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theHospitalitymanager The Journal of the Institute of Hospitality Malta Summer Issue No 1

An Education and Tourism The Working mothers HR Guidelines & more Newspaper post


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Contents

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

Summer Issue No. 1

Design and production: Mejoris Hospitality Ajiree 5, Triq Testaferrata Msida MSD 1402 Email: info@mejoris.com Sales: 79867587 Editorboard: Julian C. Zarb, Tony Coleiro Contributions: Dr.Mario DeMarco, Nicole Borg Costanzi, Rebecca Gatt, Julian Zarb, Charles Martin, Joyce Guillaumier, Paulino Schembri

5

Welcome - Julian Zarb

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From the Chairman’s desk - Tony Coleiro

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Welcome Address - Dr. Mario Demarco Parliamental Secretary for Tourism office of the Prime Minister

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Members’ Page

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HR Guidelines Human Resource Development Guidelines for SMEs - Training Adapted - Nicola Borg Costanzi

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The Working Mothers

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Education and Tourism......Are we making the grade? - Julian Zarb

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Creating a Great First Impression by Phone - Charles Martin

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A quick glimpse to the islands’ Music Culture over the centuries Part1 – The early years - Joyce Guillaumier

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HACCP Explained PRPs, The Foundation of HACCP

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The Lighter Side of Hospitality.. - Alfred Formosa

Front Cover:

The Institute of Hospitality Chairman Mr. Tony Coleiro

manager is the only publication that is distributed theHospitalitym 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 manager are those of the author and do not necestheHospitalitym sarily reflect the views and opinions of the publishers.

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contents

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- Rebecca Gatt

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editor’s address

Welcome Welcome to a fresh and new publication for the Institute of Hospitality’s Malta Association. Since 1990, the HCIMA Malta Group has had its own publication and we have managed to reach out to more and more readers through this important communications tool. I was the editor for that publication for a number of years and it was certainly an interesting time for me. When I was approached by the present Chairman of the Institute of Hospitality in Malta, Tony Coleiro to lend a hand in setting up this new journal, I accepted the challenge knowing that this was Julian Zarb

an opportunity to carry on where we left off! I hope you will find this first issue interesting and informative and I invite you to write to me at my email shown below with any suggestions, comments and contributions for the journal (we are even considering offering a few initiatives to encourage more and more contributions). This first issue includes some interesting news from our association; it has a welcome address from the new Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Dr. Mario De Marco, Charles Martin gives us a few practical tips about Customer Care; we will also be giving some space for cultural news about these islands, since this is a vital element for a sustainable tourism product. Alfred Formosa keeps us sane with his lighter side of hospitality page and you will certainly find more and more interesting contributions on other diverse subjects in this issue. Take Care

Julian Zarb MBA MA isss FIH MTS Dip. Adult Training and Development Editor, the Hospitality Manager !

I hope you will find this first issue interesting and informative



June 2008

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chairman’s address

From the Chairman’s desk A year has nearly passed since my election as Chairman of the Institute and very proud to note that the Institute is once again giving the Tourism Industry another important publication different from the one we used to have for the last few years. The Hospitality manager is the new name of the publication and our intention is to involve as much as possible contributions from the various sectors within the Industry. We are trying to get as much as possible articles with particular interest related to HR forums, trade statistics, and other news about our Members, not withstanding any success stories from the Hospitality, Travel, Tourism and Leisure Industry. Tony Coleiro

I would like to stress the importance of our Institute and why it is a priority to form part of this elite body of hospitality professionals. The benefits that our members are eligible for have increased and several companies offer discounts schemes or personalized professional services. Members also benefit from free and exclusive access to the Institute’s valuable range of information sources and services including, the innovative virtual library and other special programmes. However, a key benefit of membership is the access that members have to other like-minded business men and women, working within the hospitality industry. Our members are also offered the opportunity to meet at social and formal events and make use of our network opportunities worldwide. These initiatives serve to maximize our knowledge, skills and performances and encourage each other to achieve best business practice. During my term of office, I made it a point that my main tasks focused on the setting and advancement of professional standards of Hospitality management, the initial and continuing professional development of individual, the recognition of individual competence and commitment to professional good practice, in line with a code of conduct, supported by a professional document which adds value to membership of the Institute. Jointly with my Executive Committee we kept our promise and had various meeting with Authorities, Unions, and other professional bodies in Malta. To this effect we met Hon. Dr. Mario Demarco LL.D. MP. Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, were we discuss at length our proposals.

