2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Published in: on December 30, 2014 at 05:54  Leave a Comment  

Rigipsar român din Italia către cei care conduc România

Rigipsar român din Italia către cei care conduc România.

Published in: on November 5, 2014 at 07:57  Leave a Comment  

Recipes Chapter V Chinese Food

Recipes Chapter V Chinese Food.

Published in: on June 17, 2014 at 09:39  Leave a Comment  

You Know You’re a Cruise Ship Worker When…

You Know You’re a Cruise Ship Worker When….

 

  • You plan your entire day around crew all aboard time. No one wants their house to leave without them.
  • Getting a stomachache means either sucking it up or risk being quarantined for 72 hours for fear of a GI outbreak. Brace yourself for reruns of The Big Bang Theory and a dinner delivery of cold chicken and sticky rice.
  • Nothing ruins your day faster than an email about “red code.” Deep clean this embark day??? NOOOOOO!!!
  • Bingo Night means cheap Coronas in the theatre and yelling out inappropriate jokes at certain numbers being called. “O 69!” “Dinner for two!” … Was that my boss that just – yes, yes it was.
  • You have mastered the art of hiding your drunkenness. Did security just walk in? Shit, better turn my ratchet down a notch.
  • Your calendar is no longer defined by days of the week, but ports of call. What day is the magician performing? St. Thomas Day.
  • Shaving your legs requires the hand eye coordination of a Chinese Olympic gymnast. Looks like I missed a spot when my leg was behind my head.
  • The only reason you care that it’s the weekend is because now you won’t be able to reach home office for two days. Still no sign off date? Looks like you’re waiting another three days… it’s Friday. Miami checks out early on Fridays.
  • You know the location of the free wifi in every port of call, and you probably know all of the passwords, too. Crap, The Big Banana changed their password again. Waitress?
  • The only thing running through your mind during a boat drill is how many of those tiny liquors you can shove down your shirt before this mother goes down. If I’m stuck in a life raft, there better be Pringles and booze.
  • Your only window is on TV. Is it cloudy out? Dunno, turn on channel 19.
  • You have a real problem with anyone else having the same deck pone ringtone as you. Was that my phone!?!? *SIGH* Nope, IT guy has the same ring. So annoying.
  • Alcohol is not a problem, but truly the solution. We made it through another day! Drink!
  • You have become a master at time zones and time zone changes. Three hours forward in one week? No sweat.
  • You know the word “paisano,” use it daily, and fully understand its importance. Listen, I know you don’t like her, but she’s my paisano, so put on your big girl panties and deal with it.
  • You never crave rice, because it’s ALWAYS there. Ahhhh, the bucket of rice has been served.
  • You are disgustingly resourceful and have created costumes out of just about anything you can find onboard – tape, cardboard, your life jacket. It’s a “Safety Party”? Where did I put that hard hat I whittled out of styrofoam?
  • No one judges you for re-wearing the same dress to three different parties. Which of my six outfits will I wear tonight?
  • You know the most random phrases in obscure languages. I know thank you in approximately 30 languages, ‘Happy Birthday’ in Hungarian, ‘bastard’ in Greek, and ‘asshole’ in Spanish. Real life skills there.
  • Seeing the Captain around the ship is like having a cop car drive along side you on the highway – you’re not doing anything wrong, but you straighten up nonetheless. Shit, here comes Cap’n. Put your martini down! “Good evening, sir.”
  • You have learned to smile when you’re having the worst day of your life – it’s mandatory. I might have a flood in my room causing me to sleep in my office, but I wouldn’t want to put a damper on anyone’s vacation. “Good morning, Mr. Smith!”
  • You say hello to absolutely positively everyone that walks by. You also continue this practice at home and get weird looks. Crap, I can’t stop smiling at every stranger I see. This is not ok in NYC…
  • You make a family with people from every culture out there. You spend birthdays, holidays, every days and every waking hour with the same people and there’s not a second thought that this has become your super extended family. There isn’t a thing you wouldn’t do for them. “Girl, if you’re on port manning, I’m on port manning. Who needs a night out in Bermuda when we can watch Russell Peters on my laptop with some bowl noodles?” That’s love.

It’s been four years since I made my ship family, and I love and miss you all every day.

I want you guys to add to this list! Add more below!

 

Does this ring any bells ????????

Published in: on April 25, 2014 at 20:33  Leave a Comment  

Hotel Training

 

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Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 07:24  Leave a Comment  

NEW!General View on Hotel Industry

INTRODUCTION

Tourism , Hotel Industry and Technology travel very well together .With the advancements in technology the outcome is giving one’s impression , the feeling that “the world as we know it today becomes smaller and smaller “and without shadow of doubt it has affected the way people ( guests / clients for that matter )make their choices.

Tourism proves how people are deciding to spend their spare time , thus adding new dimensions to an already growing industry.

The lust / desire for traveling , for adventure , new places increased in the last few years .Experts forecast that the number of tourists worldwide will rise from 668 million ( in year 2000 ) to the amazing 1.561 billion by 2020!

reasons for traveling are very different .Tourism caters to many needs and groups .People travel often for business usually in a hectic pace. But to get away from their stressful side of life , they travel for pleasure: to invoke on a new adventure or experience other cultures provides , or a quite relaxing trip to be pampered and stress free for a period of time .

