveware. This translates into glasses, crockery, cutlery and casseroles. While there are many more components to each category, most of these items are inherent to dining itself. They have evolved alongside the concept of formal dining restaurants in the hospitality sector. How are tableware manufacturers combining design with functionality? The most significant trend that has emerged in tableware is the conscious shift from commercial looking equipment to more themebased decorative products. Tableware items are being

designed to blend into the decor of the setting, and the style of the food, as opposed to stand-out of the intended ambience, while at the same time retaining their core functionality. In a buffet, most of us are very familiar with an infinitely long line of oblong stainless steel chafing dishes placed on top of a white skirting table. The same monotony has been seen on a dining table, plain white napkins, sitting on white plates, sitting on white table linen with a single flower vase in the centre. This typical place setting has been the standard for years, for every restaurant and every cuisine. Only the whiteness of the tableware has increased with the increase in the price of the meal. Recently, we have seen the emergence of theme-

based tableware that complements all types of cuisines and settings. This is being done typically through the use of materials, colours, sizes and forms. Contemporary organic shaped plates in Pan Asian and Continental restaurants are very popular. Metallic and matt black shades have made a huge entry into tableware products. Bamboo dishes, Clay pots and slate trays are some of the variations in tableware materials that are being used extensively to blend with the theme and make the dining experience more authentic. There is also a major variation in sizes now. Tapasstyle appetizers and desserts, with table elevations that enable beautiful presentations are seen everywhere. Instead of serving chunks of food, larger serving pieces are

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being used to hold small bitesize dishes. And instead of typical white skirting, a lot of these food presentations are now being placed on sheer fabric or acrylic stands, with neon or earthen shades of lights glowing below. Are there any unique trends that are characteristic of India? The menus in India are generally far more extensive. They are multi-cuisine, especially in banquets and require a large amount of expertise. This makes the job much more demanding across the spectrum, from the back-end logistics to the chef’s skill in ethnic and Continental recipes, and finally to the impressive front-end food presentation. A large variation of tableware is used to differentiate the cuisine and I find the overall impact is grander in international markets. Another unique trend that I have noticed in Indian buffets is the use of snack warmers and live cooking stations across Indian, Pan-Asian and Continental cuisines.

conceptual stage itself and our product development engineers design the key features accordingly. What factors determine the choice of tableware? Although the type of cuisine and target customer segment are the obvious decision making elements when choosing tableware, one should also be very conscious with the type of operation being run and the


environment that it is being run in. Banquet operation requires robust and stackable products. If the tableware is not chosen correctly, it can become the white elephant of the operation. The entire Skyra product line is designed for professional use with reenforced edges, five-knuckle hinges, strong welds on the joints and high stack ability. Considering the environment is important. While modern

electric and induction equipment is more tempting and works perfectly for newer four and five-star hotels, it also requires a huge amount of power and service outlets. Similarly one should consider wind guards, dish covers and other product features when operating in outdoor spaces. Your future vision? Technology is starting

to play a much larger role in tableware. In future, multiple cooking functions will be incorporated into the tableware itself. Serving dishes will go digital with temperature and moisture control. They will have batteries and charging stations. Skyra is leading these innovations with its mission and focus - to develop tableware products that help the food taste better.

How often do you involve the industry in product development? Skyra Professional Tableware has a panel of corporate and celebrity chefs, F&B managers and hoteliers from popular outlets across India that supports us in the design phase of the product development. Once a need is established and the solution is conceived, we arrange several meets to present the validity of the concept and based on the panel’s feedback, we refine the product.The elite restaurateurs and caterers receive these products first, before they are released to the market in the following season. How do you fix your price points? We are fortunate to be one of the very few design brands in the global industry, with our own manufacturing facility. Most other international tableware brands outsource the production to China, India and Thailand, while most local manufacturers do not have the required design expertise. And with 55 years of manufacturing experience, the sense of production costs when designing an item is embedded into the culture of the organisation. Price point targets are fixed at the

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‘A white round plate is like the black dress which is always in fashion’ Burkhard Schmidt, director of hotel and restaurant division of Villeroy & Boch speaks about the importance of tableware sector for the food service industry and new trends. By Sayoni Bhaduri How has the tableware category evolved over a period of time? Tableware is one of the essential categories in the hospitality sector as guests of hotels and restaurants get in touch with it inevitably. Tableware does not only compliment the food, it can enhance the customer’s overall experience that’s why it will exist as long as hotels and restaurants exist. To talk about the evolution of trends in tableware for the hospitality sector there are three main areas- colour, shape and range of products: Porcelain is naturally white, so from the beginning there has been white tableware, which is still in fashion today as chefs generally want their food to be the star on the dishes. A white round plate is like the black dress which is always in fashion and always will be. But at the same time an individual unobtrusive decoration will underline the particularity of the place that makes an ambitious F&B manager want individual and outstanding designs that we tailor for them. There has been an enduring trend towards customised designs within the last years. Regarding shapes there are still certain trends like rectangular, square and oval items that exist beside the classic evergreen round. Our brand new collection that we launched this year, Affinity, for example combines different shapes from round to oval with angular elements (handles). People appreciate to mix and match here as well - they are using collections cross over and started being creative in combining different items in a personal, creative way. What are the new trends emerging in the segment? Beside the trends I already named regarding the shapes, we see a trend in material mix, eg of porcelain and glass. We had line extensions of some of our core collections like



