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theHospitalitymanager The Journal of the Institute of Hospitality Malta Summer Issue No. 4

How to Run a Great Hotel An Italian Pasta Dishes Leadership in the time of chaos and uncertainty & more Newspaper post

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The two star Hotel Serena Beach Club & Spa has been sold to All Season Holidays Ltd and has been renamed to Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa. Its new owners now want to have it re-categorised as a three star by the Malta Tourism Authority, are looking for EU funding and “have already approached international hotel chains for recognition and affiliation”. Tony Coleiro, Chartered Consultant and Chairman of the Institute of Hospitality – Malta, in the meantime, have been “entrusted with the operations of the hotel since January 2009, in the capacity of chief executive”.

are already done and in use”. The remaining is nearing completion. Other embellishments include the “painting and redecorating of all apartments and hotel rooms and renewing all bathrooms…Changing upholstery, curtains, bedspreads, sheets and towels…The TV system has already been changed to digital, adding more than 200 channels and giving us the possibility to install five in-house movies to be provided in all rooms”.

The new Management team consists of Ms. Charmaine Vella – responsible for the Sales and Marketing of the property, whilst Dr Renzo Pace Asciak is now responsible for the “business development of the company and the health, spa and beauty centre”.

Other general upgrades include renovating the restaurant, kitchen, modernising the buffet breakfast room and bar in the old part of the hotel. A new games room for adults, a children’s playroom and a crazy golf course, in the inner courtyard between the old and new wings, have been commissioned. And a new restaurant is due to open in the new wing.

Coupled with the new management changes is an upgrading and refurbishment programme of this 178-bed property. Two years ago a new wing was built that “consists of 12 presidential suites” And the “upgrade of the old part of the hotel has already started”, explains Coleiro, “six of the one bedroom suites

A new launderette was due to come on stream by end of this year so that “we will be doing our own laundry services instead of using third parties”. An energy saving solar heating system will replace electricity for heating water and the hotel intends to convert from electric power to photo voltaic power”, according to its new CEO.

Meantime, says Coleiro, since the hotel “has been undergoing structural and management changes, tour operating companies and DMC’s showed interest to promote the hotel with their respective trade partners. Amongst tour operating companies, RCI has also endorsed such improvements and has negotiated a new contract with immediate effect. “Furthermore”, he continues, “we have also applied for EU funds…for three star property embellishments in respect to enterprise-oriented EU funding opportunities arising from the forthcoming structural funds 2007-2013. “Our objective is that by means of this structural and management changes, the Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa will be one of the leading quality hotels in Gozo, which will definitely lead us to the opportunity to be internationally recognised for quality assurance and eco certification”. Tony Coleiro MBA FIH also stated that, Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa will be offering a 15% discount on all published rates all year round and will also be hosting any future events, meetings and other requirements by the Institute of Hospitality – Malta.


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theHospitalitymanager is published on behalf of: The Institute of Hospitality Malta c/o The Travel Malta Business Centre St Helena Building Triq Tumas Fenech B’Kara BKR03 www.

Contents Summer Issue No. 4

Design and production: Mejoris Hospitality Ajiree Court No 5, Triq Testaferrata Ta’ Xbiex XBX1402 Email: Sales: 79867587 Editorial board: Julian C. Zarb, Tony Coleiro Contributions: Tony Coleiro, Enda Larkin, Paulino Schembri, Dietmar Kielnhofer.


Welcome - Julian Zarb


From the Chairman’s desk - Tony Coleiro


News Page


The Second Tourism Branding Project for La Quinta (Malta) Ltd


How to Run a Great Hotel


HACCP Explained Traceability in the Food Chain - Paulino Schembri


Italian Pasta


Leadership in the time of chaos and uncertainty


Malta Jazz Festival

Supporting Companies: C&H Bartoli Ltd Mejoris HCS Front Cover:

theHospitalitymanager is the only publication that is distributed directly to the desk of all Hotel and Restaurants Managers in Malta and Gozo, Members of the Institute of Hospitality, Banks and Government Departments and the Institute Overseas branches. It is also found at most Hospitality establishments’ foyers. The publication is distributed as is without warranty of any kind, respecting the contents but without holding any liability to any parts of this publication as these do not necessarily represent the Publishers views. All views and opinions expressed in theHospitalitymanager are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publishers.





27 June 2009

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editor’s address

Welcome Political Ideologies and Effective Results I always find it refreshing to write about and discuss a topic such as tourism. Over the past months, in Malta and Gozo, we have been bombarded with political discussions, dialogue, spin and comments which seem to form part of our culture as much as football is part of the Spanish Culture and Food is part of the Italian Culture. Politics is a means to an end, it certainly is not an end in itself and perhaps we ought to realize this by now. Fanaticism is bad, wherever it comes from, it can lead to a situation when we could upset a number of apple carts or even throw away a number of babies with gallons of bathwater! So why do I find writing about tourism so refreshing? Tourism cuts across boundaries, it can permeate ideologies and different beliefs and speak the same language without the need for interpretation and understanding of any concept – tourism is all about intercultural exchange; in my experience, it is easy to discuss issues by using the thematic thread of tourism and it is one of the few socio-economic activities that can make even politicians agree in principle and act in the national interest, even though the methodology can be light years apart and the effectiveness somewhat slow to appreciate!

Julian Zarb

We need to settle back into our normal routine now and learn to work together to make these islands more attractive for us, who live here, and more attractive for visitors. Making a destination more attractive means that we need to believe in our collective efforts to make things happen; we need to take all the opportunities of our full membership of the European Union; we need to continue developing a strong sense of civic awareness that should enhance hospitality and service and above all we need to keep working on CPD for our human resources to ensure motivation and initiative. Politics can give us the ideals to think about our strategies and policies, but collective action is what will turn these strategies into effective results for tourism.