The traveler of today has unlimited options to choose from and ways to research that perfect trip that satisfies their whim……dreams!

The tourism industry can offer trips ranging from an excursion to Antarctica , an Amazon Jungle Ancient Mayan Ruins ……to an all inclusive tropical beach holiday .Every traveller has a specific desire for the trip they plan.

The tourism industry is sending a postcard to the world!

On the basis of all these facts it is no surprise that the tourism industry is one of the fastest and largest growing industries. Over 100 million people are working in this field making it the biggest employer in the world ….and it’s about to get even bigger!

This industry represents a permanent connection with people worldwide and draws the attention for an international awareness: take for example civil unrests or wars in different parts of the globe…..Union of Myanmar for instance…is a perfect spot for a unforgetable vacation …then again few details might force one to change decision!

There are no boundaries , frontiers for the rapid growth in this sector . Experts forecast that within the next two years the area of e-Tourism will reach the borders of billions .

The tourism industry is a very diverse field and is exempt of boredom and routine

Anyone who enjoys working with people and is interested in discovering the world can find a suitable place in this area

The tourism industry assures an exciting and enjoyable working environment – after all the industry fulfills the dreams and expectations of many people.

They organize complete journeys as well as last minute offers . The fulfillment of individual needs and having a customer oriented mentality are very important ( the corner stone of the industry ) in this sector.

The chances and possibilities of getting involved in the tourism sector are endless .

There are diverse training and course programs of study offers to choose from improving the chances of advancement in one’s career. The tourism industry offers a huge array of employment opportunities all over the world.

With applied training and course of studies in the tourism industry many possibilities open in this sector ( opening a business for example ).

These varieties of options are also offered to the adjacent areas like the hotels / restaurants ( gastronomy ) , services sectors .

Certain personality characteristics like the ability to work as / in a team , customer orientation last but not least an understanding of foreign languages ( I do consider myself most fortunate being able to speak about 10 foreign languages ) is a absolute must .

Anybody who is spontaneous , has a grasp of foreign languages and ready to get to know new cultures and customs from day to day is perfect for the tourism industry,,,,,,let us not forget that one has to like it …ONE HAS TO HAVE THE CALL FOR IT!

The hospitality industry is probably the world’s largest employer , counting one in ten people worldwide .However , the industry is growing faster than it can supply qualified people at managerial level ( therefore the book !).There are at present too few students taking college and university courses in hospitality to maintain the needed requirement and many of the students end up quitting after the first year ( at least in one University establishment I know ) , thinking it’s to hard , to difficult .

From this high demand there is an almost unlimited choice of opportunities for those that wish to study in the hospitality industry , plus a variety of careers in the wide range of sub sectors and activities connected .

If you would like to manage a hotel , run a restaurant , start your own business or utilize your interest in more administrative positions the hospitality industry provides occupation whatever your talents …or demand.

One of the biggest issues in this field today is the shortage of skilled workers / employees .

Qualified Chefs and Managers are in high demand whilst staff turnover remains high. Today managers in hospitality need many competences ( a whole array ) and to have an understanding of industry and have the fore sought of the industry to secure and keep the returning customer.

But even the best managers need to have qualified staff to help run a successful operation…cause a manager does not exist without his people !

With each rewarding sector potential for advancement is certain for qualified individuals.

Structures that makeup the hospitality industry such as hotels , restaurants , clubs and bars , catering and hospitality services, all have a need for people that work hard and apply their knowledge and skills.

This is where the importance of proper training really makes a difference .

Graduate training schemes are especially common in the hospitality sector, mainly where large companies are prominent . Hospitality degrees develop experience through industrial placements and many students can gain relevant experience through part time and vacation work . Whilst not necessary , knowledge of a language can be a bonus when applying .

Mostly , hotel programs are designed to develop operations managers of the future . To accomplish this , graduate trainees spend their training period moving around various departments and hotels within the group . Such divisions may include : restaurant , front house , accounts , seminars and events , sales and marketing , human resources , culinary department , food and beverage . Hotels insist that this varied training method prior to a specialisation gives important insight of the business and this is pertinent in competitive market where service and quality are paramount .

However not every graduate trainee becomes an operations manager . A number of them specialize in an area of their training , either within the hotel or develop in a head office occupation , such as accounting or finance, information technology, human resources , sales and marketing , etc .

This is not to mention the various positions within the sub sectors that can give as many varied training programs .

The hospitality sector , hotel industry for that matter , is not a Monday to Friday , nine to five job!It takes a certain personality that is not always for everyone . However , it can be suitable for thode that would like to work in a customer focused environment with a variety of specialist opportunities , and for the person that has a flexible attitude ; there is the chance for rapid career progression due to the already mentioned skills shortage .

We put special emphasis on the word TEAM because it takes team effort to make a god hotel / establishment a successful place to work.

Hospitality is our key word , which means to receive and entertain kindly any .graciously .You are a key member of the PR Staff of this establishment.

Courtesy and hospitality make more sales than any other factor , and it is YOU the people who will make from that particular establishment a success.