INTERVIEW NewWave that can be nicely used, eg for big buffet arrangements. Also individualised, customised solutions are popular all over the world. The portfolio of our international references beside lightly decorated styles comprises almost artistic and sophisticated decorations like the one we designed for the world-famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express that matches the art deco interior of the vintage restaurant trains. Beside that, the international trend of white tableware will be also en vogue forever as chefs appreciate to present or highlight their food in a pure environment, as I already mentioned before. Regarding the shape – round versus rectangular – all variations we offer are popular and requested by customers. The choice depends on the place where the tableware is used, on the style of the interior, the image of the restaurant, etc – classic shapes are for example often used in modern restaurants. And this is a trend as well: to come up with a multifunctional collection that matches all different styles of food and occasions around the clock.

And what are the unique India specific trends that stand out? Indian F&B business is getting very competitive these days. Hoteliers and restaurateurs aim to serve their dining guests properly, not only in terms of highquality food, but also tableware on the same level. Indian food service industry is moving towards porcelain and we hope that this trend will not only go on but even enhance. Beside classic whites, also in India we see a trend of customised designs. A lot of chefs try out modern shapes matching the creative culinary journeys they experiment with. Local Indian cuisine now gets presented in new ways, as modern Indian and fusion Indian cuisines with space for some experiments in the culinary era. Indian cuisine is different to many traditional dishes in Europe. You have a lot of different food and spices served in many items like bowls or plates in different sizes that are all put on the table. That's why our collections offer many possibilities here to cover local needs perfectly. How often does Villeroy & Boch work on customisations? There are mainly three different categories that we offer: white and undecorated tableware, personalised items with

either a personal icon or the name of the chef or the restaurant and standard designs that we have developed and that hotels and restaurants can choose from. Up to 20 per cent of all tableware we sell is decorated, even individualised decorated; since four or five years there’s a lasting trend towards individualisation that we can feel at Villeroy & Boch at least. Everything depends on the choice, indulgence and the claim of our customers. Superior solutions with individualisation in indisputable quality which are supposed to stay many years do have its price. Like in every industry there are no miracles and quality and special solutions simply have their price. What are the elements that one should consider when choosing tableware for the hospitality industry? Visual effects play a decisive role for high-end

restaurants and hotels, providing that all-important first impression. This can take the form of fine porcelain with a personalised décor or individual design that highlights the exclusivity of the restaurant. Furthermore, the occasions you are using your tableware for are crucial — big buffet arrangements for example require a wider range of items than an individual dinner setting. And a European café gourmet arrangement demands certain pieces, so does Asian food or American dining. And last but not the least, convenient and practical features like stackable, robust and replaceable items are criteria that matter a lot as well! Where do you see the tableware segment heading in the future ? At a certain level all highend hospitality will still require premium products and premium services that Villeroy & Boch offers, so I am positive towards the segment and our segment in general. Also, in India many luxury hotels are opening, I am sure that a F&B manager of such properties will pick premium tableware for his premium customers.

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Trends in tableware Changing consumer behaviour has brought about a marked difference in the kind of tableware that is becoming popular in the market. With 'shape' and 'colour' taking the centrestage, there is an increasing preference for designer tableware by discerning consumers. By Jason Kirk


t is a simple fact that the world is now a global marketplace with consumers becoming more sophisticated. The 21st century consumer has far higher expectations, and a thirst to gain more knowledge. The world feels ‘smaller’ with significant developments in internet technology allowing consumers across the globe to be more readily aware of trends, brands and products available in countries other than the one they reside in. As we move through different lifestages, our interest in specific products and categories evolves and changes — influenced by external factors such as family, friends, success, social standing, and our own experiences. The tableware category is not immune to these influences. As we know, the term ‘tableware’ refers to the dishes and associated dishware, including cutlery and glassware, used for setting a table, serving food and for dining. The nature, variety, and number of objects available and used, varies dramatically from culture to culture, influenced by religions, and cuisines. Whilst this is true at product level, the consumer emotion attached to tableware has changed markedly as well. The market is influenced by growing consumerism and changing consumer behaviour. Consumers now are influenced by products which deliver against the functional needs, whilst also combined with a strong ‘fashion’ influence. To be seen to have the latest and best in design whilst complimenting the overall style of one’s house at the same time. These are key drivers. The importance of ‘colour’ and ‘shape’ has never been greater. For the 21st century consumer, the home remains rich in cultural, social and psychological importance. The growing preference for designer led products is clear to see. This is evident particularly in established consumer markets such as the US and Western Europe – and this is also penetrating down into developing country/geographic markets. One other factor driving developments within the tableware category comes from an increased desire and propensity for people to travel and visit other countries, which in turn, gives a great opportunity to taste and explore other food cultures. As a result, a