}Tourism cuts

Take Care

across boundaries, it can permeate ideologies and different beliefs and speak the same language


Julian Zarb MBA MA isss FIH MTS Dip. Adult Training and Development Editor âœŚ

June 2009

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chairman’s address

From the Chairman’s desk European tourism has suffered a severe International tourism decline (especially visitors coming from The United States and Latin-American countries) because of the weak dollar compared to the euro. Nevertheless, not all the forecasts are negative. Even though, in the short time, International tourism will face a standstill, the long term forecasts seem to be much more positive. One of the main reasons of the international tourism crisis was the increase in the price of oil (which, later, resulted in an increase in the air freight costs) that caused severe economic troubles to air lines and tour operators. In fact, many of these firms had to go on into liquidation because they were not able to manage the expenses and also because they did not find the necessary support from the banks.

Tony Coleiro

Europe was the first to experience the crisis with a negative growth of 3% during the second half of 2008. The pressing financial crisis, the lack of consumer confidence provoked by the mortgage crisis and compounded also by the depreciation of the dollar are the main reasons for the decline in tourist influx, but it is also true that travellers had already reduced their spending budgets. On the other hand, the crisis seems to have been merciful with the PacificAsia region, where positive results are expected, even if the growth rate will be smaller compared to previous years. The best results in 2008 where found in the Middle East with an increase of 11%, Africa with an increase of 4% and the Americas with an increase of 4%. Nonetheless, the long term predictions are more encouraging. The Global Tourism Organization forecasts that this drop will be compensated and by the year 2020, tourist international influx is predicted to reach1.6 billion tourists. The three regions forecasted to be the most visited are: in first place Europe with 717 million tourists, in the second place East Pacific Asia, with 397 million tourists and in third place the Americas, with 282 million tourists.

}instead of trying to justify why we are having less tourists,

From a more positive perspective, it can be deduced that even though there will be a standstill or even a negative growth in international tourism, it has to be borne in mind that we are talking about “growth”. That is to say there is going to be the same growth or may be less growth than in previous years, but still there will be growth. In consequence, this decline in growth should not affect the economic sector that seriously. Furthermore, these perspectives seem to affect the immediate future, making it possible to achieve a remarkable international tourist growth by 2020.

one must immediately try to find or tap specific niches


To this effect our country has suffered severely from such crisis but it is very important that instead of trying to justify why we are having less tourists, one must immediately try to find or tap specific niches that might give us

June 2009

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chairman’s address


numbers and that will not just fill the gap but will make up for some of the numbers lost to our Industry. I am pleased to state, on a positive note, that through various contacts I have managed to tap a market for our country, which has never been explored before, a market which relates to Social Tourism. A project has been launched after various meetings with International Trade Union Movements represented by one of the largest Trade Union organisations in Malta, the GWU and also with the Malta Tourism Authority under the patronage of The Hon. Dr. Mario Demarco LL.D. MP., Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism. Since we have started with this project, which is also endorsed by the Shadow Minister of Tourism Dr. Marie-Louise Coleiro on behalf of the Labour Party and other local entities which include Air Malta, Holiday Malta, Untours Travel Ltd., Corinthia Group, Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa and Avis we have had positive feedback with the participation of 17 International and European Trade Union Federations with an approximate membership of 15 million members. Well, I will make sure that in our next issue I will give you more information about this project which, by then, I am sure we would have started to experience a constant flow of tourists from this new niche market that is beneficial to our Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Maltese Industry.

Tony Coleiro M.B.A., F.I.H., F.I.S.M.M., F.Inst.T.T, CC Chairman, Institute of Hospitality – Malta ✦

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News Page Notice of AGM This years’ Annual General Meeting of our Institute of Hospitality Malta is being held as follows: Date: Friday 26th June 2009 Place: Matilda’s Restaurant, Triq il- Punent, Msida Time: 6.30pm sharp

local news

A New Concept for ESSENCE at the Radisson Golden Sands Hotel Excellence food, impeccable service, attention to detail and an insistence on sourcing the freshest local produce are all signature qualities of Essence Restaurant at the Radisson SAS Golden Sands Spa & Resort. Now, Essence has set itself new goals with a shift of focus to fish and seafood cuisine

The purpose of this meeting is as follows: 1. To read and approve the minutes for the AGM held in May 2008 2. To present the Chairman’s Report and a review of the activities for the past year. 3. To present the Treasurer’s Report 4. Resignation of members from the present committee 5. Election of new members to the Committee a) Reading the names of the nominated candidates. b) If an election is need to select the members an Election committee will be selected c) Voting for the approved candidates by Full Corporate Members. 6. Declaration of the new members on the committee 7. The approval of an accounting Auditor 8. Move to set up officially a Sub-Association for Junior Managers as per statute presented. Following the AGM, Mr. Kevin DeCesare, President of the Malta Hotels & Restaurants Association and Mr. Philip Fenech of GRTU will be making a presentation on the subject: "Present Tourism Situation and its impact on the HR Element" to IOH members and to other invites from the Hospitality, Travel & Tourism Industry. A small reception will be held following the meeting. ✦

and its more relaxed, yet still refined atmosphere. You’ll find Essence chefs quayside at dawn as the fishing trawlers come in. By building a firm rapport with the fishermen, Essence chefs are able to select the best of the day’s catch. The restaurant’s menus won’t offer everything all of the time; they are determined by the season and the skill of the chefs who ensures the fish and seafood are presented at their optimum. With weekly menus and specials of the day, guests are assured of variety and quality. ✦

Upcoming Events JOB FAIR ETC will be organising a JOB FAIR on 17th July 2009 at Excelsior Hotel, Floriana from 9:00 hrs till 17:00 hrs. Employers from all sectors are being invited to attend. This will be an excellent opportunity for your company to market your vacancies, free of charge. ✦

June 2009

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international news


International News

EU NEWS Study on ‘Tourism exchanges in Europe: Enhancing employment, extending the seasonality spread, strengthening European citizenship and improving regional/local economies through the development of social tourism’. A recent invitation to tender by the EU Commission aims to undertake an in depth study into the aspect of social tourism. NATURE OF THE CONTRACT Service contract: Study on “Tourism exchanges in Europe: Enhancing employment, extending the seasonality spread, strengthening European citizenship and improving regional/local economies through the development of social tourism”.