With the proper attitude towards your job , your guests and fellow employees , we , the TEAM , will make this restaurant / establishment / hotel a pleasant place to be in and work at.

Management has invested large amounts of money to get the best , outstanding décor , furniture and equipment to make this establishment a success , but it is up to us to make it happen .

This service manual is intended to help employees in their work of providing pleasant and efficient service to our customers.

Gala Night

PROFESSIONAL LOOK !

Does it have to be that way??

It really does !!

THE VALUE OF A SMILE

A smile costs nothing , but gives much .It reaches those who receive without making poorer those who give .It takes but a moment , but the memory lasts sometimes a lifetime .None is so rich and mighty that he can get along without it , and no one is so poor but that he can be made richer by it. A Smile creates happiness in the home , fosters good will I business .It brings rest to the weary , cheer to the discouraged .A Smile is sunshine to the sad, and is nature’s best antidote for trouble .Yet it cannot be bought , begged , borrowed , nor stolen , for it is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a Smile . Give them one of Yours , as none needs a Smile so much as he who has no more to give.

JOB DESCRIPTION

HOSTESS /CASHIER RESPONSABILITIES

Pick up Log Book and reservation Sheet from Management.

Check with manager on duty how to divide room according to business and labor force ( team ) .

Check daily folder and daily information .

Print matches with guest name ( s ) on them , …..or any other form of recognition towards our House Guests .

Should know daily menu . Change display items and roll case outside before lunch , to be brought back in ,after dinner time .

Should be at podium at all times except when called away for other duties .

Should keep podium neat and clean at all times .

Be pleasant over the phone and answer this type of sentence when answering calls :

“Good afternoon ( evening..) , this is “ADRIAN” Hotel , Adrian speaking , how can I be of assistance ?…

DO NOT let the phone ring more than twice ( 2 ) !!!

The hostess is responsible for receiving incoming calls and giving information regarding the restaurant ( Hotel , the establishment in general ) and availability of tables ( rooms )..etc, etc .She records reservations and special guests .

The hostess greets al arriving guests in a pleasant manner, making them feel welcome and at ease. She leads them to assigned tables if they have already been assigned , or assigns tables taking care not to overload individual stations while still respecting the wishes of the guests.

She indicates to the waiter , that newly arrived guests have been seated ,with proper information to waiters ( Host position ) , by giving them check with table #.

She must be aware at all times which tables are open or will become available so she may seat guests without hesitation. If all tables are filled , she takes the guest name , suggests the Lounge / Bar as a waiting place , telling them approximately how long it will be before their table becomes available When the table is ready she notifies the guests and escorts them to the table .

Whenever a guest asks the hostess for service , she must be helpful and answer in the affirmative . She must see that the request is filled , by relaying to the Maitre d’ Hotel or the Waiter on that section .

Keep log with computated information on guest counts.

Must be able to handle cash ( bills , notes , banknotes – various denominations ) , checks , credit cards , vouchers etc.

Change daily dates on credit card machine….if applicable.

Typing of VIP cards for local guests.

Acknowledgment of guest leaving !

COCKTAIL WAITER / WAITRESS

Opening duties 9 wipe tables , ashtrays , etc )

Knowledge of Tapa’s Menu , wine list and cocktails.

Service of the above duties .

Use of cash register with key or #.

Must use receipt to order and pick up any drinks .

Should be able to help hostess or waiter duty.

No guest should be forced to pay their bill if going to dining room , but transfer should be made to waiter with new information .

BARTENDERS

Because of your location in room remember that you are seen by all guests coming or leaving !

Check procedures of pouring with Bar/Beverage Manager .

All service rendered to employees must be delivered through receipts of registers ONLY ! Captain orders or verbal orders are just for better communication.

Underline check after service .

Wine receipts and beverage receipts must be kept and given at the end of the day to the Maitre d ’Hotel for control.

Pouring drinks to bar counter guests should be done in front of them , checks are to be rung through with you key or # and put face down next to hem.

No guest should be forced to pay their bill if going to dining room , but transfer should be made to the waiter with new information.

Knowledge of liquor laws if doubt or problems , please check manager on duty!

WAITHELP

Greeting the guest by name ..This information will be given to you by the hostess , just to help you personalize the service !

Offering of cocktails or wine by the glass / bottle .

Water served upon request ONLY , with napkin on the side for service .

Use your key or # for registering the guest and table .

Punch your order on register and use receipt for ordering / control to bartender .

Pick up & service of glasses by STEMS ONLY !

Use right garnishes for special drinks .

All beverages to be served on the right hand side as much as possible …When unable to do so , make sure to serve from the other side but FACING ALWAYS THE GUEST !

Serve ladies first ( upon age ) , gentlemen after and HOST last !

Check Blackboard for specials of the day .

Present menu and wine list , get attention of guest and go over specials ( soups and salads ) .

Orders to be taken by memory or captain orders

If meat is choice of main course ! ask how would they like to have this done ( saignant , rose , rare , medium rare , medium , medium well , well , well done ,roasted , black ) .

Try and get the wine order ASAP.

Process order to register , which will go straight to the kitchen / galley , using your key or # .