We must always keep our main objective to promote the highest standards in hospitality



education

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the new Editorial Board, those companies who will be supporting this magazine by their adverts, the contributors for their interesting articles and the Executive Committee for their support and continuous professional commitment towards the Institute. We must always keep our main objective to promote the highest standards in hospitality education, personal, professional and industry practice, as our goal as this is essential to raise the profile of all those who are involved in the hospitality industry. This can only be achieved with your support, by actively participating in the Institute’s educational and social events. Tony Coleiro M.B.A., F.I.H., F.I.S.M.M., F.Inst.T.T, CC Chairman, Institute of Hospitality – Malta !

June 2008

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address

WELCOME ADDRESS: DR. M. DEMARCO PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR TOURISM OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER Dear Chairman and Members, This is going to be my first address to your organization since the election of your new committee. The Institute of Hospitality has an important role to play in ensuring that the tourism industry does have a strong basis for professionalism in ensuring that the management of the key areas of this socio-economic activity perform effectively and efficiently. The tourism industry, on which our national economy is certainly very dependant, cannot function well if we ignore the standards

the tourism industry has the

those authentic elements which

and levels of those qualifications

right ingredients to provide more

create a specific interest by the

which provide the fundamental

opportunities for a broader spec-

visitor or traveller in deciding on

knowledge to create a proactive

trum of society. The Malta

a destination or place to visit –

industry.

Tourism Authority together with

some countries rely on one or

the Parliamentary Secretariat for

several iconic symbols, these

I believe that it is important that

Tourism is already working on

islands have a number of sym-

together we must continue to

the implementation of the

bols which reflect their history,

work on improving the standard

National Tourism Plan for 2007

culture and characteristic – those

and level of all qualifications for

to 2011 and very soon we will be

same qualities which have

tourism professionals and I am

announcing a strategy to devel-

enthralled visitors to the islands

certain that the IoH will provide

op local plans for tourism; the

for hundreds, if not thousands of

a strong partnership in this

key to a successful industry has

years..we need to discover the

regard. Tourism trends are

to be the development of a sus-

real Malta and Gozo but we also

changing rapidly today and we

tainable activity based on the

need to enhance the sense of

need to ensure that these islands

principles of the Local Agenda

real hospitality and service that

remain competitive and provide

21, those same principles which

is so synonmous with the

that unique sense of hospitality

create a wider stakeholder own-

Maltese islands – with your help,

and service that can make the

ership and community based

this is possible if we go forward

destination stand out from the

tourism.

together!

Tourism today needs to reflect

Best Regards !

rest! This Government has promised “More and Better Jobs” and

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Members’ Page Tony Coleiro elected on the MTA Main Board As from last January (2008), Tony Coleiro MBA FIH Chairman of the Institute of Hospitality has been serving on the Main Board of the Malta Tourism Authority after IOH was elected according to the Malta Travel & Tourism Services Act of 1999, and specifically to subsection (2)(e) of section 3 of the act, empowering the Minister for Tourism and Culture to appoint two members of the Malta Tourism Authority “ on the recommendation of such other Associations recognised by the Minister as representing other sectors providing travel and tourism services� The Term of Office of the members currently serving on the Malta Tourism Authority is for one year and expires on the 31st . December 2008. This position now should give the institute in Malta greater credibility, and members are urged to support their Chairman during this year. !

Institute holds meeting with Dr. Mario DeMarco A very cordial and fruitful meeting was held recently with the newly appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Dr. Mario Demarco at his office in Valletta. During the meeting the Institute presented a discussion paper as has been the procedure whenever it met the authorities. An interesting discussion ensued on the views of the Institute's vision of the Hospitality industry. The

Institute holds meeting with GWU As part of the strategy of pushing the Institute's agenda to the forefront of the national policy, the institute held a fruitful meeting with the highest officials of the General Workers Union. Again,the points discussed at this meeting included the reasons for a need for all Management in the Hospitality industry to be qualified to perform their job. The idea of having a qualified workforce even at front liners level was also discussed and the institute has offered its assistance in achieving this goal. The conditions of work and work practices in the industry were also discussed and both parties showed their concern on the present policy being implemented in some properties and the ripple effect this is having on the entire industry. Here it was agreed that unless the owners / directors accept the principle of investing in the workforce the present situation would not improve. It was agreed that the union would also be invited to the IOH HR Network as this would give a great contribution to this Network. !

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institute presented its ideas relating to the certification of hotel management, the classification process of hotels and restaurants and the need to have representation of the Human Resources on the Main Board of the Malta Tourism Authority. We also presented our views on the election process from the nine recognised associations and how this could be improved for the benefit of the Tourism industry. The representation on the Board of Governors at the Institute of Tourism Studies was also discussed especially since the institute endorses all certification given by the ITS to its students. At the end it was agreed that further regular working meetings are to be held. !