Tourism Resilience Committee – Response Actions (Europe) Israel aims to maintain employment and reinforce marketing campaigns ISRAEL, MAR 2009 Norwegian government presents general stimulus packages - NORWAY, FEB 2009 Italy proposes social help for holidays and marketing cooperation with France and Spain - ITALY, MAR 2009

1.2. BACKGROUND Society is facing major changes and economic challenges. The advent of new family structures, the emergence of single-person households, increased life expectancy, financial constraints, employment issues, additional free time and population ageing in general are all factors profoundly altering the tourism environment. Ensuring universal access to holidays means, at Community level, taking account of the specific features of the European society.

Hungary focuses on domestic and neighbouring markets in response to the current economic crisis - HUNGARY, DEC 2008

The European Union must therefore equip itself to realise that objective. It is within this context that on the initiative of the European Parliament, the Budget Authority voted in favour of the preparatory action “Social Tourism in Europe”1 in 2008. Such a form of tourism allows as many people as possible to go on holiday and therefore, significantly aids mobility. Moreover, tourism exchanges of this kind can also contribute to combat seasonality, strengthen the notion of European citizenship and to promote regional development - many tourism association facilities are located in the countryside or in highland areas – besides facilitating the development of specific local economies.✦

Germany is honing its marketing strategy and scores as a value-for-money destination - GERMANY, FEB 2009

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June 2009

Cyprus assigns a stimulus package for the tourism sector - CYPRUS, FEB 2009 Austria facilitates investment on tourism and focus on neighbouring markets AUSTRIA, MAY 2009

France will reduce VAT to 5.5% for the catering sector on the 1st July 2009 FRANCE, APR 2009 Bulgaria upgrades Plovidiv airport to boost tourism - BULGARIA, FEB 2009 Croatia increases cooperation between the public and private sectors for tourism promotional activitiesCROATIA, DEC 2008 ✦

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international news

UNWTO News Clips World Tourism in the Face of the Global Economic Crisis MADRID, SPAIN, 12 MAY 2009 International tourism demand has deteriorated further due to the impact of the global economic recession. International tourist arrivals declined at a rate of 8% between January and February this year, leaving the overall volume at the same level as recorded in 2007. At the same time, influenza A(H1N1) is starting to affect the sector. Its impact is being closely monitored by UNWTO in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). UNWTO follows the WHO’s advice as it is the leading UN agency in matters relating to health. WHO does not recommend travel restrictions at this point. Preliminary UNWTO figures for the first months of 2009 indicate a continuation of the negative growth already experienced in the second half of 2008. Destinations all around the world have suffered from a decrease in demand in major source markets. With the exception of Africa and both Central and South America, who all posted positive results in the range of 3-5%. So far, Northern, Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North-East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East are amongst the most affected sub-regions. In this context, UNWTO expects international tourism to decline between 2% and 3% in 2009. Many countries are already developing stimulus measures within their fiscal and monetary packages to mitigate the effects of the crisis on tourism, realizing that the sector can be a key driver of economic recovery. Some destinations are reducing taxes and improving travel facilitation, recognizing that it is now crucial to remove all obstacles to tourism, especially taxation and over regulation. Others have developed financial systems to support tourism enterprises, maintain/increase employment in the sector and develop infrastructure. UNWTO encourages others to follow suit. Secretary-General ad interim Taleb Rifai stressed that “One of the major challenges amidst the current crisis is the imperative of not losing sight of the longer-term challenges of poverty alleviation, employment and climate change”.

UNWTO response Historically, tourism has demonstrated remarkable resilience and has emerged from past crises stronger and healthier. The current economic juncture, however, might be different. This crisis is truly global and its parameters are still in many ways unclear. Against this background, UNWTO has increased its efforts to provide its Members with the necessary support on a consistent basis in order to endure these challenging times: •

Resilience: the Tourism Resilience Committee (TRC) provides a framework for better market analysis, collaboration on responses and medium-term policymaking.

Stimulus: UNWTO urges governments to put tourism at the core of their stimulus packages - jobs and trade are engendered through a strong tourism sector, as well as business and consumer confidence in travel which can play a big part in economic recovery.

Green Economy: tourism must be placed at the forefront of the transformation towards the Green Economy; contributing with carbon-clean operations, jobs in environmental management and energy-efficient constructions.

