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theHospitalitymanager The Journal of the Institute of Hospitality Malta Winter Issue No 2

Scotland an unforgettable experience Work, Leisure and Holiday HACCP Explained SOPs, Standard Operational Procedures & more Newspaper post

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manager theHospitalitym

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.

Contents Winter Issue No. 2

Design and production: Mejoris Hospitality Ajiree 5, Triq Testaferrata Msida MSD 1402 Email: 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 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.





Welcome - Julian Zarb


From the Chairman’s desk - Tony Coleiro


News Page


National Competition 2008: The Experience - Sarah Demarco


Scotland an unforgettable experience - Bertrand Gatt


VocMat Qualify for an Eu approved qualification at your own pace


End of Signature on debit and credit card slip


Making Attractions Sustainable: EUTO Conference in Nottingham and London


Work, Leisure and Holiday - Rebecca Gatt


A quick glimpse to the islands’ Music Culture over the centuries Part2 – The early years - Joyce Guillaumier


HACCP Explained SOPs, Standard Operational Procedures - Paulino Schembri


Pork and its Versatility in Catering - by James Muscat

19 November 2008

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editor’s address

Welcome Challenging Times call for Challenging Leaders These are times when we need to work together even more than usual. We have a notable tendency in these islands to create little pockets of Julian Zarb

resistance when we are faced with challenges, we form cliques, we close ranks with certain people at work, we protect ourselves by becoming introverts! Well, perhaps this is news to some of you! Those tactics just don’t work...they never did and they never will! Working together, believing and acting in synergies and being innovative are the key to success for the tourism industry. In this second issue of the IoH magazine, we have tried to include both industry oriented articles as well as features that look at new methods for producing that extra value, such as the HACCP process and the development and inclusive policies for Human Resources today; James Muscat also gives us some interesting facts about Pork; two members give a brief account of their experience in Scotland and Ireland earlier this year, after they successfully participated in the first ever IOH Award that focuses on creating innovation and new ideas for the industry. It is these ideas that will bring better results for the industry, it is not the recycling of those well used and outdated strategies and marketing plans that we have worked with for over forty years! We need to recognize the changes that are necessary to become more competitive, we certainly need to recognize the need to innovate and most certainly we should recognize the effect of simply doing nothing about anything! Take Care

I hope you will find this first issue interesting and informative

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

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chairman’s address

From the Chairman’s desk In these last few years we have been hearing a lot about Climate Change and after years of debate, consensus among most of the world's scientists holds that we are warming the planet. Unless we take steps now to curb global warming, our way of life, our planet, and our children are all in grave danger. There is hope. Each of us can make simple decisions that will reduce global warming pollution. There is every reason to believe that the variability of global temperature and other climate characteristics experienced over the past century are part of the natural variability of the climate system and are not a consequence of recent anthropogenic activities. The world needs all forms of energy — from conventional crude oil and natural gas to the emerging sources of the future. Diversifying our sources of energy is essential in order to meet the world's growing demand in an environmentally sound way. Developing the infrastructure to produce and distribute new forms of energy such as biofuels on a large scale is a significant challenge. To succeed, we need energy solutions that are innovative, practical and enduring.

Tony Coleiro

Renewable and advanced technologies have the potential to alter the energy portfolio over the long term. They can create new raw materials for fuel, new sources for power and new benefits for the environment. Although these resources may not be commercially available for decades, there is real and challenging work to be done right now. We're committed to helping meet the world's demand for energy while taking steps to protect the environment. We believe that it's the right thing to do and that it's critical to our success in a world in which energy sources should be developed in an environment that's clean, safe and healthy.

We must always keep our main objec-

That's why we are continually improving our processes to minimize pollution and waste, conserve natural resources, and reduce potentially negative environmental impacts of our activities and operations. To achieve these goals we need to learn more from and respect the cultures in which we work. We must value and demonstrate respect for the uniqueness of individuals and the varied perspectives and talents they provide. We have an inclusive work environment and actively embrace a diversity of people, ideas, talents and experiences. We must always keep this objective in mind. It is the Institute’s mission to promote such initiatives which reflects the highest standards in all tourism businesses. This can be achieved only with your support and by being active in The Institute’s educational activities.