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The Winners of the National Competition Following the assessment of the entries for our first National Competition,the judging panel stated that all the entries were of a high level and they had a difficult task to choose the winning projects. All participants were judged on set criteria of Presentation, Aims of the project, Benefits to the company, Time frame, Strategy and Costs.

And the winners were! Bertrand Gatt and Sarah DeMarco. Bertrand who works at the 4 star Preluna Hotel and Towers in Sliema as F&B Manager presented a project to turn the hotel into a Green hotel and so be able to become a member of the Green Hotels Association whilst Sarah who works as a Front Office Manager at the 3 star University Residence presented a project to introduce certain HR structure which at present are missing from the hotel and which if introduced would improve the performance of the employees at her place of work. The winners were presented with their well earned placement in Scotland and Ireland. A full report of their experience will be given in the next issue of the Hospitality Manager. !

An Agreement finalised with The Victoria Hotel The Institute of Hospitality finalised a collaboration agreement with the Management of the Victoria Hotel, granting the use of meeting facilities and other services to our members. We thank Ms. Claire Xuereb who on behalf of the Management and Board Directors of the Hotel, offered complimentary space for the hanging of a plaque outside the hotel’s main entrance, advising Institute Members and the general public that Victoria Hotel is the meeting place of the Institute of Hospitality – Malta. !

STOP PRESS This year’s AGM which was held on the 30th May 2008 saw the return of Mr James Muscat FIH to the committee . Mr Muscat replaced Mr Karl Grech who could not continue on the committee due to pressure of work. We thank Karl for all the work he performed during his term of office. The elected committee is made up of: Chris Camilleri, Tony Coleiro, Alfred Formosa, Tonio Micallef, James Muscat and Julian Zarb.

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HR Guidlines

HR Guidelines

Human Resource Development Guidelines for SMEs- Training Adapted by Nicola Borg Costanzi

This article is part of a series of guidelines on the HR Function. These guidelines are aimed to assist Small and Medium Establishments in the running of their business. Each guideline can be pulled out of the magazine and kept for future references and as they will form great reference material. An organisation’s employees are its major resource, especially in the hospitality industry which is essentially an industry run by the people for the people. Therefore, a well trained workforce who is able to match the needs of the industry efficiently is of utmost importance.

Nicola Borg Costanzi

The benefits of training far

The Training Plan There is no standard format for a Training Plan as each is tailored according to the particular needs of the establishment preparing the plan. However, when preparing a plan, it is important to take certain factors into consideration: • The training topics which are identified from the Training Needs Analysis to determine the type of training activities to be organised • The objectives to determine what you intend to achieve from each activity • The trainees who will be trained. It is important that staff attend sessions which are directly linked to their job • The number of persons attending each session which in turn will determine the type of session held • Determine which methods will be used. Which sessions will be conducted on the job and which off the job • The facilitators who will run the sessions (in house trainers or external facilitators) • The length of time of each session. It



outweigh the costs

is important that sessions are straight to the point and do not drag on • Time frame by when each session has to be completed. In many cases, the heads of department or supervisors will do most of the training in-house. In this case, it is important to be aware of certain techniques: • Demonstration (when addressing a larger group of people) • Coaching (for personalised trainingalso on a one-to-one basis) • Discussions-Workshops Good training need not be expensive and takes little time to organise. The benefits of training far outweigh the costs. In fact, a well trained workforce can raise the standards of the organisation turning it from an average operation into an outstanding one and will provide the kind of service people will want to come back to. ! Further information is available from the following sources: MTA http://mta.com.mt/index.pl/industry_hr_development_unit IOH – www.hcima.org.uk Caterer – http://www.caterer.com Business HR – http://hcima.businesshr.net/intro/index.html For a copy of the ‘Tourism Human Resources Handbook’ please contact the Industry HR Development Unit, at the Malta Tourism Authority on 2291 5124/5 or Email training@visitmalta.com

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feature

The Working Mothers

Rebecca Gatt M.A. Ind. Rel. & HRM Keele Uni. UK, B.A. Sociology (Hons) rebecca@maltanet.net

At this point I am not trying to state

Women have been active participants in the labour market since ancient times, performing activities varying from cooking to hunting. In medieval times women worked in the fields and in farms. At the time of the Industrial Revolution women were assigned tasks in the coal mines. At present, women are in the process of fully integrating themselves within the world of work, but this is not the case for women in Third World Countries where they are still considered as performing cheap labour. Moreover, women have taken a very demanding role at home and I tend to say that they carry out this duty professionally. Therefore, the impression that women decided to have a full time job outside their home in this last century is not true. The situation in Malta is different because locally for the last decades families afforded to have one income flow very often being provided by the employment of the husband-father while the wife-mother had the chance to dedicate more than forty hours a week for the family. But this scenario changed due to shifting family demands. Women had to stretch between their motherly profession inside the home and a career at work.

the fact that the Maltese woman’s life is insupportable but certainly they lead a stressful one.