UNWTO’s Roadmap for Recovery will lead to a unique positioning of the sector with respect to the economic crisis, its role in the stimulus programme , in the recovery, future sustainability and competitiveness of tourism. June 2009

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international news


Influenza preparedness Adding to the consumer and business uncertainty and the loss of confidence, the potential Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic has created an increasing degree of confusion around the issue of whether it is safe to travel. UNWTO has been very active in pressing for a clear WHO position and is working closely with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to ensure a balanced decision making process. Within the UN system, UNWTO has a direct line to express the interests of tourism and travel. At this stage, the extent of the spread, sustainability and the complete health implications of the virus remain uncertain. Given the increased public awareness, engagement and the resulting elevated concern, calls for the urgent need for response must be viewed in context – awareness is key, not abrupt and uninformed reactions. Until now, WHO has seen no reason to close borders or restrict travel. This stance is supported by similar past experiences, which provide no evidence that doing so would stop the spread of the virus. Furthermore, the economic cost would be enormous. WHO goes further and urges states to resist unilateral action and to consult with them before undertaking any such initiative. UNWTO strongly supports this position and is prepared to face this kind of situation. The Organization has formed a dedicated Risk and Crisis Management Section (RCM), established influenza contacts in every Member State, launched regional simulation exercises, created the Tourism Emergency Response Network (TERN) with some 20 peak industry organizations and launched as a portal for emergency information for the industry and travellers. In addition UNWTO is continuing to issue guidance material.

UNWTO welcomes 25 new Affiliate Members MADRID, SPAIN, 19 MAY 2009 The 85th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council (7-8 May, Bamako, Mali) approved the admission of 25 new Affiliate Members to the World Tourism Organization. The new intake of Members –one of the largest in the last decade – includes a broad representation of the tourism private sector with from fifteen countries in four continents. Six of the new entrants are important associations or federations which represent a large amount of businesses and UNWTO is also pleased to welcome six new educational institutions to the Affiliate Members Secretariat. The other new Members include destination marketing agencies, research and development companies and a trade fair specialist. UNWTO is unique in the United Nations system in that it welcomes members from the private sector, educational institutions, destinations and NGOs, encouraging them to engage in public private partnerships to contribute to the positive development of tourism. Mr Eulogio Bordas, Chairman of Affiliate Members welcomed the members, saying “their entry will, without doubt, give a new boost to the task of strengthening the role of the private sector within the Organization and the public-private sector dialogue within UNWTO”. Among the new entrants is the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA). ✦

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The Second Tourism Branding Project for La Quinta (Malta) Ltd La Quinta (Malta) Ltd., in a span of one year has successfully been appointed by the Municipality of Capri to promote, market and licentiate the new official brand of the Town of Capri to the Tourism sector worldwide, after a similar project was entrusted to the local Company by the Municipality of Venice. The Capri Contract was signed by Dott. Salvatore Ciucco, L’Assessore al Turismo della Citta di Capri while the Venice contract was signed by Dott. Maurizio Calligaro, Direttore Gabinetto del Sindaco, Relazioni Esterne e Comunicazione, Comune di Venezia, whilst for and on behalf of La Quinta (Malta) Ltd. The Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, Mr. Tony Coleiro signed the contract. The main objective of the project similar to the Venice one, is to exploit economically the strength of Capri’s image in order to safeguard the artistic and natural heritage of

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June 2009

the town and to promote worldwide the new official brand and to eventually promote the image of the town communicating its values which includes its uniqueness, art, history, quality of life and its sociocultural dynamism through its innovative and creative spirit. Our Campaign must foster commercial alliances between the licensees of the Venice and Capri Brand which includes Tour Operators, DMC’S, Airline Companies and other entities that are tourism oriented. Above all we must create an official, unique and “not counterfeit presence” of Capri, in different countries in the world. The Licensee of the brands of Venice and Capri will sell the services and the travel packages, and other services related to the Tourism of the city with an exclusive right for their own country/market: • with reference to hospitality services • with reference to the services of the city of Venice and Capri tourist services • with reference to the direct issue of the Personalised VIP’s Card* • with reference to participation in the events organized by both Municipalities

Tony Coleiro • with reference to contacts with the entrepreneurial forces and the representatives of the regional institutions Advantages: • Territorial Exclusivity for the project (1, 2 or 5 years) • Possibility to promote on the local market the partnership with the Municipality • The brand of the Tour Operator will be promoted on the official web site The Licensee Tour Operators of the Venice brand will receive benefits from hotel chains and from Venetian tourist associations. The Licensee Tour Operators of the

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Venice brand will receive benefits such as some exclusive services at the arrival and departure, even with simultaneous interpreting services The Licensee Tour Operators will receive benefits on the organization of special city tours to discover the secret and excluded places of Venice and Capri The licensee Tour Operators will have an “exclusive availability” of seats/invitations/tickets for all great events and representations taking place in theaters, film festivals and fashion shows, visual arts and architectural events amongst other activities. The Tour Operator will sign a licensing agreement with Capri Municipality (either fixed fee licensed negotiable agreement or based on royalty or a variable cost agreement) The Tour Operator will distribute in its country, exclusively, the special tourist services/packages prepared in partnership with Capri Municipality The Tour Operator will buy the official Venice travel kit to give to its clients Mr. Coleiro said that La

Quinta (Malta) Ltd., forms part of the Group’s network that was established in 1980 as the first company acting as a Fashion Broker, brokering alliances between large well known fashion houses and smaller suppliers. From its initial area of brokering specialization, La Quinta branched out into other complementary services and developed 8 divisions each with a specific task, enabling the company to offer a 360° service-consulting program. Today La Quinta is comprised of an efficient international network that includes an extensive number of branches and associate offices present throughout the major markets of the world. The 27 years of proven experience in the Fashion Industry has given La Quinta invaluable know-how and has allowed it to establish strong relationships with key designers and suppliers that remain unmatched to date. La Quinta Group through its sister company in Malta has increased its professional services through licensed partners, which includes Travel & Tourism, Property Sales, Financial and Legal Services, Communication & IT Services and Management Services and is offering a one stop shop to La Quinta’s international clientele which includes: Comune di Capri; Comune di Milano; Comune di Venezia; Gruppo Tecnica; Itochu Corporation; Martini & Ross; Matsushita Electronics; Besides Brands that include: Alfieri & St. John; Benetton; Charles Jourdan; Dolce & Gabbana; Giugiaro; Gucci; Jean Paul Gaultier; Lamborghini; Lovable; Luciano Soprani; Marlboro; Teatro alla