tive to promote the highest standards in hospitality


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

November 2008

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News Page Industry The Institute of Hospitality Malta signs up to the European Road Safety Charter The European Union has set a target to save 25,000 lives within the next 3 years. This is a noble target and should be supported by everybody. This is the reason why the Institute has agreed to take part in this initiative. Over the last few weeks we have been actively discussing how to be of assistance in this initiative. In a signing ceremony which was held on the 23rd October the Institute has signed its commitment towards this programme. We have agreed to take two main initiatives: 1. We shall promote the great responsibility and ethical issues that employees have when serving alcohol to their clients. We shall print information posters to distribute to all bars, restaurants and hotels in Malta and Gozo. 2. Work stress and fatigue can cause accidents that could have been avoided if their mental awareness was greater. Discuss with the 2 major Unions in Malta to reduce work stress and fatigue and include measures in collective agreements. Organise seminars with the Unions to discuss and find practical ways of reducing such risks for the industry’s employees. We urge everyone to do their best efforts to avoid all preventable deaths! !

International International News and Events The World Tourism Market opened this year at London’s Excel Centre from the 10th to the 13th November 2008. This event attracts over 45,000 travel professionals representing 202 countries and regions; it is considered one of the key events for networking and discussing new business deals as well as seeing the latest destinations and market trends.

Obituary Appreciation The death has been announced of Eric Gerada-Azzopardi, in London on October 4, he was aged 69; as part of his London posting, he headed the Malta Tourist Office during the early years of the tourism industry and at a time when this socio-economic activity depended so heavily on the British Market. During the 1970’s he joined Air Malta and for the next twenty five years headed such entities as Holiday Malta as well as Air Malta’s operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Scandinavia. Eric Gerada Azzopardi also wrote one of the first modern and illustrated books: Malta: An Island Republic, a historical travelogue of Malta. The Chairman and Committee of Insitute of Hospitality (Malta) would like to pay their last respects to one of the industry’s leading pioneers. It is at moments like this that we show solidarity with the Eric Gerada Azzopardi’s family in their hour of grief. !

Some of the highlights from the WTM Seminar, Conference and Events programme included: • The unmissable WTM Global Economic Forum debating how the current economic state will affect your business • Making a profit from Responsible Tourism • Travel technology, culinary tourism & the lucrative gay market - just some of the free sector focused seminars taking place during WTM. !

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National Competition 2008 The Experience - Sarah Demarco As I walked past the large stone

out. That's why we only employ the

That’s why Clontarf Castle is

lions guarding the entrance,

very best people in the hospitality

ranked in the top 100 companies

through the glass doors and into

industry. Clontarf Castle people are

in Europe to work for and the

the enormous, historical lobby, I

always friendly, knowledgeable, pas-

only hotel to make the list!

could clearly make out the warm,

sionate and ready to help. There are

The management empowers their

welcoming smile coming from the

common things we believe in - peo-

staff to take decisions; they

person behind the reception desk.

ple and team work; passion for excel-

encourage them to take owner-

I would be staying at the Clontarf

lence, continuous improvement and

ship of the job, which in turn

Castle Hotel in Dublin for the

caring for guests”.

makes them take responsibility

next 2 weeks, on a work placement.

and pride. We encourage everyone to express their views and be respectful and

The management has effectively

As the days passed it was clear to

understanding towards each other's

bridged the gap between the staff

me that the staff at this Hotel gen-

needs, we believe in fair recruit-

and the management, making it

uinely enjoyed working here, exe-

ment, two-way communication

easier for staff to approach them

cuted their jobs to the best of their

and an investment in training and

with ideas and problems that

abilities and where always ready

development of our team, we aim

might arise, whilst still managing

and waiting to go the extra mile.

to achieve the highest possible stan-

to obtain the respect that is

dards by sustaining, developing

required between staff and man-

and advancing our guest facilities.

agement. !

Every department I visited and every person I met made it obvious that they were not only enjoying their job but they were also proud of the Hotel and they showed me round as if it was their own. It was then, that I made it my priority to find out why the staff at the Clontarf Castle Hotel where so genuinely happy to be at work. The Clontarf Castle Hotel is passionate about 4 things, one of which is their employees; here is a quote from the management: “Our people are the heart and soul of our business…we rely on them 100% to deliver our promise of excellence to our guests, day in and day

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an unforgettable experience - Bertrand Gatt I had the opportunity to work in

have views of Edinburgh Castle, the

glamorous setting for a glass of

one of Scotland’s most distin-

old town and the surrounding hills.

champagne and canapés. The

guished hotels, The Balmoral Hotel,

The hotel offers various food and

majestic Palm Court, where after-

Scotland’s finest Hotel which is situ-

beverage outlets. The Number

noon tea is served, is truly a world

ated at No.1 Princes Street in the

One, Edinburgh’s only Michelin-

class affair.

very centre of Edinburgh.

starred hotel restaurant, offers outstanding Scottish cuisine. Hadrian’s,

When I arrived at the hotel, I was

The Balmoral is located eight miles

the Balmoral’s chic and buzzy

welcomed by Mrs. Angela Mc. Lean

from Edinburgh International

brasserie, provides delicious cuisine

who was my training mentor

Airport and is adjacent to Waverley

in an informal ambience. The

throughout the length of my stay.