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high desire to experiment when back at home and try to replicate foods/recipes tasted whilst abroad, exists. In this case, it is not just the food that is important. For entertaining family and friends, it is the sum of the whole experience – the food itself is one aspect – but combined with complimentary tableware, the overall result is enhanced even more. Consumers need nudging into updating and upgrading china, glassware and cutlery through stronger communication of the array of modern designs available. Replacing old/broken items is no longer the major instigator to purchase tableware. With wider coverage of cooking/food/celebrity chef programmes on TV, monthly ‘foodie’ magazines availability, and with more specialist cookbooks in circulation, there is an opportunity to encourage sales of contemporary or stylish tableware to make dinner parties extra special. A UK statistic from 2012 is that from a consumer sample, one in five buyers of glassware bought for a special occasion or dinner party and one in ten purchased China. Special occasions are crucial for boosting tableware sales. Entertaining at key calendar events such as Christmas result in significant sales increases in the tableware category. Renowned for its innovative use of colour, Le Creuset continues to excite its customers by adding new colour options to its product portfolio. With colour playing a vital role in its tableware designs, Le Creuset has introduced an array of vibrant colours over the years, some of which have now become the true classics of the brand; from the iconic 'Volcanic' orange to the popular 'Almond' and the Le Creuset latest addition, 'Marseille' blue. Not only does colour help create a bold style statement, it also makes everyday dining or formal entertaining an enjoyable and fun experience. Le Creuset offers a comprehensive range of colour-coordinated tableware to help people achieve this for every meal of the day, from the beautiful Stoneware Café Delice set to the versatile Oven-to-Tableware. Jason Kirk is commercial manager, Emerging Markets at Le Creuset, UK





‘Combination of bamboo and ceramic or items made out of purple clay is the new trend’ Oscar Fernandes of Oscar Hospitality Concepts speaks about the importance of tableware sector for the food service industry and emerging trends. By Kahini Chakraborty Can you throw some light on the evolution of the tableware category in the hospitality sector? There has been a considerable amount of evolution in the tableware category starting from the use of traditional round plates to modern shapes and individual plate settings. From traditional stemware glasses to non stemware and coloured glass sets from traditional designs of Carlton or Contour patterns in cutlery to exclusively and elegantly designed cutlery. What are the new trends that you see emerging (themes, styles, colours, material)? The new trends are focused on individual plate settings styled with the modern look without overlooking the traditional culinary concepts. Mostly white porcelain or elegant bone china continues to be the choice of most elegant restaurants, even though the market is being flooded with cheap vitrified porcelain from the Middle East. Besides some of the new trends the combination of bamboo and ceramic or items made out of purple clay. What are the India specific trends which you have noticed are unique?

INTERVIEW Curry bowls for Indian curries, Biryani pots for the traditional Biryani servings, lighter weight crockery to facilitate standing buffets are some India specific trends noticed in the Indian market. How often do you work with restaurateurs, chefs and F&B managers to create special and customised designs? Most of the time chefs and F&B managers are the important people who influence the decision in respect to designs and customisation for the linen, crockery, cutlery and type of glassware to be used for their F&B outlets. How do you align expectations with price points? Very often high expectations are compromised with lower priced products. What are the elements that one should consider when choosing tableware for the hospitality industry? Banquets and room service would demand economic ranges specially



due to the size of operations, the speed of service required and the kind of temporary hired labour used for such services where breakage and pilferage are on the higher side. Whereas in fine dining restaurants the ambience, the type of cuisine served in the restaurant would determine the kind of tableware required for such restaurants. In such cases exclusive high end producers of tableware will always have a priority in comparison to all day dining or coffee shops tableware being procured. Why is there such a difference in the quality of products for banquets as compared to restaurants? The number of people served in a banquet hall is much more than the number of guests served in a restaurant. The speed and time available to execute the services in banquets is much faster and error prone resulting in some breakages or pilferage. Therefore to avoid higher costs on breakage and pilferage the hotelier would prefer to buy economic and lesser quality products for banquets compared to restaurants. According to you, what is the future of the segment? This segment is creative especially in the same way as chefs want their food to be presented. However one cannot be content with a new design or shape which may have been launched and is successful. Whilst the competitors would soon try to cut out similar items and flood the market, the repetitive designs soon brings the monotonous feeling both to the customers as well as hoteliers which once again provokes new challenges and new designs that keeps the future of this segment always encouraging and competitive.

Arc International launches new products Revolutionary Zenix and Kwarx material collections launched for chefs and restaurants across India EH STAFF - Mumbai