Scala; Trussardi; Valentino amongst other big names. “This is a local and international opportunity for La Quinta Malta Ltd. Through our expertise we managed to open our offices in Malta, and this will enhance our contacts in local markets and near shore. La Quinta Malta Ltd. will be operating and assigned on various projects which will include The Mediterranean Wedding Festival (a B2B International event and the Malta Onetack Sailing Challenge Cup which include participants from the America’s Cup). More information will be communicated in the near future.” said Mr. Tony Coleiro - CEO & Managing Partner. “The services offered will continue to be a priority for investment and for our customer’s benefits. It was therefore vitally important to have suitable offices in Malta, accessible to business and near Mediterranean countries. La Quinta Malta Ltd. will be backed up with excellent back office and marketing services” said Mr. Arthur D. Turner – Financial Director of La Quinta Malta Ltd. Other information on La Quinta Group visit and LQM professional services are available on site through this web link: gina.phtml?_id_articolo=4518.;;

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book review


How to Run a Great Hotel Everything you need to achieve excellence in the hotel industry The past decade or more has seen unprecedented growth in the hotel industry internationally. As the good times rolled, most countries have seen a dramatic increase in the number of hotels, and indeed in their average size. Property developers have played a large role in this, lured as they have been by what seemed to be a guaranteed return on investment. But let’s be honest for a moment.

to excel will become the major driv-

Many of these new hotels, particu-

er of business growth and profitabil-

larly in the independent sector,

ity in an over supplied market. This

aren’t very good. Sure, the facili-

will come as a welcome develop-

ties available may be top notch -

ment for those hoteliers who have

at least initially - but they are

always aimed to be the best

often poorly managed in terms

because, in recent years, they have

of the overall customer experi-

watched with frustration as com-

ence on offer. A focus on short

petitors who cared little for quality

term returns - usually driven by

did quite well. But no more; average

the need to service debt - has

or inconsistent offerings, no matter

meant that some of these new

how cheaply priced, will simply not

hotels are effectively run by

cut it. However, just being good will

accountants. Profitability

no longer be good enough either. To

(which is not a dirty word) has

really succeed, hotels will have to

become the primary focus; sadly,

rise above the norm. In these chal-

this has often been at the expense

lenging times, it is not an exaggera-

of quality. Such hotels could survive

tion to say that only the very best

their mediocrity as long as buoyant

hotels are going to survive and

economic conditions prevailed. As

prosper and this will apply from the

the pie grew, there was plenty of

budget to the luxury ends of the

business to go around and any half


decent hotel could make a return. This has dramatically changed now

Yet, the concept of excellence is an

that the global economy has hit the

elusive one; hard to define and even


harder to realise, particularly in hotels. For hoteliers seeking to

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June 2009

As demand continues to decline, at

achieve excellence, there is little

least in the medium term, an ability

practical guidance available to

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book review

them. International models such

alone can’t make the result hap-

hotels which fail to continuously

as the European Foundation for

pen; they must set the example

improve their offering will soon

Quality Model (EFQM) or the

and inspire a motivated and

be overtaken and eventually left

Malcolm Baldrige Award can of

thoroughly dedicated team.

far behind. How to Run a Great

course provide a route map, but

Hotel will be a valuable resource

at times such frameworks can

Theme 2 is devoted to exploring

for hotel professionals as they

seem rather complex and difficult

how leadership effectiveness can

strive to stay ahead of the compe-

to apply in hotels. How to Run

be enhanced in a hotel. Theme 3


a Great Hotel bridges this gap

– Engage Employees Excellence

by demystifying the process of

will only ever be a dream without

How to Run a Great Hotel will

business excellence and continu-

engaged employees for it is the

be published in July 2009 and is

ous improvement.

people who make or break the

available to pre-order at

customer experience. or by contact-

How to Run a Great Hotel sup-

ing the author, Enda Larkin, at

ports experienced and aspiring

Theme 3 - focuses on employee

hotel professionals by providing a

engagement and describes practi-

jargon free and user-friendly

cal steps that can be taken to

guide which translates the theory

maximise the contribution they

of excellence into practice in a

make to the business.

meaningful way. It defines what excellence means in a hotel con-

Theme 4 - Captivate Customers

text, why it is of essential interest

The collective focus in truly excel-

today and what practical steps

lent hotels must always be on

can be taken to make it a reality.

building a great service experi-

The content of the book is struc-

ence; nothing matters more than

tured around four main themes

satisfied customers. The reward

which drive excellence:

for these efforts is that service quality is nearly impossible for

Theme 1 – Define Direction

competitors to copy, so it is a pri-

Success in the hotel industry

mary source of competitive

stems from having a long-term

advantage. In Theme 4, practical

vision for the hotel, supported by

tips are provided on how deliver

clear business goals. Short term

truly excellent service.

planning which is only concerned with next year’s budget cannot be

It is these four themes which

the starting point. Theme 1 sim-

combine to make achieving

plifies the strategic planning

excellence a more attainable

process and describes how meas-

goal. As the realities of the eco-

urable business goals can be for-

nomic downturn bite, an increas-

mulated to drive performance.