Rail Station. It is not just a hotel, it

Balmoral Bar, Edinburgh’s most

On the first day I was given an

is also a landmark thanks to its

stylish bar was launched in

induction course about the hotel,

majestic clock tower which is an

November 2007 and offers classic

the Rocco Forte Group (Mother

important feature in the city’s sky-

champagne, innovative cocktails,

Company) and the targets and


fine wines and five star service in

policies of the Group. I was also

chic and luxurious surroundings.

given a work experience action

The hotel has 188 bedrooms,

The Bollinger Bar, the only one in

plan that explained every depart-

including 20 suites, many of which

the UK, is a very sophisticated and

ment, timings, and the head of November 2008

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I had the opportunity to work in

The Balmoral has also its GAP stan-

most of the hotel departments,

dards. Gap Standards are imple-

these also included the back of

mented to ensure that all guests

house department, housekeeping,

receive a level of service consistent

front office and sales and market-

with the image that the hotel seeks

ing department.

to portray. These standards are to be met at all times with every guest

I was given the standard opera-

that enters the establishment

tion procedure of each depart-

regardless of what is requested,

ment and was guided to follow

staffing issues, and business levels.

these procedures by the relevant department with whom I would be

head of department. Some

Throughout my experience at the


departments also have detailed

Balmoral I perceived that the per-

check lists that have to be

sonnel are very proud to be work-

A phrase that remains imprinted in

checked on every shift.

ing at the Balmoral. They have a

my mind during the induction

The Human Resources

lot of respect for each other and

course were the words by the H.R.

Department provides a personal

work as a team.

manager, “We are ladies and gen-

development plan for each and

tlemen serving ladies and gentle-

every employee, this plan is fol-

I believe that this is due to good

men�. After my work experience at

lowed by a training mentor and

management that grants good

the Balmoral, I can attest to this

the employee is given target dates

motivation and respect to each and


and goals to achieve.

every employee. !

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VocMat Qualify for an Eu approved qualification at your own pace In the European Union the travel and tourism industry is expected to continue to grow. Consequently there will be a need for continuos development programmes for all those who are employed in this activity as well as for those who should enter the industry. Tourism is not a static industry, trends change, concepts change with them and all the stakeholders need to be able to respond to these changes rapidly, efficiently and effectively.CPD ensures that the level of response to changes in the tourism industry are understood and can be managed in a professional manner. The Insitute of Hospitality supports all initatives that will improve the level of professional service and management within the tourism industry, particularly within the hospitality sector.

University of Malta; Parnu College of the University of Tartu; Tourist Board Training Scotland; Tourism Management Institute England; Enterprise Estonia / Estonia Tourist Board; Malta Tourism Society and Sungurlu Vocation & Technology Development Association Turkey.

participants from each participating country should be limited, in fact Malta was allowed to have a maximum of 9 students. Perhaps, it would be useful to explain just what the VocMat principles and objectives are all about.

In 2007, two more Partners from Malta decided to join, these were the Malta Tourism Society and University of Malta. Initially it was planed that the number of student

Each university has validated four core modules currently making up the VocMat curriculum, which include: (1) Strategic Management for Tourism; (2) Tourism

The VocMat Curriculum

The European Union of Tourism Officers (EUTO) has since October 2005 been working together with a number of Partners coming from Catalonia; England; Estonia; Italy; Latvia; Malta; Scotland and Turkey on “VocMat� a new concept for on line or e learning for those involved directly or indirectly in the tourism industry. The Partners also include University of Girona; University of Florence; Sheffield Hallam University; November 2008

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Marketing Management; (3) Human Resource Management in Tourism & (4) Operations Management in Tourism. Each module is set at postgraduate level, appropriate for its target audience of senior and middle level managers, and attracts credit points from the university which delivers it, as well as the equivalent European Credit Transfer Scheme points. On completion of each module, participants will be awarded a certificate showing the module and number of credit points achieved. ! Further information on VocMat can be found on the website or by e-mailing: The Malta Tourism Society on ( The project representatives: Noel E Falzon on or Julian C Zarb on or University of Malta – Dr. Nadia Theuma on