rc International has launched new dinnerware and drinkware collections with the Zenix and Kwarx technological advancements under their Arcoroc and Chef & Sommelier brands. Backed with years of expertise in glassware, dinnerware and cutlery manufacturing, Arc International’s new collections include elegant and chic dinnerware collections – Intensity and Tendency under the Arcoroc brand and drinkware collections – Open Up and Cabernet under the Chef & Sommelier brand. In order to satisfy the requirements and financial constraints of cost-centred and profit centred, high end hospitality chains and restaurants, Intensity by Arcoroc offers a traditional design that lends the collection an elegant and refined look. The plates offer wide rims coupled with large useful surface areas, making the collection suitable for any dinner table. Tendency, on the other hand, offers an innovative organic shape with soft natural curves. The dinnerware sets include a 12” service plate, 10” dinner plate, 8” starter/dessert plate, 6” side plate, small bowl, soup bowl and pasta plate. The collections are developed using the breakthrough Zenix (the total tempering process and opal glass) material created by Arc International engineers. Both collections are innovative, functional, and offer the highest quality standards to suit a variety of tableware concepts to suit the clientele’s every need. Chef & Sommelier is an Arc International brand exclusively designed for the high end fine dining restaurants and wine tasting experiences. Their glasses are a vital part of the art of wine tasting and are designed to bring out the best in a wine for your enjoyment. Developed from the revolutionary Kwarx material, C&S glasses are transparent, resistant and bright. It is designed for tasting top wines and the model is available in three different shapes – tulip, balloon and lyre. Mayank Sharma, GM, Arc International says, “The Indian hospitality sector has seen immense growth in the last decade and chefs and restaurants across the country are offering the highest quality and service standards. Arcoroc and Chef & Sommelier are established global brands recognised for their quality and excellence and we hope to make our brands available to the Indian audiences.”

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Jensons appointed as sole distributors of Sunex in India Michael Yu, MD, Sunnex Products, HK gave the award to RK Jain and Rahul Jain (owner of Jensons International) at a ceremony held at Peninsula Hotel, Guangzhou, China. Jensons International offers a wide range of stainless steel utensils, tableware, hollowware, kitchen tools, flatware, hotpots, petware, aluminum ware etc. The company is the importer and sole distributor of Sunex in India. Apart from the Indian market, the company products have a high demand in several overseas markets including Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Europe, USA, and many other countries. To meet the complete cooking and other related needs of its clients, Jensons International also imports certain range of products from Turkey, China, Korea and Taiwan.

Global Access Hospitality


lobal Access Hospitality is looking at upgrading the hospitality industry in India. The major products which have been introduced in India include APS, Porvasal, Easton, Beem and many more. The products have been well accepted by the industry across India and the company is looking at introducing more products in coming period. The company's core areas of working are equipments for food & beverage, bakery, kitchen, housekeeping and banqueting.

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‘The mid range restaurants are upgrading their tableware’ Can you elaborate on the current trends in the Indian tableware segment? As far as fine dining restaurants, up-market cafes, star hotels and resorts and in India go, 90 per cent of the tabletops are dominated by white porcelain, bone china and ceramics.When it comes to the five-star hotels, many of their restaurants and suite rooms use luxury designer ware crockery. Typically these are white porcelain tableware from top-end UK, French or Italian brands, with minimalistic linings and aristocratic patterns on the rim. Visually delightful food presentation like garnishing and ingredient presentation is now fast gaining ground in India. In Japanese cuisine, the concept is to keep portions of vegetable and meat separate for the use of chopsticks, while in French cuisine the idea is to show all ingredients side by side. Innovative chefs in India are developing their own unique style of food presentation and they also take cues from many international trends. So the type of crockery is chosen to best accentuate the presentation. There’s a lot of experimentation with new themes, menus, customisation and the emergence of specific

With plans to target the North and Eastern markets more aggressively and enter the retail market as well, Wilmax India has a lot to look forward to, says Rafeek Abdulla, director of the company. By Steena Joy

INTERVIEW restaurants like sattvik and organic, that cater to niche groups. The pottery selected should go with these themes and specifications. Another key trend is found in the medium range casual dining restaurants which constitute more than 70 per cent of the total food service market in the nation. They have been traditionally using metallic, acrylic, plastic or stoneware products, and some of them are now upgrading their crockery to porcelain or bone china, to bring in more professionalism. Wilmax has been bullish on this change and we have capitalised on it significantly in some cities and states. Our economically

priced durable porcelain too has been a hit. How often do you work with the industry to create individualised designs? When I set out to look for a good quality porcelain brand in the international market with the intention of bringing it to India, one thing was clear in my mind; I would seek extensive analysis and feedback from chefs, F&B managers, hoteliers and restaurateurs. Of a couple of brands I brought in, Wilmax England gathered the best reviews from most and that’s when I decided to zero in on the brand. I have been consulting with these trusted professionals regularly since then and this has given me a lot of inputs in working with the principal company in producing around 60 new India specific models.This continues even today and will help us keep pace with the changing trends in market. What are the elements that should be considered when choosing tableware for the hospitality industry? The following key points are important while choosing the crockery: ● Material: If you are a fine dining restaurant, cafe or a star hotel your natural choice would be go with Porcelain, Bone China or Ceramic depending on the menu, theme and target audience. ● Health and Hygiene: Crockery should be made



from pollutant and toxin free raw materials in compliance with international sanitary and health and safety guidelines. Impact Resistance: It should be strong enough to withstand minor collisions, falls and brisk handling by kitchen and serving staff. Chipping Resistance: Chipping is an absolute no when it comes to quality crockery. Crockery made with toughened material and extra strengthening of the rims protect against chipping. Whiteness, total glaze and finish are all important. Crockery should be scratch proof and stain proof. Microwave oven and dishwasher safe.