Service order should be ; appetizer ( hors d’oeuvre ) , soup , salad , entrée ( main course ) & desserts , hot beverages ( tea or coffee ) and after dinner drinks ( cognacs , brandy ) .

You should be able to serve 4 guests at once , carrying 3 plates on your left hand and the last which will be the first to be served , in your right hand .

Present bread , grissini and butter once you have taken the order !

Any addition of silverware should be done using a service silver tray covered with a clean napkin .FORKS , teeth up on the left , KNIVES , cutting edge inward to the right and SPOONS to the right of the knife. Also on top of B/B plate ( bread and butter side plate ) , knife parallel .

Wine should be open right after being presented to host which will check and agree to go ahead.

White wine in Ice buckets , reds in baskets and champagne in ice buckets as well

The glasses change has to be done before bringing the wine to the table.

The way a Restaurant should look like …

I‘ve just had the proof , after 8 years!….Long story short : worked as a Maitre d’Hotel in a French Restaurant – Cuisine Devant “La Maison du Lac”, in a 5* hotel in the Union of Myanmar , Yangon , Kandawgyi Palace Hotel .Coming to that hotel was a true exotic and unique experience alone!

res12

Table No. 7

Before opening the restaurant , while working on the menu to be with the French Chef-Mr. Gerard Sauvade , our Resident Manager-Mr. Robert Lassince , our General Manager-Mr. Richard Cheung and myself ( Maitre d’Hotel-Adrian Laurentiu Fulga ) a task fell into my hands ……setting up the restaurant , changing the table set up and location…well everything ….not an easy task.

I did the job the best I could , we’ve started the operation , the years past , I’ve left the hotel 2 years later ….and for 8 years no other feed back came to my attention regarding that particular restaurant and any other details about it for that matter.

Well , since internet communication is at its peak nowadays , I got in touch with my beloved French Chef ….so after 8 years guess what?!

He tells me that not only the menu that we put in place did not change a small bit ( including prices ) but the layout of the restaurant remained the same as if that place was frozen in time !

Inside info says that the General Manager ( the one on the job at present ) did try to change or something like that….unsuccessful……

Why was that?

No , not because one is the best ( no one is ….) the set up and layout of that restaurant remained the same just because of the solid and constant think over !

Basically I’ve spent countless hours before opening the restaurant thinking how best I can fit , how best I can arrange the interior of the restaurant in such a way that my guests / clients feel well and at ease

Was it difficult ??

In did it was , but IF , after 8 years , you come across some news like the above , well you know that what you did was solid work and very well done !

res11

Main area of the restaurant Table No. 1,2,3 & 4

Is it important , does it matter?

Of course it does !!!

Ambient / settings and layout could influence from the way a GUEST feels to the NUMBER of guests the establishment has !

None of the less , location within the city is very important as well , in such a way that many of the restaurants ( in every city ! ) are located mostly down town .

A secondary location should be resorts area If you don’t know fashion , trends , ways to set up a restaurant / location , well….check some magazines , ask for professional help …ask your colegues !….they might have a great idea !

rest

Wildest ideas come to life when it comes to interior design

Most of the times “LESS IS MORE”…remember to much of a complicated , overcrowded design / set up might damage the result …the outcome?….less and less people will show up to the restaurant / establishment due to the feeling they will have inside = UNCONFORTABLE !

Issues like the one above are pretty common and one will be able to find examples all over the world. Without blaming any one ( management or so….) , the cause might be the drive and will to have a establishment like no other , which is fine , except that there is a thin line in between extraordinary and c..p!

OPENING ASSIGNMENTS – BOTH SHIFTS

1.Sign in as you arrive , fully dressed , ready for work / duty .

2.Inspect / check your station , reset as needed and survey the dining room for any additional cleaning or set ups .

3.Crumb seats before opening and each time a guest departs .

4.Polish silverware , including bud vases .

5.Polish all glassware.

6.Align seats in your station

7.Check under the table for debris.

8.clean ashtrays , place matches to the side on the table ( with the esception of NON SMOKING establishments ! )

9.Place Salt & Pepper mill on each table

10.Set flowers on tables , clip ends and change water daily

11.Check with Front Desk / or Reservations Agent for any special seating , i.e. , large parties , special requests….

12.Check Kitchen Board for specials !

13.Prepare : Service Stands in the dining room :

-Creamers

-Butter Service

-Coffee Station

-Water Station

-Pepper Mills

14.Add rosewater or almond extract ( 1 cup full per quart ) to hand towels .

15.Prepare extra silverware and insert in proper napkin fold.

16.Arrange condiments on each service stand

17.Prepare Gueridon and stove ( for table side cooking / gueridon service ).

18.Run carpet sweeper thru station at end of shift.

FRONT DESK / RECEPTION / GUEST RELATIONS

Now , let’s start with another department …the one above :

One , working in such a spot in any establishment , should be aware !

One has to be able to level with the man on the street or with the Queen of England !

ATTENTION! Just because you’re on the other side of the desk does not mean that you’ll have to know only this and that ….and that’s it!

One will be surprised by the type of questions and issues a client / guest has and approaches with…..from :”I need a extra blanket”…to “maybe you can help me …” and being there you’ll have to be able to answer to ALL of them .