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End of Signature on debit and credit card slip A chip is an electronic device,

process of upgrading up to a bil-

2010, all magnetic stripe cards

generally silver or gold in colour

lion debit and credit cards. The

would have been converted to

and that stores card holder’s

Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

Chip and PIN. These cards could

information securely. The Chip

project brings added momentum

be used anywhere in the SEPA

card offers enhanced security

to the European EMV migration

area and beyond. Due to the

benefits that verify the identity of

process. Driven by the European

Magnetic Stripe, the Chip card

the cardholder. Furthermore it

Central Bank and the European

may be also used in countries

can incorporate updates and

Payments Council, this initiative

where Chip technology is not

other future value-added services.

is bringing more harmonisation


In contrast to Magnetic Stripe

to the European market place.

technology, Chip and PIN tech-

Since EMV provides a consistent

BOV began its EMV project in

nology offers:

card and terminal standard, the

October 2004, when it started

Chip card is seen as a core com-

replacing its POS equipment with

• Quicker checkout times: partic-

ponent of the SEPA project. Under

new, EMV enabled machines. The

ularly at retail outlets. A tradi-

the terms of the SEPA Cards

Bank has also upgraded all its

tional magnetic stripe and signa-

Framework , the migration

ATMs by Q1 2005 and replaced

ture transaction usually takes 43

process must be completed by the

the last POS units, by mid 2007.

seconds at a High Street shop

end of 2010.

During the next few months, all

whilst a Chip and PIN one takes

The end of 2010 can, therefore,

BOV Cashlink Visa cards will

only 29 seconds;

be looked upon as the “back

have been migrated to Chip and

stop” of the entire European EMV

PIN. This will be followed by the

• Lower fraud rates: According to

migration programme. Chip and

Platinum and Gold Cards. Our

a recent study conducted by Visa

PIN-enabled point of sale (POS)

Classic Visa and MasterCard will

Europe, through the introduction

terminals are being placed at sev-

migrate to Chip and PIN during

of Chip and PIN, merchants and

eral million merchants. The


customers have experienced an

European region’s ATM network

81% reduction in fraud in coun-

is also being completely upgrad-

tries where Chip and PIN cards

ed. In most European countries,

are accepted; and

the majority of cards and/or terminals have already been

• Fewer charge backs: Experience


has shown that migration to Chip and PIN has also brought

The local perspective

about a decrease in the number

Currently, the banks are in the

of charge backs.

process of sending out an information leaflet to all their card-

Across the European Union, more

holders informing them about

than 4,500 banks are in the

Chip and PIN. By the end of

The article has been compiled by Mr Peter J. Sant, Senior Manager on EU and SME and Ms. Josephine Scerri, Senior Manager Card Issuing at Bank of Valletta.

November 2008

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JMP & C Advert Still to Come from Patrick

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International news


Making Attractions Sustainable: EUTO Conference in Nottingham and London A Pan European Organization. The

see that the medieval castle that is

President, Julian Zarb, also gave a

theme chosen for the event was:

associated with this story has long

presentation on the Mediterranea

'Attractions and events as catalysts

been replaced with a 17th Century

Festival held every year in October

for regeneration and social change'.

Ducal Palace and Sherwood Forest

in Gozo. Dr. Josanne Cutajar from

The conference coincided with a

is no longer the thickly wooded

the University of Malta presented a

conference hosted by The Centre for

expanse that has been made so

background to the Birgu

Tourism and Cultural Change

popular in countless films and tele-

Rehabilitation Project and its

(CTCC) at Leeds Met University and

vision series over the past decades!

impact on the local community.

included case studies and study vis-

And how does one alleviate this dis-

its about the regeneration of attrac-

illusionment of a perception with

The Malta Tourism Society will be

tions and tourist sites in

the real experience of the attraction

preparing a detailed and focused

Nottingham and London.


report on the conference and study visit and how some of the principles

The delegates were able to see for

The secret is in creating a series of

used in the process of regeneration

themselves how sites such as

“Living History” experiences; hands

could be adopted or adapted in the

Nottingham “Castle”; Sherwood

on educational activities such as

local scenario. The report will be

Forest and Clumber Park were able

the Robin Hood Festival held every

the topic for discussion at a work-

to create new interest and potential

August in Nottingham or the

shop to be held in the coming year

by rebranding and repackaging

Pageant held in October. For the

together with the national authori-

their assets and features.