Why is there such a difference in the quality of products for banquets vis a vis restaurants? True. There’s a difference in the quality of tableware used in fine dining and banquet across a large section of the industry. In restaurants and suite rooms you see the finest of plates and accessories of the highest quality standards, while the banquet line is more about impact resistant and stackable crockery that can withstand rough handling. Another key consideration in the banquet line is the ease with which customers can hold the plate while standing. However let me tell you that some hotels do use same tableware for both the categories. I can confidently say that not many brands in India offer a range as versatile and broad as Wilmax. The range has certifications on health and hygiene in compliance with EU and UK standards, they are impact resistant, chip resistant, have unique whiteness, glazed bottoms and great finish. it’s scratch proof and stain proof and safe to be used in higher temperatures and in dish washer. Our wide range is another USP. We offer plates and platters of many shapes and sizes including shell and fish shaped ones, a large range of cups and saucers and a long line of bowls. We have been

getting a lot of positive reviews about our extensive range of teapots that are exquisitely crafted with lid locks and spout strainers. We offer many unique and innovative models of sushi dishes, divided dishes, tureens, sugar bowls, creamers, mustard pots, salt and pepper sets, soy bottles, warming stands, bread vases and many more accessories, all the while introducing new items on a regular basis. Another feature of our porcelain is its inter changeability in use, which is especially useful for places with frequently updated menus. For example, a deep plate with a particularly wide rim can be used to serve pasta while it can also be used to serve soup, salad and even dessert. Thirdly, Wilmax items are easily stackable for space saving storage and also the tableware is light, as compared with ceramics. What is the future of the segment? The National Restaurant Association of India released a report in May this year which estimates that the food service industry is worth `2,47,680 crore. And it’s slated grow to `4,08,040 crore by 2018. There are hundreds of new luxury hotels in the pipeline in Tier I and Tier II cities across India. And as mentioned earlier, the mid range restaurants are upgrading their tableware. All this give a promising picture of the tableware market in India. We now have a significant presence in Horeca markets of South and West India.The principal company Wilmax England has opened an office in Gurgaon, Delhi headed by P Mohan, an experienced professional in the industry. One of this year’s focuses will be to target the North and Eastern markets more aggressively. Secondly, we are coming up with an array of multi-level, multi-media marketing and advertisement campaigns across the nation. This year we will be a entering the retail market in a big way with gift boxes and designerwares as well.

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Virtually viable PG 43


Decoding digital marketing The Internet and Mobile Association of India organised its 9th Marketing Conclave in Mumbai recently, which saw an interesting session on the growth and impact of digital marketing in the travel and tourism sector. By Sudipta Dev




ne of the key sessions at The 9th Marketing Conclave organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) was ‘Digital Marketing: Travel’ that focused on how a few organisations have successfully leveraged the platform and are effectively using social media marketing to connect with their audience. Moderated by Atul Hegde, CEO, Ignitee Digital Services the panel members included Stephen King, general manager-India, Virgin Atlantic; Subramanya Sharma, chief marketing officer, Cleartrip and Arif Patel, regional director of sales and marketing, South Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Recent years have seen a significant shift in consumer profile and preference. For one of India's leading online travel agents (OTAs), Cleartrip, 25 per cent of the traffic today comes from mobile. It was 10 per cent last year. Interestingly, according to Sharma, the conversion is one-third of desktop. The next wave in marketing, he believes, is personalisation and targeting - for example source of target if he is coming from Google/ meta search, etc. “We are fanatical about consumer experience. We have developed passbook for

iPhone and Android phones. The product can do a great deal to lower customer acquisition cost,” added Sharma. Virgin Atlantic has spent a lot of money in the last few years in digital marketing technology. “We are now putting digital at the heart of what we do. We have our changed our website making it richer, there are more pictures, campaigns are also featured on the website. We are trying to remind people that flying is exciting,” said King. When the airline made changes to its economy class page, it led to 50 per cent more conversions through the page. Videos that have been put on the website have also added to the conversion rate. Prices were also put up to show transparency. King conceded that sms is an excellent way of communicating with the passenger. There is also the Virgin Atlantic App and partner apps. “50 per cent of frequent fliers access us through mobile web. We have a huge social media team, while Twitter keeps us up to date,” mentioned King. On board also some features have been added like sending of sms by passengers, the rates are same as international roaming. Digital at Starwood includes launch of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) website

and Facebook App, brand pages on Instagram and Pinterest, and strong focus on reputation and social engagement. “We have 24X7 media teams all over the world monitoring web activity,” said Patel. Starwood has mobile website in eight core languages. “Revenues through this channel have gone up considerably. We have uploaded videos which have enhanced search results,” added Patel.