First time I’ve ever spent a night shift in a hotel …well , it was like another world ;I fell asleep once reached my bed time , it was close to pass out!

It is most of the time quiet ’till the moment you hear the elevator and then your mind starts to function : is there a problem? , is anyone leaving? , Why? , Early check out ?….and so on .

Working in this department means that you’ll have to be early at work in order to take over from the finishing shift : the team about to leave has to put you up to speed on the events occurred , no shows , special requests , issues , bad credits, non payments and others …including guests of other guests still existing in the establishment .

Coming early would be valid for all departments as well for the affilliates Front Office , Cashier , Concierge , Doorman , Bellboy .

One’s establishment might use different software programs : Landmark , Sitel , Fidelio , Opera , Micros…..despite the fact that they do well the job : managing at all times the establishment situation , in / on a front desk for employees eyes only there has to be a take over book which will provide the base for all hand written messages / issues / postings that have to be left from one shift to the other .

Reservations have to be checked including the no shows …and have a decision taken upon according tho the establishment policy.

The difference might be made by offering a coffee to a client / guest before leaving the hotel even if the Room Service or Breakfast is not available ….not every establishment has Room Service…Breakfast would exist in most of the establishments , still …

The difference is being able to offer a coffee or tea before departure …make it yourself it only takes 3 minutes …it will not only change the mood of the guest / client from sleepy to smiley but this will definitely make the guest / client remember !It has been proven so many times one can bet money on it !

Does this cost anything?Probably a few extra $$$ a month…Will that change your financial situation?..Probably not.

Will this show to the guest / client that you’re a employee that knows what the “EXTRA MILE” means ??? YES !

These , among other small things and gestures can , will make Your client / guest return !

A smile !

A coffee or a tea in the morning .

A flower .

A candy / chocolates bowl on the Guest Relations Desk .

A bottle of champagne on birthday or a special event .

Some of the above will cost the establishment something but nothing compares to having a client / guest BACK !

HOW SHOULD ONE BEHAVE ?

I should have started with ways of approaching the guest / client …the way one should talk to a guest / client .

One has to be polite , does not have to share personal problems , issues with the guest / client , it is not professional at all.

The “etiquette” as the French say is of the out most importance !

You have to greet the guest / client !

In case you know He’s been in your establishment before go straight to them ( clients / guests ) and say hello! Recognize them ! If you know the name is even better !

If you know that the particular guest / client is one of the best tippers DO NOT JUMP! Let your colleague that served Him before take care of Him , just because of the courtesy you have to show towards your colleagues as well and most important because if one served once a guest …the second time one might know exactly what the guest / client needs !

Patience , Your time will come and you will be having a very good ( when it comes to tips ) guest / client as well! It happens to everybody!

It happened to me , to my friends ( working in the same field ) it will happened to you to….

Should a guest / client not know the value of your currency….well…this is not the time either to let them know what and how ….ONLY if they ask….only then one employee should point to the right currency exchange rate according to the National Bank Official Statements !

Then , if the guest / client is willing to leave you a tip , they will and you should say thank you and put it in your pocket …..your work has been rewarded a bit extra and that’s it!

During my carrier I have faced different situations :once , at the beginning in 1993 while being bellboy I have carried about 80 or so pieces of luggage I have said “thank you” and “have a pleasant stay in our hotel” only to receive 4 , 25 cents coins …..1 $ US

Did any of my guests noticed I was mad , or unhappy , or I don’t know how ???

By all means NO!

Was I mad??I might have been at that moment…more tired than mad , then again five minutes later I was laughing at the strange situation knowing that this will not be the last of that sort ….and it was not , will be not!

On the other hand , at another particular moment while in the very same hotel , We’ve had the pleasure to host a Swiss Gentleman guest at that moment of a very wealthy business man in Bucharest ( just happened to be our Hotel Owner brother ….).He stayed for a week , did not say much …leaving at 8:30 in the morning , returning at 7:00 or so in the evening , always smiling and pleasant in presence ….check out time …I carried His briefcase to the car , He turned to me and said thank you so much and shaked my hand ….and what do you know ?! 100 $ US bill in my hand ONLY for saying “Good Morning Sir” , “Have a Nice Evening Sir” and for carrying a briefcase for 30 seconds……..

Mr. F. T. , Turkey Football National Team Coach use to come to our hotel and every time , as He was leaving , tipped everyone! There …every single time giving each and every one about 250.000 Turkish Pounds ( 1.25 $ US ) .No one dared to comment on that , then again tho one inviting Him in Romania every time , saw the moment at one time and said :”F. , your a wealthy man …this is no tip for these very nice people , hold it , I’m gonna take care of them NOW and next time you should do the same …next you know Mr. G. B.( cause is Him we talk about now ) collected from each and every one of us the Turkish Pounds and give us each instead 50$ US !

Of course , next time Mr. F.T. came to our hotel , he followed Mr. B. “instructions” if I may call it so .

Disregard whatever these characters are doing ..scandals , games…..important is the way you treat them in your establishment as guests / clients and the way sometimes they are rewarding your services !

Please forgive me for not using the entire names , it is only understandable due to the fact that we’re all professionals and PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY should be at highest peak !