ing number of hoteliers are focusing on bringing excellence to life

Theme 2 – Lead to Succeed

in their operations. This shift in

Little can be achieved on the

emphasis will serve to constantly

journey to excellence without

raise the bar; as levels of quality

effective leadership. But leaders

increase across the industry,

About the Author Enda Larkin has over 25 years experience in the hotel industry having held a number of senior management positions in Ireland, UK and the US. In 1994 he founded HTC Consulting which specialises in working with enterprises in hospitality and tourism and since that time he has led numerous consulting projects for public and private sector clients throughout Europe and the Middle East. He holds an MBA from ESCP-EAP Paris, a BSc in Management from Trinity College Dublin and a Higher Diploma in Hotel Management from Dublin College of Catering. He currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland and is a member of the Institute of Hospitality. He may be contacted via or at ✦

June 2009

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health & safety

HACCP Explained Traceability in the Food Chain - Paulino Schembri. Traceability is a risk management tool that forms part of HACCP. As food safety is an obligation and also a legal requirement, it has over the last few years been a growing concern. As we have seen in recent years, outbreaks of diseases in animals that could be transmitted to humans, can threaten both quality and safety of products. The presence of chemicals above the set acceptable levels in food and feed has also proven to be a threat once these enter the human food chain. So what is ‘TRACEABILITY’ ? Under EU Law, traceability means the ability to track any food, feed, food producing animals or substances that will be used for consumption through all the stages of production, processing and distribution. EU 178/2002 Art.3.15. Under the EU’s General food law, traceability is compulsory for all food and feed operations. It is required by the operators to be able to provide to the competent authorities documents that will prove the name and address of the supplier, the nature of the product and the delivery date. It is also necessary to keep records of the volume or quantity, the batch number and a description of the product (raw, semi-processed and processed). All this information will be useful when a recall happens. Traceability documents will aid a swift withdrawal and minimize a disruption of trade. The sooner a

prove difficult to show that due diligence was applied. HACCP; Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Some Key Elements in Food Traceability food safety risk is isolated, the better, so as to prevent contaminated products from reaching the consumer. Past experience in food safety risks such as BSE, Listeria and Dioxin, have shown the importance of being able to identify and isolate unsafe food from reaching the consumer.

• Name and Address of Supplier • Nature of the Product • Delivery Date • Volume or Quantity • Batch number • Description of Product • Country of Origin • Traceability Bar code “Paulino Schembri graduated

Food operators should make sure that the products in their operations can be traced back to a supplier and in turn, the reputable supplier can also provide documentation to back all the necessary traceability requirements. Purchasing a supply without the necessary documents because the price is below market norms, or from a supplier that is not authorized and reputable might result in a risk that the operation would not be able to control and later might

with the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne in Switzerland under the direct tutorship of world renowned professors in the field of HACCP, specializing in Codex Alimenarius and ISO 22000 as part of a Food Safety System. Paulino provides HACCP consultancy to the local food industry.

The application of a health mark or identification mark to products of animal origin, including meat, is an important part of the traceability system.

Health markʼ means a mark indicating that, when it was applied, official controls had been carried out in accordance with Regulation 854/2004.

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SOLE DISTRIBUTOR FOR MALTA AND GOZO La Bottega del Sole e della Luna Tel. 79.618.718 e-mail:

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Did you know? Pasta is one of the oldest food preparations, and for several centuries has been providing humans with well balanced nutrition as well as great pleasure. Around 3000 years ago, the Greeks prepared a sheet of dough made of crushed wheat and water, cut it in stripes naming it laganon, this later became the Laganum of the Romans, and now Laganelle, a regional version of the well known Tagliatelle. Spaghetti, the most widespread shape, probably came to Europe from the ancient Chinese civilization thanks to Marco Polo. At the end of 1200 AD, the pasta

appeared for the first time on a notary act of the Repubblica Marinara of Genoa, when a quantity of this product was part of a will of a wealthy gentleman. Nowadays, durum wheat pasta is the world-renowned product of Italian food industry, not only for its quality, but also for the quantities of shapes that are matched to all the possible sauces to create an endless list of recipes. Pasta producers are present in almost all Italian regions. Tradition wants Abruzzo and the area of Napoli to be the best of all. Abruzzo, one of the greenest areas of Italy, has an established net of artisanal producers of great quality, some of which are even ISO 9002 certified and the area around

Napoli is filled with small good producers who owe their popularity to the fact of being traditionally connected with the stereotype of the Italian migrant in the world. PASTA PRODUCTION The production process of pasta could seem quite simple: water is added to durum wheat semolina until the correct consistency of the dough is obtained. This dough is then pressed through moulds to make the different shapes (spaghetti, maccheroni, conchiglie) or laminated to obtain flat shapes (tagliatelle, trenette, lasagne, etc). The use of bronze moulds gives the pasta its special coarseness, which makes it better to absorb sauces and improves any type of recipe. June 2009

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Good quality pasta has to be pale yellow with a rough surface. When breaking it, the sound has to be sharp, and the section should not to be floury. At the end of the cooking, good pasta has to remain firm and elastic, soft externally and tough inside; it has to absorb water and increase two/three times its weight and it must leave the water clean.

The last and most important process is the drying one: the product is ventilated with air until it losses almost all the water. In industrial production the drying time at hot temperature is relatively short, taking generally four to five hours at 90°; longer but at lower temperature in the artisanal quality production. In this case, during cooking, gluten concentrates on the surface making pasta more sticky. At low drying temperature, which takes 40/60 hours at around 45°, preserves the nutritional value of the pasta, and the flavour of the wheat comes across wonderfully during cooking.