Emerging trends An important emerging trend is in fact the video, which makes a lot of impact on consumer choice in the travel and tourism industry. “Since there is a lot of content on video, people are going to resize it, repackage it and make smaller versions of it,” stated Hegde, pointing out that there has been a marked increase in video consumption in India. He informed that four months back there were 125 million video views a day and today it is 150 million views in a day. Today there are more than 100 million users of YouTube in India; it was less than 20 million three years back. Also YouTube is introducing new formats for brands to create channel, get more branding and interactivity. “They are working with large

brands to do syndicated research, pilots, new formats and properties. Interactive videos will be very important maybe not this year but next year,” mentioned Hegde. The hospitality sector is using social media effectively. Prospective customers can find information about the business, location, price range and the latest updates through social media. “Companies view the use of online communities as a profitable marketing tool from which they can derive several benefits,” stated Hegde. Hotel companies get a lot of feedback regarding their brands by monitoring consumer’s online conversations thus enabling them to resolve problems quickly and work to improve future brand performance. This apart, online communities are providing a realtime resource regarding market trends and consumer needs. “Companies in hospitality sector use these resources to modify advertising messages and develop special targeted features for future campaigns. Companies also observe whether their brands are truly suited to consumers‘lifestyles and can learn which features of their products make them special or unique in the eyes of the consumer,” he remarked.

July 16-31, 2013


Virtually viable Novotel’s Virtual Concierge is a big hit with guests and staff


ne month after the first phase of a global virtual concierge roll-out, Novotel has noted significant increases in guests’ satisfaction levels. Accor’s midscale brand also reports high levels of adoption across all target demographics. Comments made by guests on social media sites have also been very complimentary. The Virtual Concierge, which was launched by Novotel in June 2013, is available on a screen in the lobby. Guests can use it to browse through information about the brand and the hotel. They can also obtain recommendations on places of interest near the hotel (restaurants, museums, etc); practical information such as the weather forecast and flight information, and a host of other innovative services including sending virtual postcards. The introduction in September of mobile platforms that guests can download for free on Android and Apple devices will enable Novotel clients to enjoy the virtual concierge’s services while on the move. This service is being progressively rolled out in 100 Novotel establishments before it is phased in across the entire network. Each of these establishments has curated content to provide their guests with information about the very best that their hotel has to offer, and insider tips about the local surroundings. Novotel and Monscierge presented the first feedback from hotel guests and staff regarding the Virtual Concierge at HITEC 2013 in Minneapolis, the benchmark event for hospitality technology innovations. The service is unanimously approved by everyone who has used it. For instance, since the Virtual Concierge was installed at the Novotel London West (UK) it has notched up an average of 800 contacts a day with peaks of over 1,900 a day. In March, over 1,800 postcards were sent using the device and feedback from hotel staff is positive. “This solution is powerful and our customers love it. The system is very fluid and flexible in particular for content updates. With this new, simple and intuitive technology, Novotel reflects its commitment to provide guests with an ever more innovative hotel

July 16-31, 2013

experience.” says Sabine Kadyss, product, services & communications director. This rapid implementation has been achieved using the Monscierge software framework which enables hotel groups to provide uniform, branded content alongside local hotel information in a single flexible and scalable platform.



Hospitality CAREER FOCUS


Pairing creatively As wine has become the mainstream part of the present culture, the position of a sommelier has gained importance. Hemant Kumar Kochar talks about the evolutions of this profession and its opportunities and challenges


ust a few years ago, when people thought of a sommelier, the very first thing that came to our minds was a typical old man dressed in formals suggesting wines and serving customers in high end restaurants. But today this domain has expanded, attracting the younger generation and opening new avenues. The reason for this change, in addition to the increasing competitiveness, has been due to wines becoming a mainstream part of the present culture and as a result, the position of sommelier has taken on a new importance. Besides suggesting what wines could be paired best with food, present day sommeliers are also creating wine lists for their restaurants, stocking them, registering and adding high quality wines on a regular basis. Furthermore, they also offer restaurant staff with some essential wine education. In spite of certain challenges, dedicated sommeliers express job satisfaction.

Nature of work A good sommelier enjoys connecting with diners as he suggests the right food and wine pairing. In this sense he is a matchmaker and can divert from the basic rules of white wine with fish, red wine with red meat, to a territory of

understand the needs of the clients. It is imperative that a sommelier has the urge to constantly keep learning about wines.

Working and conditions

Hemant Kumar Kochar

Career outlook dining fantasy. He knows about every wine in the cellar and every dish on the menu.

Skills, knowledge and abilities It is observed that different sommeliers have their own style of approach towards guests. Even though there are many important aspects about wines which can be learned through a variety of books, courses and tasting sessions, there are some unique qualities which a candidate should know before becoming a sommelier. An effective communication skill is necessary to



A day in the life of a sommelier consists of working long hours, often during nights, weekends and holidays. If you decide to pursue this career it is important that a significant amount of time is dedicated towards enhancing your knowledge through reading, being up-to-date on the latest arrivals in wines and finally modifying your organisational skills to be successful.

Usually candidates start their career as an assistant of an experienced sommelier. With much experience in this field, a sommelier often freelances as well as gets opportunities to work as a wine consultant for several restaurants and hotels. However, sommeliers can also look for employment in hotels, in the sales team of wine manufacturers, with event planners and more. These people also get the opportunity to engage in a number of competitions held throughout the world where competitors take a written exam, practical exercises in which their service skills are showcased and display their fine senses in blind tastings.