I am not a feminist but one thing I ought to say is that the ‘symmetrical family’ in Malta nowadays is still rare to find. In reality women have to provide the biggest share of the family care. Men do help but the Maltese culture has its own restrictions which cause mothers to work two shifts a

day, at home and outside the home. Very often it is the wife-mother who cooks, washes the clothes, hang them, wrap them and iron them, helps with the homework, takes the children to extra-curricula activities, take days off work when the children are sick or have to attend parents’ day. Besides, women find themselves in uncomfortable situations because for instance they are required to work eight hours or more overtime a week which more often than not is not possible for working mothers. There are even times when they have to work night shifts and here again they have to leave their children behind. It is not easy for the working mother to get promoted since her restricted timetable does not spare her time for full career development and for further up-skilling. At this point I am not trying to state the fact that the Maltese woman’s life is insupportable but certainly they lead a stressful one. This reality is not pleasant to mention but rest assured that it is worse living it. Of course there are men and children that give June 2008

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MALTESE WOMEN NEED TO DOUBLE IN THE LABOUR MARKET

a helping hand at home but substantial others do not. I do tend to blame the latter but at the same time our traditional cultural and educational system which early in life channels girls and boys in different roles according to ‘masculinity’ and ‘feminism’ has to be factored in the overall assessment. In such a situation one need to look for solutions. The National Action Plan for Employment – 2005 stipulates that the Maltese Women Working Population needs to double in the labour market, but what are authorities doing to encourage this? During the last years there have been a lot of chatting and mumbling about the need to set-up more nursery services and child care centers. A few did pop up but very often the service they offer is expensive, government should subsidize such service to encourage working women to make use of them. Certainly there is also more to be done especially in the field regarding tax breaks and credits to Page 18

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contributory pension. On paper a lot is said but action follows at a very slow pace. Furthermore, employers need to understand more trade unions insistence on the introduction of family-friendly practices such as the improvement of maternity and parental leave. Unions are also emphasizing on the implementation of reduced hours, flexihours and part-time work. Unfortunately, for the latter benefit, it is becoming the habit of employing women for less than twenty hours which means that they loose any pro-rata benefits. The educational system plays a vital role in preparing a more open minded workforce. Moreover, either all parties to the equation endeavor in one direction or else working mothers will find it hard to make it.

Rebecca Gatt M.A. (Industrial Relations & HRM) Keele University UK, B.A. (Sociology Hons) University of Malta. Rebecca has graduated from the University of Malta in 2003. In the year 2006, she has successfully completed a Master degree specializing in Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management. Her main areas of interest are in the human resources development sector, the relationship between the employer and the employee at the place of work, collective bargaining and negotiations. rebecca@maltanet.net !


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feature

Education and Tourism ..........Are we making the grade? Julian Zarb takes a brief look at the language school market in Malta. How sustainable is it for these islands and how important is it that we insist on ensuring ethical behaviour

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Everyone who is involved in some way with tourism marketing knows that the concept of creating niches is an important policy, especially, when it concerns the establishment of the market share that is forever getting more and more depleted through the opening up of new and more exotic destinations! The Maltese islands have had a long and chequered history of tourism development that goes back more than eighty years, since 1923 and the idea of education and tourism goes further back to the days of the Grand Tourist in the seventeenth century. A number of these “students” have left a legacy of writings that describe the social as well as the cultural and historical life on the islands in those days. Our close relationship with Britain between 1800 and 1979 has meant that we are, possibly, the most Anglophile nation in Europe and today our membership within the European Union, including definite candidates for the Eurozone, gives us plenty of advantages as the ideal tourism destination in the Mediterranean. But we always seem to have a problem with finding our best market niche and specialization – we try hard to offer a plethora of services from sun and sea, music and culture,

history, conferences and incentive and sports. All these niches should attract a fair amount of our sustainable quota of tourism arrivals every year but the question is: are we offering the right environment and services for each of these niches or are we trying to create a stereotyped package of services and products in an attempt to present a “one size fits all” policy? The niche market for English Language Students has been gaining momentum over the past few years, not particularly because of its primary benefit for creating opportunities in hospitality among a broader sector of society but, rather, as an alternative to solving the dwindling occupancy levels in our hotels. I think this idea of filling the vacant beds with students in our hotels is just one other way in which the tourism market looks for the easy approach to its strategic development without looking for innovative and new ways of seeking markets! I suppose if this were a question of looking for alternatives during the shoulder period it may be acceptable but to accept bookings from a market which has different needs and perceptions than the traditional tourism