more ardous visitor there can be a

ties, NGOs and corporate members

Nottingham is a town that is very

series of cycle, walking or camping

of the MTS: CHI Hotels; Supreme

much associated with the legend of

holidays. The delegates also heard

Coaches; Limestone Heritage and

Robin Hood and the Sherriff of

about case studies from other coun-

Malta Experience. The public will

Nottingham – but visitors to the

tries such as Spain, Scotland and

also be invited to attend the work-

town may be very disappointed to

Sweden. The Malta Tourism Society

shop and members of the MTS will November 2008

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International news


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be able to receive a copy of the full

ment and research programmes in

exchanges to all participants. The

report once it is complete. Necstour

the field of sustainable tourism,

meeting which was held in

Conference – Marseilles (30th to

exchange information and imple-

Marseilles at the end of October

31st October 2008)

ment joint activities. In general,

focussed on five main issues that

research and innovation in all

were discussed during workshops:

The launch of the European agen-

their forms must be central to the

da for a sustainable and competi-

sustainable development of

tive tourism in October 2007

tourism. The conference aims to

prompted the Region Provence-

gather European Regions working

• Quality of life for residents

Alpes-Cote d'Azur, with the Region

for sustainable tourism and to

• Widening seasonal concentration

Tuscany and Cataluña, to initiate

affirm the role of regions in

• Active conservation of heritage

the Network of European

Europe. It will also be an opportu-

Competitive and Sustainable

nity to identify steps necessary to

Tourism Regions, called

reach the goals set by the new


European agenda. The Region

These issues are all important for

Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur is

a sustainable and more effective

The network’s objectives are to

pleased to host the second confer-

tourism destination since it

develop and strengthen a frame-

ence of the European Regions for a

enhances the attractiveness and

work for the coordination of

sustainable and competitive

“feel good” factor of the

national and regional develop-

tourism and wishes fruitful

locations. !

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November 2008

• Social and Environmental Responsibility

and identity • Transport and mobility

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education and tourism

Work, Leisure and Holiday For most people, the activity ‘work’ is a central feature of their life. In fact this activity occupies a large part of their day than any other single type of activity.

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

There are characteristics linked with

Holidays, which are periods of

work such as income, since people

leisure, sometime provide an ambi-

need money to satisfy their needs.

guity. This is sensed when a person

Work also provides and exercises

decides to spend a couple of hours

people with the learning and devel-

of his day off work carrying out an

opment of skills and the acquisition

exhausting performance. Does this

of knowledge and experience.

imply less leisure as a result? In fact

Routine work tends to provide peo-

there is no straightforward answer,

ple with structural environment. It

however some activities can be

may also offer people a variety of

described as leisure but others cer-

tasks to perform. At least people

tainly not.

are given the opportunity of doing something different from the every-

As employment becomes the domi-

day-home tasks. And, on the place

nant form of work, the distinction

of work workers have the opportu-

between occupation and leisure

nity to interact with their col-

becomes sharper and come to

leagues and to participate in

mean what people do in the time

shared activities. Further, through

they have for themselves.

employment people also acquire a

Nowadays the range of leisure

social identity.

activities and facilities are spreading. The employees are prepared to

The time left over after any obliga-

make use of and invest in such

tion, especially paid work, is

recreation when off work and going

At this point I am

defined as leisure. The workers

on holiday, even though they

eagerly await free time, no matter

might undergo certain sacrifices to

what how vital their job is, and

gain extensive leisure. But even

not trying to state

most often is used for recuperation,

workers need their break.

relaxation, recreation and for cul-

the fact that the

tural or artistic pursuits. During

Leisure tends to be measured

such moments, people are compe-

against employment rather than

tent to do what ever they yearn to

work, therefore without the time

is insupportable but

do. Most often leisure time is more

spent at any employment leisure is

significant to the employee rather

not fully appreciated. Workers have

certainly they lead a

than to others who organise their

earned the right for holidays, days

own work and so can plan their

off and weekends, and such attain-

own rest.

ment need to be conserved. !

Maltese woman’s life

stressful one.

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A quick glimpse to the islands’ Music Culture over the centuries Part 2 – The early years During the British Rule, the opera tradition in Malta not only continued but was reinforced. A new, bigger, better equipped Royal Theatre was built in Valletta in 1866. Lavish productions were held at this ill-fortuned theatre which was first burnt down just seven years after its opening and eventually bombed in 1942 during the Second World War.