Contrary to what is commonly believed, pasta “al dente” is more digestible than an overcooked one, as it has to be chewed for a longer time. CLASSIFICATION Durum wheat semolina pasta This is the most common type of pasta and it is obtained mixing semolina and water. Semolina is a granular product obtained from the grinding and sieving of the durum wheat (triticum durum). In many countries, the use of the cheaper tender wheat is allowed for the production of pasta, and because of this Italian pasta is considered of higher value. Egg pasta Is a type of pasta produced with

durum wheat and, according to Italian law, a minimum quantity of 4 whole eggs or 200 grams of egg powder per kilo of flour has to be added to the mixture. Gastronomic specialities This is a type of pasta that besides durum wheat or egg pasta also includes other ingredients like vegetables (tomato, spinach, chilli, truffle, etc) or other products like squid ink, Barolo wine, chocolate, coffee etc. Only good artisanal brands can assure you the use of natural ingredients and not flavouring or artificial colours. Fresh pasta This pasta can be produced with soft wheat and can have humidity up to 30%. Fresh egg pasta has to be produced only with fresh eggs, not egg powder, and can be filled with meat, cheese or vegetables (ravioli, tortellini, etc.). It has to be conserved in fridge or frozen and has a short shelf life. The “new” old ones Recently, it is possible to find on the market pasta prepared with different type of cereals like Spelt, Kamut, corn or rice. HEALTH Pasta has a high energetic value, a good content of proteins, a low percentage of fats and vitamins, limited content of amino acids and is of easy digestion. Adding a sauce to your pasta makes it a complete meal. If you just add a little bit of butter or oil you will put the necessary dose of fats; sprinkling Parmesan cheese on your dish will add calcium; a

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sauce made of tomatoes and vegetables will gives you vitamins. The combination of pasta and legumes like beans, chick peas or lentils is one of the healthiest recipes. Traditional Italian recipes like pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) are an ideal and healthy combination where legumes bring amino acids and vitamins. Healthier results are obtained with egg pasta as this has higher level of proteins, calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin A and B1. At the end, one has to underline the importance of choosing good quality pasta, especially in the catering industry. Although it is true that costs are an important factor, but if the restaurant wants to create a reputation of serving

good quality pasta dishes then it has to take the quality of the pasta as a major consideration. Remember quality always gives better return at the end . • Four are the fundamental elements that characterize good pasta: • the selection and the utilization of the best durum wheat with a high gluten content and the use of spring water that give to the dough a peculiar texture; • the exclusive use of bronze dies, that gives to the pasta a rough surface, essential element that makes the pasta absorb and per fectly match with any kind of red or white sauce; • the long drying process, carried on up to 50 hours according to the pasta shape and made


exclusively at a temperature of around 40°, that guarantees the maintenance of all the organoleptic properties of the pasta: its special taste and smell; the tradition and the passion of the artisan producers.

And for egg pasta: • the use of fresh eggs in percent age not inferior to 30% Remember: To enhance the taste of good quality pasta adding a spoon of good extra virgin olive oil is enough but if you prefer pasta with other sauce keep these simple without adding too many ingredients since many ingredient weaken the taste of your pasta dish.

Bon Appetito! ✦

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Leadership in the time of chaos and uncertainty - By Dietmar Kielnhofer PhD First published in 27 May 2009

When was the last time managers could manage in a perfect and harmonious environment? Where access to perfect information was readily available, market conditions were conducive to mergers and acquisitions, growth patterns followed the same upward trajectory year after year and consumers bought products and service advertising companies told them to buy. Well, the answer is never. These are purely rhetorical questions. The truth is that the perfect business environment does not exist; it never did and never will (brief periods of relative stability i.e. 12 to 18 months aside). Yet, we do nothing but lament the fact of how dreadful the business atmosphere has become in the last 24 months.

demand higher returns on their capital and the ROI is never considered good enough. Welcome to the new business world order. So what else is new and why do business leaders complain about the current state of affairs? We better get used to flawed information and imperfect alternatives. It is organized and systematic chaos that rules the market and we better get used to understanding it. Successful leaders

recognize they cannot change the given status quo dictated by environment and economic conditions and other ‘ungovernable' factors beyond their control. Importantly, they know how to prioritize issues and allocate appropriate resources where they are needed the most. Skilful and economically sensitive leaders understand this and make the best out of the available information - they don't complain, they

What constitutes normal in this context? Business environments are never "normal", in fact they are characterized by stock market fluctuations, political instability and economical uncertainties, social upheavals, currency fluctuations and above else fierce competition for market share. Stock markets are by nature volatile and unpredictable, quality minded consumers will always demand the best product / service and value for money and the best and brightest employees will always look for greener pastures. Shareholders and Institutional Investors will always June 2009

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recognize and accept the facts on the ground. The rules of trade and commerce don't change, what changes is our often narrow interpretation of competition and the impulsiveness of market forces. Leaders in this time and age require an inquisitive mind to explore new frontiers and a sense of (marketing) adventurism if they want to succeed in the face of economic adversity. Without the intellectual rigor and curiosity managers must posses, their existential survival is jeopardized. It is a combination of intellectual depth and breadth and to understand market forces that govern prudent decision making in times of crisis. So how does a company survive or even prosper under such dire circumstances? How do we trade off unit price and volume without compromising market share or eroding our earning potential whilst at the same time maintaining service quality and brand integrity? A unit price reduction of approximately 20% does not automatically guarantee a corresponding increase of 20% in volume. Notwithstanding such a strategy could lead to a wider price war and increases variable cost that does not benefit anybody. I see this as a clasPage 28