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market during the peak season for travel and holidays is another way of accepting complete defeat in one’s marketability strategies. On the other hand if we develop a sound policy and strategy for the English language Students to Malta and Gozo, there is great potential which can pay off for the future. First of all, the students can be a direct source of marketing for us with their friends and families back home; if they have had a good experience during their stay on the islands then they may return again and there is the potential for creating new accommodation in non traditional tourism areas, thus easing the pressure on congestion that leads to unsustainability. Some of the stories that we hear about the behaviour of some of these students in areas such as Sliema and St. Julian’s (both residential areas) does remind one of the lager louts and football hooligans who plagued Europe during the last decades! If we are to host tourists of a different age group and mindset in the same hotels as these students that is really asking for trouble and we must expect the negative feedback we receive.

Tourism (CBT) are spelt out to the letter and that any deviation or transgression of these ethics should be severely treated with possible “black listing” of the culprits. The importance of ensuring these students integrate with the local community without disrupting both our lifestyle and culture needs to be a priority. Following the policy which UEFA adopted after several clashes with hooligans in Europe over the past years when it also held the football clubs responsible for the “fans” actions, perhaps we also need to hold the agencies responsible for the actions of their clients in this regard. Itineraries and approved guides or assistants for the students must be screened to ensure that they do have the competencies

education and tourism

necessary for providing the essential support services which will reduce the risk of unethical or rowdy behaviour by the students. If we do not take this situation seriously, then we will run the risk of losing our market share from other niche markets or from the mainstream tourism market. Hosts as well as tourists have responsibilities, rights and obligations just like all other consumers and these obligations certainly include a respect for the culture and lifestyle of the destination one is visiting.

Mr. Zarb is the Vice Chairman of the Institute of Hospitality – Malta, Tourism Journalist and Media Presenter, President of the Malta Tourism Society and Vice President of EUTO. !

Many of these students do not have a clue what responsible tourism is all about and my first suggestion to the agencies who promote these islands for this market is that we insist that a clear code of ethics based on the principles of responsible tourism and Community based June 2008

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Creating a Great First Impression by Phone How many times did you phone a hotel and felt that you seem to be intruding on the company or have felt that you are a welcomed guest? and all this just by ringing in to the operator. Many properties do not realise the great importance that the Telephone Operator plays in our industry. In most situations the first contact point of potential customers with our property is the Phone. People can make a very quick decision on the company even by the way the operator replies to the caller. A snappy reply can transmit an indisposition on the part of the company to dedicate enough time to each customer whilst on the other hand a relaxed and slow talking employee could put customers of your company. So the need to choose the right persons to take care of your property’s phone calls is of prime importance as these are the people that can create either a great or disastrous First Impression.

People can make a very quick decision on the company even by the way the operator replies



to the caller.

Phone etiquette helps encourage clear lines of communication, build rapport, and avoid misunderstanding. It is an integral part of your customer service as this influences your customers’ impression of your property. Train your employees on the following points as this will let callers know that they are dealing with a professional company: Pre-essentials required before the

phone starts ringing. Make sure that you: Ensure that the operator has an organized desk with all the requirements needed to perform his/her task. The operator should know the names, title, and responsibilities of everyone in your hotel and who is on duty on the day. Have a list of who to refer calls to (general topic and person responsible) If the operator is not comfortable greeting callers, make him/her practice with internal customers first. Later record their calls to use in training sessions. Familiarize yourself with the answers to most Frequent Asked Questions regarding your company. Have a list compiled to get all familiar with the replies. Do not disclose confidential information The following are some tips on answering the phone: • The best time to answer the phone is just after the second ring. You don’t want to catch the caller offJune 2008

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guard by answering too quickly, nor do you want them to wait too long. • Greet the customer; thank the customer for calling your company; identify yourself; ask how you can assist as per company’s SOPs • Answer in a warm, enthusiastic, friendly, and positive tone of voice. This makes callers understand that you are happy to assist. • Smile! Believe it or not, it shows through the phone! • LISTEN carefully to what the caller is saying or requesting • Be patient. Stay cool, calm and collected. • Ask callers for their names, even if it is not necessary, and use their names during the remainder the call. • Speak clearly, slowly and in a low tone of voice (you don’t

want to seem like you’re screaming) • Never talk with anything in your mouth. Taking Phone Messages: Be sure to record the following information… • Caller’s name and company (if applicable). • Repeat the message to ensure accuracy • Time and date of the call • Ask if callers want their calls retuned. If the answer is yes, get their phone number and ask what time would be convenient for them

with you!” “Have a great day!” • Let the caller hang up first; this shows you are not in a hurry to get off the phone. Have a pleasant call!! !