Another story that I can tell you about , would be the one of serving H.E. Mr. R. H. , Former Prime Minister of Japan , sometime in 1999 , while being in Union of Myanmar ( Burma ) , in Yangon , in that amazing 5* hotel – Kandawgyi Palace.

H.E. Was invited by Maj. Gen. A. from the Myanmar Government Ministry of National Planning and Development …well ,being Maitre d’Hotel / Restaurant Manager at that particular time the responsibility fall on to me to organise , prepare and execute service at the highest standards for the above mentioned.

Not only the V.I.P. Table was watched at all times by two Japanese Secret Service , but being aware of the people seated at that table one has to make sure mistakes do not appear .

I was not allowed to move but half a step for and from the table ; while NOT serving I was supposed to stay open hands behind so the Secret Service Agents could have a look ( doe at several times I looked behind my back they were eyes closed – just like sleeping!!! Just imagine!!! ).

Such a service extended to about 3 hours and 45 minutes , a very long time considering the circumstances.

To my huge surprise towards the end of that dinner the two – the honorable host and the distinctive guest have started singing “Sakura” , a traditional japanese song which the Burmese Official knew by heart in Japanese – mentioning this one should know that the dinner consisted in some very pleasant French wine to – Chateau Grand Cru “Maison Blanche” – Montagne Saint-Emilion 1997.

This is not the exact etiquette of that particular wine , but none of the less….

Quite a few of these bottles have been emptied at that time.

The very same wine was among the two favorite ones when it comes to G. A. I. – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in Yangon , Union of Myanmar at that time .

The other one was a Chateauneuf du Pape ( one of the famous labels bellow ):

Even more interesting , while working in a establishment such as a hotel or restaurant , one should expect odd situations that would extend in gravity to serious , dangerous and even critical !

What do you do?

First of all , ANY employee should follow the establishment policy with regards to such situations , BUT one should not disregard the LAW of the territory ( country’s code of laws ) !

It is of the out most importance that ANY employee considers the “event” in a very serious and professional manner so the guest/client does not suffer , or -should the situation present itself as such – the guest/ client will not know / find out / come to His attention , UNLESS the so called “event” does present a immediate danger to Our guest/client.

A event such a fire will pose virtually an immediate danger to any guest/client or employee for that matter so there would be some steps to follow based on how critical the event is:

Should such a event be “NORMAL” -for example fire in a ashtray – well , just put the fire out , make shore it’s out , clear the area of the debris , aerate the location so the smell goes away , clean the area well and move on !

DO NOT FORGET TO MENTION IN A REPORT THE SITUATION TO THE SHIFT MANAGER !

Should the event be “CRITICAL” – Restaurant / Kitchen on fire , guest room on fire , staircase on fire ….or any other as such….. – call right away the Emergency number ( 911 , 112 – or any other ! ) -report the location in DETAIL , report the address and then follow the establishment plan of action / emergency plan.

Should the employee be able He/She should / will do the following:

Try and contain the fire with the fire extinguisher ( there are supposed to be at least 3 types in any establishment based on the type of fire:electrical , fuel based , accidental… ).

Limit the access to the area to any guest/client or employee

Announce any guest/client and employee in the area residing / sleeping…that they should immediate vacate the area concerned due to immediate danger

The employee should assist to the evacuation based on the emergency evacuation plan existing in the establishment!

During such events posing close danger to the life of guests/clients or employees ,ANY employee taking part in the EVAC procedure has to be very ferm , very clear in commands , show cold blood and control over the situation to such an extend that for that moment in time He/She becomes the leader and shows everybody to SAFETY , towards a safe area !

Such events have taken place already and will take place in the future as well so make sure you’re ready !

Another situation/event would be when the employee faces a client with strange demands or clients in odd postures ( drunk , on drugs , violent , vulgar…etc )

How do you deal with it ?

Make sure you’re polite and explain at first that the establishment does not allow such behaviour and the subject should control itself -should He already be a guest – until He reaches His room / until settling the account – using low voice , making sure the employee does not even touch the guest/client.

Should the guest/client does not comply with the favour asked , management should be announced and further action should be taken over the event presented i.e. Escorting the guest to the room , calling the paramedics -should that be the obvious case , call security / law enforcement if the event escalates !

All has to be done BY THE LAW !

Such behaviour either coming from a guest/client or employee should not be tolerated first of all because such events don’t have to be tolerated in the first place and second because the establishment has an image that has to be kept spotless!….and the establishment should be able to deal with this and have the well deserved guest/client list !

Prostitution is a well defined subject and very very sensitive ….everybody knows that arround the big majority of establishments such as hotels , motels , inn’s , bars , clubs , discoteques and so on there is a usual population ..colorful, obvious, very loud , revolving arround …and frankly some establishments can’t live without it !

Is just as simple as that: deal with it as little as you can or never at all and you’ll be fine !…the reverse is that one might end up in jail !

Now , when it comes to CRITICAL EVENTS…I’ll give you first an exemple and then one should be able to judge …

At another moment in time during my experience with Lido Hotel – Bucharest , we’ve had a guest staying on the third floor at the corner suite ( the most expensive one in the hotel ) …so far , so good .