Education, training and certification Gaining professional restaurant experience, opting

a course from a reputed organisation or at wineries are all possible avenues of growth for a promising wine expert. In addition, many people develop their wine knowledge through their own research. Aspiring chefs and restaurant managers who choose to practice culinary degree programmes may also come across similar courses on combination of wine with food as part of their training programme. There are several institutions and organisations across the country that offer short and long term courses for sommeliers. The Culinary Institute offers certification programmes for wine professionals. After passing these exams, a graduate can add the signature, Certified Wine Professional (CWP) to his or her name.

Earning and benefits Salaries for sommeliers vary greatly depending on the employer, experience, certification and location where he is working. Starting salaries are around `20,000 to `25,000 a month including bonus and commission while experienced sommeliers can earn around `50,000 to `60,000 a month. The job is more physically demanding than you might imagine. It's a job for a night person, since most fine dining takes place during the evening and night. The author is director of Madhuban Academy of Hospitality Administration and Research (MAHAR)

July 16-31, 2013



Movements Hyatt Regency Kolkata

Sofitel Asia Pacific

The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi

Marriott Executive Apartments

Britta Leick-Milde has taken over as the new GM, Hyatt Regency Kolkata the first woman GM in a Hyatt hotel in India. With over 20 years’ experience, Leick-Milde joined the Hyatt family in 2007 at Park Hyatt Dubai as director of rooms and was subsequently promoted to the executive assistant manager – rooms. Prior to joining Hyatt Regency Kolkata, she has held the position of hotel manager at Grand Hyatt Mumbai since July 2012.

Sonal Uberoi has been appointed as regional director of spa for Sofitel Asia Pacific responsible for the development and growth of the group’s So SPA label. In her role, Uberoi will focus on creating and implementing a robust spa revenue management system in all spa operations in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, she will be managing and developing So SPA projects across the region dedicated to exceeding quality standards and service delivery within the operations. of spa.

The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi has announced the appointment of Kanchit Vongvichai as chef de cuisine That at EEST (authentic Asian F&B venue). Prior to joining The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi, Chef Vongvichai was associated with MAKMAK Thai restaurant in Montreal, Canada and was the master Thai Chef at the venue. He has over 30 years of culinary experience.

Mitesh Narula is the newly appointed resident service manager of Lakeside Chalet, Mumbai – Marriott Executive Apartments.With career spanning over 10 years, Narula comes with vast experience in the hospitality industry. He began his career with operations at Le Meridian in Pune and then he moved on to join Hilton Starthclyde, UK. Prior to joining Marriott, he was working with Berggruen Hotels as corporate manager accommodation.

The Imperial

Tux Hospitality

Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula has joined The Imperial New Delhi as executive sous chef. Chef Prem has a culinary experience of 11 years across premium hospitality brands including at The Oberoi Udaivilas, The Leela Palace Bangalore, Carlson Group along with Accor Hotels in Thailand. His specialisation in Western( Italian and French), Indian and Oriental cuisines and his interest in fusion food, rest on his stringent Thai and Japanese specialty training in Bangkok, Thailand.

Priti Sharma has been recently appointed as the corporate training & development manager at Tux Hospitality. With a post graduate degree in Hotel Management, she has an experience in Training and Development execution of three pre-opening Hotels in Dubai. Her role at Tux will involve in holding corporate training and playing a key force behind development management of the hotels under Tux Hospitality.

Kerzner International Holdings Kerzner International Holdings has appointed two executives: Mark DeCocinis, President and COO for One&Only Resorts effective August 2013 and Stephan Killinger, president of Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort, effective July 2013. DeCocinis will lead the strategic development of the One&Only brand,

July 16-31, 2013

including oversight of all future developments and the operational success of all existing One&Only resorts. He joins One&Only with over 25 years in the luxury hospitality segment, having held both operational and corporate senior leadership positions. Killinger has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has worked around the world including: England, USA, Bahamas, Philippines, Australia, Bali, Switzerland, Egypt and Germany.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Andrew Hirst, Operations Director – Asia will retire on July 31, 2013. During his 25 years with the group, Hirst has held manager or GM positions in Manila, Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong. Richard Baker will assume the role of executive VP, operations director – Asia. Baker joined the Group in 2006 and took up his current role of executive VP, operations director – The Americas in 2008 where he oversaw the successful launches of Mandarin Oriental hotels in Boston, Las Vegas and Atlanta. Jan Goessing, currently area VP & GM of Mandarin Oriental, New York, will replace Baker as executive VP, operations director – The Americas and will be based in the group’s New York office. Goessing joined the Group in 1994 as

hotel manager of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and has subsequently been GM of four properties, including Washington, Bangkok and New York. Susanne Hatje will replace Goessing as GM, Mandarin Oriental, New York. She joined the group in 2000 and has held GM roles in a number of locations.

Choice Hotels

Vinexpo Overseas

Choice Hotels has appointed Anne Engelking Smith as VP - brand strategy. Smith joins the company from AARP where she was responsible for overseeing the AARP brand in commercial marketing and driving membership growth including the organisation's multicultural membership base. At Choice Hotels, she will oversee the brand strategies for nine of the company's midscale, economy and extended stay brands: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, Suburban and MainStay Suites.