Some DO’S and DON’Ts DO make the caller feel special. DO develop a consistent greeting (ensure that brand standards are met at all times) that is to be used by all staff. DO put the phone down in a gentle manner if this is necessary during the call; it will be easier on the caller’s ear.

Creating a Great Last Impression: • Ask if you have answered all of the callers’ questions • Thank them for calling • Always end with a pleasantry, such as: “It was nice speaking

DO speak directly into the receiver, DO avoid background noise as much as possible. DO put a small mirror next to the phone. Smile. Research shows that smiling can be “felt” over the phone. DO maintain a professional manner at all times! DON’T type or shuffle papers (unless taking a message). It suggests that you’re not listening to the caller. DON’T bury the receiver in your shoulder or neck. DON’T eat or have anything in your mouth while talking on the phone. DON’T sound rushed, as if you have more important things to be doing. DON’T keep a caller on hold for more than 30 seconds. Speed sells!

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A quick glimpse to the islands’ Music Culture over the centuries Part1 – The early years When man first made his entrance in this environment, he could not help but be impressed by the sounds that surrounded him. Soon he began imitating them and eventually using them to his own advantage. For example Egyptian friezes and hieroglyphs illustrate farmers striking twigs together to scare birds away from their fields and crops.

By JOYCE GUILLAUMIER

Folkloristic music is transmitted orally from one generation to another, so it was never recorded Page 26



June 2008

As time went by this device was introduced to accompany the singing of the workers as they went about their tasks. Soon it also formed part of the ritualistic dances intended to appease the gods who were thus enticed to ascertain abundant harvests. There is nothing to suggest that this process did not evolve also in Malta, probably even from an earlier date, seeing that our Temples are at least a thousand years older than the Pyramids in Egypt and that the prevailing society was already very developed. Of course there is no tangible evidence to support all this, however we can assume that what was happening in other areas round the Mediterranean Sea and further afield to the East was also happening in Malta, seeing that here too, man’s greatest preoccupations centered round the need to find food and appeasing Nature, which, being an unknown quantity, was considered as mystical and mysterious. So originally, magic and labour were united in ritualistic music accompanying the hunting of food and agri-

cultural activity. We have no documentation as to the type of music that was played or danced to at that time nor during the Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman dominations – Malta had in the meantime converted to Christianity in 60AD when St Paul was shipwrecked here on his way to Rome. However, it seems that when in 598 Traianus was created Bishop of Malta by Gregory the Great, he brought with him a group of monks from Sicily who were used to including music in their liturgical services.(1) Less than 200 years later, when even the Byzantines who had followed the Romans had relinquished Malta, the Island was occupied by the Arabs till 1090. It can be safely surmised that during their long


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culture

IS-SERPENTUN AN OLD MUSICAL INSTRUMENT domination, Moslem culture including music was prevalent on our Islands. GHANA, the popular folkloristic music still very much alive nowadays, stems from the Arab influence on our culture. Even the language spoken by the locals was greatly influenced by their occupiers, and in fact the Maltese Language is recognized as belonging to the Semitic family of Languages. Of course, folkloristic music is transmitted orally from one generation to another, so it was never recorded, but we can be certain that the music that accompanied the contemporary Maltese in their everyday life was Moslem in style and spirit. The Arab domination came to an end in 1090 when the Norman Roger I conquered Sicily, Malta and Gozo from the Arabs but left them to govern in his name. It was Roger II who finally annexed the Islands to his Sicilian Realm in 1127. By this time European culture was re-introduced and according to Prof Joseph Brincat, Peire Vidal, the well-known French troubadour, was in Malta in 1204 when the contea di Malta was under Enrico Pescatore.(2) Prof Brincat refers to a number of quotes from canzone-

serventese written by Vidal which mention Malta and which were composed and performed during his stay at the castrum maris or St Angelo’s as we know it today. “Now I have conquered leisure and pleasure in Malta” wrote and sang Peire Vidal, a statement that clearly indicates the florid economic state of Angelo Nani the Island at that time as it is a well-known fact that music and the arts flourish when economic preoccupations are resolved and overcome. Troubadours, and eventually Jongleurs, in fact did participate in the social life of the islands, especially on special occasions like community festivities or personal celebrations such as marriages. The language used was Maltese as the absolute majority of the population could speak only this language.(3) But, by this time, European culture was returning slowly to the Island and the inhabitants had become Christians again. The oldest manuscripts to be found in the Archives at the Cathedral Museum of Malta are two antiphoners in late