I‘ll begin with the fact that He was palestinian – or traveling to Romania under Palestinian passport – he was a so called business man but not being very clear ( not even on the reservation sheet ) on the business held ….

He was already staying for a week or so in our hotel , without causing any issues, to the contrary …one very polite guest , smilling ( please disregard His citizenship and religion – even doe very obvious – for the moment! )…and the last day , the check out day our guest calls bellboy service …I go up to the suite and he hands me over about 5 business suites for cleaning asking for a very fast service as he was having a afternoon flight.

We knew that He was having a guest…lady guest from the night before that did not leave the premisses to that moment, once again nothing unusual it’s routine!

Since Lido Hotel did not have a dry cleaning machine , we were used to go to our partners ( Intercontinental Hotel ) about 10 minutes away …which I did and following the procedure , before passing the suites to the lady in charge at the dry cleaning I’ve searched the pockets and what do I find ??? 5 other passports , various citizenships – israely , american , canadian …you name it!

What should one do facing such a situation????

I have returned at once at the hotel and called Romanian Secret Service , decision fully agreed by the management as well .

Few minutes passed and a S.W.A.T. from the R.S.S. came to our hotel ,wearing civilian clothes , very quiet they’ve made a plan , I knocked on the door , the guest opened , the Secret Service went inside and all ended very fast and very quiet ….

I‘ve been told – off the record of course – that I’ve made the right call not only because the lady was kept , still , in the room against Her will , but because that was one of the characters “most wanted” at that time and the Romanian Secret Service took credit for its capture!

One should be very mindful , encountering such odd situations , be open minded …it is not illegal to hold more than one passport , it is not illegal to be Palestinian , nor muslim for that matter for ANY GOD SAKE ! , then again …..

One should be able to put pieces together like in a puzzle and if the outcome sounds like “critical event” , well then …You know what to do !

I‘m not the only one that has had to go through such a experience and for certain this will not be tha last …

A few tips :

  • Treat the guest/client as usual .
  • Do not show any emotions , if possible .
  • Announce management and authorities immediatelly .
  • Should you have been the contact person , give detailed information upon the situation occurred , floor plan , individual characteristics of the guest/client , pref erences , other people still in its presence in the room at the moment and any other detail that can be used to a swift resolution of the situation.
  • Make sure that once the Authorities take over You have nothing else to do there unless they require …That includes members of the management floor staff or guest/clients residing on that particular floor so GO AWAY! .As curious as you may be , STAY OT OF THIS !

If this does not answer one’s questions on how to deal should such events occur in the establishment , than one should take time during days off and read , follow programs broad casted ,read because general knowledge of any kind is more than welcome and useful !

A Hotel Employee , or any employee in the hotel & tourism industry should be very knowledgeable , He/She should poses information , general knowledge about various things , i.e. Arts , Design , classical music , famous people in the particular country one is from and international , geography ! – just imagine being at Concierge Desk and face a guest/client that needs some information on a particular spot in the city you live in , or the country or any area for that matter.

One could go the”extra mile” knowing some details about -let’s say Amsterdam…how you get there , how you get to downtown from the airport ,

What’s the average cost of the trip by train or by taxi…what are the main attractions , where is China Town?

Should you have traveled around , make sure you remember the place , even make a note somewhere , because one day that will help.

I‘ll post a list just bellow with the places I’ve visited since 1991 and I can assure you , that I would be able to mention quite a few things on each and every of them and let me point once again that having that”baggage” is of the out most importance when you work in such a field as Hotel Industry !

I wish to thank as well to the following :

Lido Hotel – Bucharest / Romania ( 4 stars )

Kandawgyi Palace Hotel – Yangon / Union of Myanmar ( 4 stars )

Louis Cruise Lines – worldwide ( 3 stars ++ )

Costa Crociere – worldwide ( 3 stars ++ )

Ocean Vineyards Inc. – Auction House

Celebrity Cruises ” Staring You ! ” – worldwide ( 5 stars )

…more to come…

Published in: on May 15, 2010 at 08:38  Leave a Comment  

This is how it beggins…..

Welcome to Adrian Laurentiu Fulga Hotel Training Team ,

INTRODUCTION

Tourism , Hotel Industry and Technology travel very well together .With the advancements in technology the outcome is giving one’s impression , the feeling that “the world as we know it today becomes smaller and smaller “and without shadow of doubt it has affected the way people ( guests / clients for that matter )make their choices.

Tourism proves how people are deciding to spend their spare time , thus adding new dimensions to an already growing industry.

The lust / desire for traveling , for adventure , new places increased in the last few years .Experts forecast that the number of tourists worldwide will rise from 668 million ( in year 2000 ) to the amazing 1.561 billion by 2020!

reasons for traveling are very different .Tourism caters to many needs and groups .People travel often for business usually in a hectic pace. But to get away from their stressful side of life , they travel for pleasure: to invoke on a new adventure or experience other cultures provides , or a quite relaxing trip to be pampered and stress free for a period of time .

The traveler of today has unlimited options to choose from and ways to research that perfect trip that satisfies their whim……dreams!

The tourism industry can offer trips ranging from an excursion to Antarctica , an Amazon Jungle Ancient Mayan Ruins ……to an all inclusive tropical beach holiday .Every traveller has a specific desire for the trip they plan.