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

A more affluent society, a large British military community and an emergent middle-class provided the patrons who used to attend the RJAL as the theatre was commonly known by the Maltese. Its shell can still be seen at the entrance to our capital city, and although plans have been made for its reconstruction, we are still without an adequate opera house in Valletta. Lately the idea has been mooted to transform the bombed-out shell into an open-air theatre. This, I hope, is only a temporary measure to utilize the site until a new theatre can be built. Many Band Clubs too know their existence to the British period. Military bands parading in the Capital’s streets provided the inspiration to volunteers to set up their musical societies which spread like wild-fire, and now there is hardly a town or village in Malta and Gozo that does not boast of its own band club, in some instances even two or three. In general these clubs provided the first approach to music for many Maltese. Nowadays they still form the kernel round which a num-

ber of activities are organized during festivities held every year in different parishes to honour their respective patron saints. To the present day, band clubs provide basic music teaching without charge, besides holding annual concerts in various parts of the Islands and to which the general public is invited to attend free of charge. Local feasts, celebrated in the many new parishes that were being established in different localities due to an explosion in the population - there were 120,000 inhabitants in Malta and Gozo in 1850, but 180,000 in 1900(7) also gave a boost to sacred music. During the 19th century, many important Maltese cappellas flourished. One must mention here the Nani, Diacono, Bugeja and Camilleri dynasties that have provided music linked to festas in Malta and which are still part of the celebrations. For many Maltese, a festa is not complete without the well-known Antifona, which is robust music in quick time meant to praise the Saint, create a sense of euphoria and give November 2008

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vent to religious emotions and devotion. During a week or two prior to the festa, the musical cappella, made up of the maestro di cappella, his musicians and the singers, provided – and still do - the different music at the appointed day and hour. The ensemble normally does not belong to a particular parish but is hired privately according to exigencies. However, many parishes have their own choir that provides the required services during the normal liturgical functions throughout the year. Since Latin is no longer the prevalent language used in the Catholic Church, hymns and other sacred music are sung nowadays in Maltese. THE building of the Royal Opera House in the 19th century meant that the Manoel Theatre had to find an alternative form of entertainment instead of the repertoire that had moved to the new theatre. Operettas provided this relief and

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many Italian and continental ones were all the rage. Music halls, bars and restaurants became a part of life especially in Valletta which remains even today the birthplace of many of our popular and jazz musicians. Freddie Mizzi, a clarinettist of world renown, the Curmi, Schembri, Galea, Dowling, Borg, Lucas and Vella families, all from Valletta, are but a few who formed the backbone of our popular music, a particular genre which has grown enormously in the last years. Serious music has also developed significantly in the Nani 20th century. Carmelo Pace can be considered as the doyen of 20th century Maltese musicians. This eminent composer and teacher was born in Valletta in 1906 and died in Sliema in 1993. During his long career he composed more than 3,000 works in every genre, starting from simple, short hymns to full-blown operas of which he composed four (8) Being

a much sought-after teacher, he has influenced most of the musicians who were or are still active in the music field on the island. Other notable names are Charles Camilleri, who has recorded thirtysix CDs and whose works are played regularly in concert-halls and theatres both here in Malta and abroad, Joseph Vella, composer, researcher, conductor and university professor, who has recorded his compositions on Cds and who has edited a number of manuscripts found at the Archives in Mdina, Joseph Sammut, who set up the first Orchestra in Malta in 1966 from the Admirality Orchestra which was about to be disbanded at that time and who has now turned to composition besides conducting and teaching, Michael Laus, a pianist and the present conductor of our National Orchestra and a university professor teaching performing and interpretation and Dr Dion Buhagiar, musicologist, composer and university professor. The younger generation is also very active, participating in music activities in Malta and abroad. Composers, conductors, soloists, choirs and singers in various fields keep the Malta scene alive and active in spite of the many difficulties that result from the fact that

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this is a very small island situated at the southernmost end of Europe. This results in much travelling and expenses, time and money that could be otherwise used more profitably in the quest for further improvement by Maltese musicians. However where there is a will there is a way, and as this Choir Festival well illustrates, it only needs enthusiasm and dedication to increase more musical experiences to the audiences. But seeing that, as we say in Maltese ‘Bla flus la tghannaq u lanqas tbus’ which liberally translated means that money is indispensable, may I also say a big Thank You to all sponsors but primarily to those who, like me, believe that Man cannot live by bread alone, and that music should form a large chunk of our daily diet.

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 !