Aquitanian notation of the 12th 13th century: the puncta (lozenge-shaped in the earlier codex, square and larger in the later) written on a staff of one ink line and three dry-point lines.(4) With other illuminated parchment choral books and works of Maltese composers, the one hundred fifty-nine musical prints preserved at the Cathedral Museum form the most important collection that exists south of Naples. Besides the afore-mentioned Antiphonaries, the collection includes amongst others, scores by Italian composers, 17th-19th century, scores by Maltese composers including works by

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Giuseppe and Domenico Balzano, Benigno Zerafa, Francesco Azopardi and about fifty scores by other composers.(5) Zerafa and Azopardi form the apex of the Maltese Classical Period. With the arrival of the Order of St John in 1530, not only did a second cappella come into existence, a cappella that gave its service at the Conventual Church of the Order, but the Knights, particularly the Italian Knights, introduced the latest dramatic and musical innovations that were happening in mainland Europe. Many such representations were held at the Italian Auberge. The knights were usually younger sons of the most noble and finest European families. In their homes and countries they were used to the best available, so it should come as no surprise to us that they insisted on keeping abreast with the latest trends and works even here in Malta. When the Teatro Pubblico, now known as Teatru Manoel, was built in 1732 during the reign of Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena, their aspirations could be fulfilled. The newest operas were performed there by acclaimed singers and musicians,

often even before appearing in other European theatres. However, in spite of the fact that the Manoel was built ‘for the honest recreation of the people’ (as can be seen from the inscription above the main door of the theatre) opera was not for the masses and the people waited for carnival and other festivities to be entertained. During Carnival’s three-day rule, decorated floats carrying musicians went round the streets bringing merriment and fun to the populace. Other special occasions when music was played were the Installation of a new Grand Master and at the Calendimaggio festivities, the 1st May celebrations when a tree laden with goods was placed in St George’s Square with people vying with one another to reach as many gifts as possible. It was also the practice to perform a cantata in the open-air and one composer who wrote several Cantata per Maggio was Michelang Vella who was born in Senglea on the 7th November, 1710.(6) Vella studied abroad and returned to Malta in 1738. Two years later he was granted the necessary licence by the Bishop of Malta to operate a school where he introduced the same teaching methods that were prevalent in Naples when he was a student there. Vella introduced many important reforms in music education, and students flocked to his school. Amongst his students, one finds Azopardi, already referred to in this article, who was a composer and maestro di cappella in Mdina and Nicolo` Isouard, maestro di cappella at the Conventual Church of the Order of St John in Valletta. Isouard was an excellent composer of sacred, secular and instrumental music and also of operas, composing more than forty works (Cendrillon was his most notable success being played constantly in European theatres) Nicolo`, as he was known in France, carved a name for himself in Paris where he lived after leaving the Island in 1800 when the French capitulated and the British rule began. In two short years, between 1798 and 1800, Malta passed from under the Order of St John to French domination that was in turn replaced by the British when the French Capitulation was signed by Vaubois. Joyce Guillaumier is a free lance author and Cultural critic. She has also produces and presents several cultural programmes both on radio and television stations !

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HACCP Explained PRPs, The Foundation of HACCP HACCP (Hazards Analysis Critical Control Point) is proactive and forms part of any Food safety system, be it BRC, ISO22000 or as part of Codex Alimentarius. The main goal of HACCP is to stop, control and prevent food safety problems using prerequisites programs and the seven HACCP principles. Prerequisite programs are the foundation of a sound and feasible food safety system. PRPs, as they are known, must be in place prior to employing any food safety system. Most of the sectors of the food chain seem to take PRPs very lightly, ending up having short falls in their food safety systems. PRPs should include GAP, GMP, GVP, GHP, GPP, GDP and GTP. * (ISO 22000). Depending on the segment of the food chain, the required PRPs should be in place and fully functional to render the next step in the process operational. One needs to specify the difference between food safety and sanitation. Food safety involves keeping food safe at every stage from production, purchasing, receiving, storing, preparing, cooking, holding, cooling, reheating and finally serving. Sanitation on the other hand is making sure that anything that comes into contact with food does not contaminate the food. Therefore sanitation is a prerequisite to food safety. However one cannot have one without the other, having said that, keeping things clean does not necessarily lead to food safety. Sanitation traditionally, relies on

