In this fourth part of a five-part series, Susan Reynard chats to management and staff at Hilton Sandton to find answers to the burning question: What brings guests back?
Food and beverage together with functions and events are key revenue streams in hotels. They represent the social side of a business, which is where guests interact with each other, conduct business meetings, and relax during mealtimes.
Restaurants, bars and banqueting services are a way in which hotels can differentiate themselves from one another. A great hotel restaurant, stylish bar and state-of-the-art banqueting and conference offering stand out and ensure guests get to experience the social side of a hotel.
Executive chef Frank Salentyn brings his passion to the busy kitchens every day and says working together as a team is important for maximum creativity and efficiency. He is keen to continually grow the skills of the team, spanning ingredients and cooking methods as well as equipment and systems.
Service, quality and standards drive the food and beverage offering. Restaurant manager Chris Wingrove looks to motivate his team and offer on-the-job training.
The hotel’s restaurants, lounge and bar look for new ways to attract day visitors as well as hotel guests. Building relationships with guests is key to understanding their needs and ensuring they are met. Wingrove says it is the small things that tend to bring guests back.
Robin Smith as banqueting manager looks after the many functions and conferences that take place across the hotel on any given day. He says planning is critical to the success of an event.
As every event is different, ensuring the correct equipment is delivered, niceties well executed and staff schedules are spot on, has to be done well in advance. All functions need to receive the same attention to detail, from the large corporate events to the small special gatherings. Staff come together as a community, with lots of hands on deck needed in this busy department.
The focus of the kitchen brigade, restaurants and banqueting team is not simply ensuring that there are no complaints, but achieving a truly “wow” response from guests and clients. This is where repeat business comes from.
View the other videos in this series:
VIDEO: A day in the life of… human resources and training staff
VIDEO: A day in the life of… housekeeping and maintenance staff
VIDEO: A day in the life of… reception and front desk staff