June 2009

sic lose-lose scenario. If we drive prices down we do it for the entire market and everybody loses. Strategic price adjustments are an absolute must in this present climate - but it has to be done intelligently, market segment by market segment and prudently so as not to jeopardize brand image that takes significant years, effort and resources to build. It all comes down to decisive leadership and inspiration. Successful companies in times of crisis and uncertainty have a way of identifying leaders who have an uncanny ability to galvanize their people to see beyond the current market trends, they mobilize resources and project an optimistic outlook. They keep an open mind and are flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. Importantly, they are quick and fluid in their response. Central bankers adjust interests rates when economic conditions change regularly on a quarterly basis (as clearly demonstrated by the ECB, the BOJ and the Fed, albeit to late and too slow) - if they possess the flexibility and wisdom to change forecast patterns on a quarterly basis why can business leaders not adapt to the new changing parameters as aptly? Is it arrogance, complacency, corporate inertia or simple ignorance? Market dynamics are traditionally unpredictable and highly erratic. Budgets and business plans are not engraved in stone and successful leaders know when and how to change their plans reflecting the latest market changes. In uncertain times like these how can so called experts predict - irrespective of the level of sophistication of forecasting models - a terror attack or a pandemic that brings world wide travel

to a complete stop? Many international companies resort to "rolling forecasting" models. These rolling budgets are revised on a monthly basis to reflect changing market conditions and trading patterns thereby gauging the financial impact on a company more accurately than a static five or ten year business plan. Human beings cannot forecast natural disasters, geopolitical unrest or social upheavals, demonstrations or viruses. In fact a forecast is exactly that, a forecast, not a certainty. Unfortunately business leaders manage on three controversial premises: (1) Intransigence and refusing accepting that market conditions have deteriorated or the inability to know when, how and what to change; (2) having a fundamentally flawed understanding of customer / consumer expectations and (3) lack of strategic vision and an inability to identify shifting market and consumer trends. What sets successful managers apart from their less successful counterparts is the ability and capacity to set realistic objectives commiserating with prevailing market conditions and measuring progress against these goals. It is not enough to conceive objectives or set targets and develop a corre-

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sponding action plan to achieve it. Any plan must be monitored for its relevance to determine whether the objectives are achieved. If not they must either revise the plan or change the objective; either way you act upon the findings. The essence of a manager's job description is identifying problems and opportunities; and consequently challenges the key people in the organization to think deeply and realistically about alternative courses of action and what the consequences entail. Joseph Schumpeter, the Harvard Economists got it right in the 1940's when he spoke of forces of (deliberate) "creative

In times of trouble you should call in a professional company that has the right expertise to assist your company.

destruction". Companies that survive and prosper adhere to his principles by destroying old processes and creating new ones. If they fail to adhere and adapt to the new paradigm of radical innovation it will be just a question of time before a competitor does and they ultimately place their business at risk of becoming obsolete. Consequently the successful corporation of the next millennium has to reinvent itself constantly like a chameleon changing its skin color depending on the environment and its ever changing circumstances; creative destruction thus becomes a reinforcing cycle that feeds on itself.

Management Consulting

At MEJORIS we believe that we cannot treat you as part of our work so we dedicate all our energy for the Hospitality/Catering industry.

HR Development and Training

We have dedicated and professional partners who are fully qualified in their particular area. We believe that we have the right mix of associates to meet to any challenge that you might throw at us.

Mystery Guest and Loyalty audits

Operational Audits

Food Safety systems

AJIREE Court No 5 Triq Testaferrata Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1402 Tel No: +356 27320140 e-mail:


Failure to adapt to the changes will be a recipe for corporate suicide. Dietmar Kielnhofer PhD The author of this article lives in HCM City and works as a General Manager for a multi national company headquartered in New York. He has worked in international companies in senior management positions in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South East Asia. âœŚ

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Malta Jazz Festival The Malta Jazz Festival will present world class jazz musicians on the 16th, 17th, and 18th July in the magnificent setting of Ta’ Liesse, Malta's Grand Harbour, Valletta. All performances start at 8pm. Experience a magical night with the Brad Mehldau Trio and Maraca on the 16th July. The Oliver Degabriele Trio, the Kurt Rosenwinkel Band and Eliane Elias will delight us with their performance on the 17th July. Whilst the Dominic Galea Trio, the John Scofield Piety Street Band and Miguel Zenon Quartet will entertain audiences on the 18th July. The jazz festival will expose the

of the piano trio to the

audience to the big names in

infectious grooves of

contemporary jazz whilst present-

gospel, blues and r&b. All

ing an eclectic programme to suit

the artists featuring in this

all tastes. From danceable salsa

year's festival have one

to the lulling sway of bossa nova,

thing in common - a

from the introspective dialogues

strong jazz element. Lovers of Latin music will

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June 2009

certainly appreciate

tigious position on the European

Cuban artist Orlando "Maraca"

Jazz festival circuit. John

Valle - a huge name in the world

Scofield’s performance promises

of salsa and Latin jazz. Eliane

to very unique, through his

Elias is a Brazilian pianist and

blues/gospel/r&b music which

singer whose album DREAMER

has a New Orleans flavor.

has reached No 1 on the Jazz

Professional bass player Oliver

Charts USA and France, No 3 on

Degabriele will be joined on stage

the Pop Charts in France and No

by vocalist Alison Galea, whilst

4 on the Billboard charts in the

Dominic Galea will be presenting

USA. For her performance at the

a set of new compositions in the

Malta Jazz Festival she will be

be-bop vein. Kurt Rosenwinkel

accompanied by the legendary

accompanied by Eric Revis and

bass-player Marc Johnson, Rafael

Rodney Green will mesmerize the

Barrata and Rubens de la Corte.

audience through his Jazz guitar

Brad Mehldau, a performer who

renditions. Award winning alto

has redefined the sound of the

saxophonist Miguel Zenon, one

piano trio, will be one of the

of the leading voices in the New

highlights of the festival and will

York Jazz scene will close the festi-

certainly return Malta to its pres-

val on Saturday 18th July.

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the Hospitalitymanager Issue 4  
the Hospitalitymanager Issue 4  

The publication issued by Mejoris Hospitality on behalf of the Institute of Hospitality Malta