removing dirt. Food safety goes beyond what one can see e.g. (Purchasing from unsafe suppliers, chemical residues in vegetables, growth hormones in animals). Persons carrying out any food business being production, transportation wholesaling, retail, preparation and serving have a legal, commercial and moral obligation to provide safe food. The cost of food poisoning can be very high, e.g. loss of working days due to consuming contaminated food, closure of food premises by local authorities, loss of business and reputation, fines and cost of legal actions. These are just a few of the results of primarily not having in place good PRPs which are considered to be the first line of defense and the most important factors in a food safety system. Sanitation, traceability, building & equipment, personal hygiene & training, control of raw food, reputable suppliers and operational control are a few of the prerequisites programs that need to be implemented in order to have an effective food safety management system. Malta, like the rest of all the other EU countries are governed by EC Food Hygiene regulation (852/2004) that lies down rules for

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food business operators on the Hygiene of food stuff. PRPs are mentioned in this regulation in Article 1. Article 5 states that food business operators must implement a food safety management system based on the HACCP principles. That leaves very little space for options, one must now implement serious Prerequisite Programs and than move forward to have a food safety system that incorporates HACCP. *GAP, Good Agricultural Practice, GMP, Good Manufacturing Practice, GVP, Good Veterinarian Practice, GHP, Good Hygiene Practice, GPP, Good Production Practice, GDP, Good Distribution Practice, GTP, Good Trading Practice. Key points • Prerequisite programs are the basic standards for all food processing facilities. • All business operators must apply HACCP principles to their operations and persons responsible for the implementation of the HACCP system must have appropriate training in doing so. • EC No.852/2004 was introduced in all EU countries on the 1st January 2006. • Food safety involves keeping food safe at every stage of the operation. • Sanitation is making sure that anything that comes into contact with food does not contaminate the food. “Paulino Schembri graduated 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.! June 2008

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The Lighter Side of Hospitality.... .

A door-to-door salesman knocked at the door of a house. “Good morning, madam,” he said politely. “Would you be interested in buying a copy of this book? It is called Five Hundred Excuses to Give Your Wife for Staying Late?” “Why on earth would I want a book like that?” replied the lady. “Because,” replied the salesman, “I just sold a copy to your husband at his office barely five minutes ago!”

Alfred Formosa

The Tourists Prayer. Heavenly Father look down on us your humble, obedient tourists, who are doomed to travel this earth taking photographs, mailing postcards, buying souvenirs, and walking around in drip-free underwear. We beseech you Lord to see that our planes are not delayed, our luggage is not lost & overweight baggage goes unnoticed. Give us this day your divine guidance in our selection of bed 'n' breakfast. We pray that the toilets work and the telephone operators speak our tongue, that there are no emails from our children which would cause us to cancel the rest of our trip. Lead us to good inexpensive restaurants where the wine is included in the price of the meal and local taxes are not added on later. Give us the wisdom to tip correctly in currencies we do not understand. Make the natives appreciate us for the loving people we are, and not for what they can extract from our purses. Grant us the strength to visit museums, the cathedrals, the palaces, and if we skip an important monument to take a nap after lunch, please have mercy on us as our flesh is weak. Dear God please protect our wives from "bargains" they don't need, can't afford, and can't fit into their suitcases anyway. Lead them not into temptation, for they know not what they do. Almighty Father, keep our husbands from looking at foreign women and comparing them to the vintage domestic model. Save them from making complete fools of themselves in nightclubs. Above all, do NOT forgive them their trepasses for they know exactly what they do. And worse, enjoy it. When our journey is over. grant us the persistence to find someone who will watch our home movies and listen to our stories, so our lives as tourists will not have been in vain. This we ask you in the name of Conrad Hilton,Thomas Cook American Express, Visa, & Mastercard. AMEN

A rabbi who was walking through a small town saw a blackboard outside the side door of a school. It had just been washed and put out to dry in the open air. There was a piece of chalk in the tray of the board, so the rabbi took it and wrote in large letters: “I’m a rabbi and I pray for you.” Now a lawyer happened to pass by and when he saw the rabbi’s note, he added under it: “I’m a lawyer and I defend you all”. Then a doctor came by, took the piece of chalk and wrote on the blackboard: “I’m a doctor and I cure you all”. Finally, an ordinary citizen stopped to read the growing list, thought for a few seconds and then added: “I’m just the average guy, and I pay for you all.” !

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The Hospitalitymanager  

The Journal of the Institute of Hospitality Malta & more NNeewwssppaappeerr ppoosstt SSuummmmeerr IIssssuuee NNoo 11

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