TATAMI OKLAHOMA MODEL Top of the Range in Catering Footwear widely used by top chefs in Europe • Selling € ?85 •Upper part made of toughest buffalo leather •Non-slip rubber sole – oil & grease-resustabt •Durable & hard-wearing •High Quality Shoe – approved according to the German Industry Standard

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November 2008

BIRKENSTOCK CORK FOOTBED • Anatomically shaped to ensure maximum comfort • Can be removed to air it out or to wash (at 30o C) • Can be replaced with a substitute pair

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HACCP Explained SOPs, Standard Operational Procedures Standards Operational Procedures are required for all HACCP plans. SOPs are acceptable practices and procedures that the food service operation sets for the employees to follow. SOPs play an important role in all HACCP plans for the safety of the facility and also the food service. SOPs are the procedures and practices that will ensure the production of safe food. These procedures must be in writing. SOPs are the instruments to keep food service operations consistent and safe. They should be read by all the employees within the operation and than signed as proof of acknowledging and understanding the procedure. The case may arise where some employees will not understand all of the SOPs. Than it would be wise to explain in simple words the procedure and the way one should operate the procedure. When setting up the SOPs, one should keep in mind the whole operation and cover all the steps that are involved in the operation. Writing down SOPs should be in a consistent format, and this should include purpose, scope, keywords, instructions, monitoring, corrective actions, verification and record keeping. The date of implementation, review and revisions, and the signatures are required to verify that the action has taken place. Page 28

November 2008

SOPs are the mechanics of any food operation and should be verified by doing a walk through the operation and make sure that all the procedures of the operation are cover, leaving nothing out from purchasing to serving food. The SOPs should be broken down into steps and preferably aided by pictures. Besides having each SOP signed and filed, there should also be a large format sign of the SOP in a well chosen place, visible to all the persons working in that particular area.

SOPs from a large part of the Prps, and they should not be interchanged. For example, Personal Hygiene is a Prp, but than an SOP for personal hygiene will aid all employees keeping in line with the standards that the operation has seen fit to operate as a procedure. A food operation that wants to embrace a food safety system that involves the use of the HACCP principles, which is requisite in EC No.852/2004, should put in place a customized set of SOPs that will enhance the operation and make the food business operation safer and easier to follow.

“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.!

SOP; Standard Operational Procedure Prp; Prerequisite Programs HACCP; Hazards Analysis Critical Control Point

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Pork and its Versatility in Catering - by James Muscat Pork and its nutritional value

ing food product. An entire mer-

snack bar or any catering outlet for

Nutrition is a concern of food serv-

chandising programme can be set

that matter. One of the best

ice operators because the consum-

back, your reputation for fine foods

approaches to successful menu

ing public is continually reminded

can be endangered and any num-

planning, merchandising and of

with claims about fats, calories,

ber of repeat sales lost all because a

course, buying, is first recognizing

cholesterol and what not.

chef does not know the proper

the many possible uses of pork.

A manager’s conception about a

cooking temperature for pork or

Think beyond simply a pork chop

particular food and what he thinks

insists on overcooking roasts and

for lunch or some bacon for break-

others feels about it affect all his

chops. Educate and sell your

fast. Do not think of pork as a

menu planning decisions including

employees first and then they will

standby menu-filler. Instead think

those on pork. Pork has an impor-

help you to sell your establishment.

of the many cuts, fresh and

tant place in foodservice menu

Profits can easily be boosted

processed, in numerous options for

planning due to its nutritive value

through merchandising although

any and every meal. With several

and wholesomeness. No meal plan-

an intelligent and efficient purchas-

menu items in mind, it is far easier

ner can afford to overlook pork on

ing programme is important and

to check the kinds of cuts available,

the menu because it provides the

necessary in every top-notch food-

give them proper exposure on the

high quality protein so necessary to

service installation. Whether you

menu and carry out a more knowl-

build, maintain and repair body tis-

are planning an English breakfast,

edgeable purchasing policy. In

sue. Pork is an excellent source of

a buffet lunch or a carvery dinner,

planning any particular pork

thiamin, a B vitamin so necessary

the creation of appetizing quality

entrĂŠe, how much pork to buy

for healthy nervous systems, good

products is imperative. The next

becomes an early and important

appetites and proper digestion. It is

thing is to encourage your cus-

consideration. The objective, of

also a very good source of iron and

tomers to order those menu items

course, is to order enough to handle

other minerals and the vitamins

that yield most profit. It is far easier

orders with an absolute minimum

riboflavin, B6 and B12.

to make a profit at the selling stage

leftover. The actual quantity to pur-

and to entice your clients with taste,

chase will be determined on the

Merchandising pork

smell and appearance than to

basis of past business and on the

Properly prepared, attractively

spend a lot of time looking for a

anticipated volume of business

served and actively merchandised

chance to cut cost in buying.