With thirty-five years’ experience in the wine and spirits industry, Xavier de Eizaguirre has been appointed as chairman of Vinexpo Overseas by its supervisory board. Eizaguirre was previously managing director and member of the management board of Baron Philippe de Rothschild. He succeeds Dominique Hériard Dubreuil, who was chairman of Vinexpo Asia-Pacific from 2001 to 2012.

Christoph Mares will add the Indian sub-continent to his regional responsibilities, becoming executive VP, operations director – EMEA and India.



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Lounging around dding cheer to the campaign of ‘Leave an Impression’ Khar Gymkhana opened the very first Ballantine’s lounge in the country. The campaign, it is said, reinforces the brand's strong sense of identity as well as reflects its reputation for originality, charisma and style, delivering it with a new contemporary relevance. You saw this as you stepped into the stylish lounge that brought alive Ballantine’s Scotch whisky from the house of Chivas Brothers. Doing the inaugural honours was Khar Gymkhana president Shyam Shroff and Nishant Jain of Pernod Ricard India. Guests enjoyed Ballantine’s whisky and also Absolut vodka cocktails and Nine Hills wines, along with mouthwatering finger food catered by Melting Pot. Live retro music and commercial tunes by Reena Vaz and Lindsay Pitter added to the impact.



Marcellus Baptista

Benoy Babu, Nishant Jain, Rajesh Mehta, Shyam Shroff, Haresh Ahuja and Tolu Devnani at the Ballantine's lounge launch


Coded cheer

Frat friends hings keep happening at Olive Bar & Kitchen. The latest was the Tuesday night offering called The Frat House, featuring the Beer Olympics, a follow-up to the Back to School bar night held every alternate Tuesday that culminated in the popular Graduation Night. Old school retro, rock and hip hop music wafted in the air as the Beer Olympics participants tried their hand at quintessential favourites like beer pong, beer rally and flip cup. Of course, much beer was consumed that night. And the talk was that be it comfort, opulence, indulgence or just inimitable style, Olive Bar & Kitchen has it all: easy food and drinks, innovative bar events and a comfortable vibe.


Guests at the Beer Olympics at Olive Bar & Kitchen

Cause and effect t was a party for a cause with Hawaiian Shack hosting The Global Party 2013 with the proceeds going to the NGO Give India. This was a massive party among several others in 120 cities across the world over three days. Previously, the event was held in 2011 across 80 cities. Spotted at Hawaiian Shack were Luke Kenny and Dalip Tahil who sang with passion along with a band of merry musicians. The music, drinks and hors d’oeuvres were thoroughly enjoyed by guests of the film, TV and glamour world, like Randhir Kapoor, Kamal Sadannah, Ravi Behl, Sidhharth Kannan, Ritu Shivpuri and Kavitta Rathod. And looking happy indeed was Hawaiian Shack owner Sadhna Romy and daughter Sheen Lalwani.

I Guests at the preview party of The Local rinkers rejoiced at the preview party of The Local, an intimate downtown neighbourhood bar with a distinct industrial feel, mesmerising music, cocktails and fabulous food including the tasty chorizo pao and chicken Maryland accompanied by banana and corn fritters. What excited the many guests was that access to this secretive bar was via a six-digit numerical password that they had to key in to enable them to enter the two-level place. You heard that this code would keep changing with a mobile app developed which you would have to download in order to get the entry code. And you learnt that this is one of the first upmarket bars to introduce the famous Mumbai quarter system.


July 16-31, 2013

Sadhna Romy and Randhir Kapoor at The Global Party at Hawaiian Shack




Cheers with beer

Animated experience

L-R: Edward Tracy, president and CEO, Sands China; Manuel Pires, acting director of the Macau Government Tourist Office and Yoshi Maruyama, global head of location based entertainment, DreamWorks Animation at the official announcement launch of DreamWorks Experience at Cotai Strip Resorts at Sands Cotai Central

Celebrating the best

L-R: Praveen Kaishav, Manoj Kumar, supplier quality engineer, Harley Davidson; Joe Pereira, manager-guest services, Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, Pune at the beer rejoicing event to celebrate the launch of 'Friends of Four Points' programme in Pune

Excellence award

L-R: Bienvenu Philippe of Cattier Champagne, Rahul Kashyap and Jean Jacques Cattier, president, Cattier Champagne at the launch of the brand in the Indian market on its’ 250th anniversary held at ITC Maurya, New Delhi

Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands received an honorary award on innovation and excellence in global tourism at the Second Jerusalem International Tourism Summit

New innovations

Glitzy launch L-R: Anuj Kushwah, MD, Kaama Impex; His Excellency Feilim McLaughlin, The Ambassador of Ireland and Conor Hardy, commercial director - Asia, C&C Group at the launch of the original Irish Cider Magners in New Delhi



L-R: Ahmet Gurkaynak, MD, KAPP; Sanjay Shindekar, general manager, Nirlep and Manpreet Sehgal, JS Enterprises, Bengaluru at the launch of KAPP Turkey's line up of the latest technology, high quality kitchen and catering equipments in India

July 16-31, 2013


Express Hospitality 16-31 July, 2013  

Hotels have adopted divergent strategies to ensure that they do not just tide over the lean period every year but also manage to get optimum...

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