expected. General guidelines are

on the menu, pork can become the

helpful although exact figuring is

number one profit item for foodser-

Buying pork

difficult due to variables like

vice installations. One of the basic

Purchasing pork and pork products

weight, size and shape of cuts,

but often neglected steps in mer-

is a combination of basic business

whether these are boneless or on-

chandising is people – yourself,

principles plus a knowledge of and

the-bone, the amount of fat cover,

your employees and your cus-

confidence in the product. With

cooking loss, trimming before and

tomers. This is especially true in

interest and some effort, buying

after cooking, holding time and

merchandising pork because of the

pork can be a simple and profitable

how a roast is sliced. All of these

many misconceptions that have

side of any foodservice business, be

effect the yield and how much

existed so long about this outstand-

it a hotel, restaurant, canteen,

meat to buy. Another very imporNovember 2008

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manager theHospitalitym

tant determining factor is whether

mal cuts, the two most widely used

Technology in Msida. Three years

the pork joints are of local origin or

for catering purposes are the loin

later he furthered his studies in

imported. Caterers know that the

and the leg.

Montreux, Switzerland at the

quality of locally bred pork is very

famous hotel school “Centre

high and, in most cases, far superi-

The concept of buffet breakfast

International de Glion� His sum-

or when compared the imported

within the local hotel industry has

mers were taken up by working in

versions. Consequently, the yields

resulted in an array of processed

a number of hotels both locally

and food cost are normally much

meats being offered in the dining

and overseas. In 1981 James trav-

better when using fresh local pork

room. Bacon, English type

elled to Miami to follow a bachelors

cuts as, for example, the loin or the

sausages, local Maltese sausage,

degree programme in hospitality

leg. Moreover, the taste, presenta-

cooked ham, gammon, smoked

management at Florida

tion and succulence of Maltese pork

arrosto, mortadella and luncheon

International University. After grad-

are reputed to be the best in all of

meat with olives are but a few of

uating from the USA, he returned

Europe. An added advantage of

the possible options of locally pro-

to Malta to join the family busi-

using local pork is that your suppli-

duced processed meats that are of

ness. In the past 25 years James has

er can prepare the meats to your

very good value and can dramati-

been very actively involved in meat

specifications. Thus a simple pork

cally enhance the variety of hot

processing and catering consultan-

loin can be converted into a bone-

and cold cuts offered for breakfast.

cy. He and his brother John are

less, skinless and rolled oven-ready

Meat processing plants in Malta

directors of Prime Ltd and, together,


are today also manufacturing a

they also operate a chain of eight

number of specialised products like

meat shops specialising in a wide

Menu variety with pork

pork and tomato sausage, Italian

variety of products intended for all

Pork offers infinite variety and

style sausage and Maltese salami.

client groups including restaura-

many choices to the caterer who

Such unusual but very appetising

teurs and caterers.

especially wants to expand or

products can very easily offer a bet-

change his menu. The number of

ter variety at a reduced cost.

menu items that can be produced

James was one of the very first members of HCIMA in Malta and

from both fresh and processed pork

Learn more about pork and

has been a fellow member of the

products is virtually limitless. Pork

meat in general

Institute of Hospitality for a long

is extremely adaptable and com-

In the event that you would like to

number of years. He was recently

plements a variety of sauces, prepa-

enhance your knowledge on this

elected as a committee member of

ration methods and garnishes. In a

topic, James Muscat can offer effec-

IOH Malta. James is also ITEC

few words, pork is truly versatile

tive guidelines to the caterer in

qualified in Nutrition & Diet

and fits any occasion. Put pork on

respect of fresh and processed

Theory and, more recently, has

your menu, promote it and you will

meats with particular focus on the

been a guest on a number of televi-

be pleasantly surprised at the way

various cuts available on the local

sion and radio programmes with a

customers order it. Any item with

market, ways to minimise your

variety of original and healthy

quality is saleable and anything

food costs and recommendations


that can be sold can be a profit

on planning your menus to opti-

maker. Fresh pork cuts like the fillet,

mise customer satisfaction.

also referred to as the tenderloin,


the loin medallion and the collar

James commenced his career in

chop are becoming increasing pop-

1976 by enrolling for the hotel

ular on both a la carte and func-

management diploma course at

tion menus. Of the four major pri-

the Malta College of Science, Arts &

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November 2008

James may be contacted by email

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