The tourism industry is sending a postcard to the world

On the basis of all these facts it is no surprise that the tourism industry is one of the fastest and largest growing industries. Over 100 million people are working in this field making it the biggest employer in the world ….and it’s about to get even bigger!

This industry represents a permanent connection with people worldwide and draws the attention for an international awareness: take for example civil unrests or wars in different parts of the globe…..Union of Myanmar for instance…is a perfect spot for a unforgetable vacation …then again few details might force one to change decision!

There are no boundaries , frontiers for the rapid growth in this sector . Experts forecast that within the next two years the area of e-Tourism will reach the borders of billions .

The tourism industry is a very diverse field and is exempt of boredom and routine

Anyone who enjoys working with people and is interested in discovering the world can find a suitable place in this area .

The tourism industry assures an exciting and enjoyable working environment – after all the industry fulfills the dreams and expectations of many people.

They organize complete journeys as well as last minute offers . The fulfillment of individual needs and having a customer oriented mentality are very important ( the corner stone of the industry ) in this sector.

The chances and possibilities of getting involved in the tourism sector are endless .

There are diverse training and course programs of study offers to choose from improving the chances of advancement in one’s career. The tourism industry offers a huge array of employment opportunities all over the world.

With applied training and course of studies in the tourism industry many possibilities open in this sector ( opening a business for example ).

These varieties of options are also offered to the adjacent areas like the hotels / restaurants ( gastronomy ) , services sectors .

Certain personality characteristics like the ability to work as / in a team , customer orientation last but not least an understanding of foreign languages ( I do consider myself most fortunate being able to speak about 10 foreign languages ) is a absolute must .

Anybody who is spontaneous , has a grasp of foreign languages and ready to get to know new cultures and customs from day to day is perfect for the tourism industry,,,,,,let us not forget that one has to like it …ONE HAS TO HAVE THE CALL FOR IT!

The hospitality industry is probably the world’s largest employer , counting one in ten people worldwide .However , the industry is growing faster than it can supply qualified people at managerial level ( therefore the book !).There are at present too few students taking college and university courses in hospitality to maintain the needed requirement and many of the students end up quitting after the first year ( at least in one University establishment I know ) , thinking it’s to hard , to difficult .

From this high demand there is an almost unlimited choice of opportunities for those that wish to study in the hospitality industry , plus a variety of careers in the wide range of sub sectors and activities connected .

If you would like to manage a hotel , run a restaurant , start your own business or utilize your interest in more administrative positions the hospitality industry provides occupation whatever your talents …or demand.

One of the biggest issues in this field today is the shortage of skilled workers / employees .

Qualified Chefs and Managers are in high demand whilst staff turnover remains high. Today managers in hospitality need many competences ( a whole array ) and to have an understanding of industry and have the fore sought of the industry to secure and keep the returning customer.

But even the best managers need to have qualified staff to help run a successful operation…cause a manager does not exist without his people !

With each rewarding sector potential for advancement is certain for qualified individuals.

Structures that makeup the hospitality industry such as hotels , restaurants , clubs and bars , catering and hospitality services, all have a need for people that work hard and apply their knowledge and skills.

This is where the importance of proper training really makes a difference .

Graduate training schemes are especially common in the hospitality sector, mainly where large companies are prominent . Hospitality degrees develop experience through industrial placements and many students can gain relevant experience through part time and vacation work . Whilst not necessary , knowledge of a language can be a bonus when applying .

Mostly , hotel programs are designed to develop operations managers of the future . To accomplish this , graduate trainees spend their training period moving around various departments and hotels within the group . Such divisions may include : restaurant , front house , accounts , seminars and events , sales and marketing , human resources , culinary department , food and beverage . Hotels insist that this varied training method prior to a specialisation gives important insight of the business and this is pertinent in competitive market where service and quality are paramount .

However not every graduate trainee becomes an operations manager . A number of them specialize in an area of their training , either within the hotel or develop in a head office occupation , such as accounting or finance, information technology, human resources , sales and marketing , etc .

This is not to mention the various positions within the sub sectors that can give as many varied training programs .

The hospitality sector , hotel industry for that matter , is not a Monday to Friday , nine to five job!It takes a certain personality that is not always for everyone . However , it can be suitable for thode that would like to work in a customer focused environment with a variety of specialist opportunities , and for the person that has a flexible attitude ; there is the chance for rapid career progression due to the already mentioned skills shortage .

We put special emphasis on the word TEAM because it takes team effort to make a god hotel / establishment a successful place to work.

Hospitality is our key word , which means to receive and entertain kindly any .graciously .You are a key member of the PR Staff of this establishment.

Courtesy and hospitality make more sales than any other factor , and it is YOU the people who will make from that particular establishment a success.

With the proper attitude towards your job , your guests and fellow employees , we , the TEAM , will make this restaurant / establishment / hotel a pleasant place to be in and work at.

Management has invested large amounts of money to get the best , outstanding décor , furniture and equipment to make this establishment a success , but it is up to us to make it happen .

This service manual is intended to help employees in their work of providing pleasant and efficient service to our customers.

Gala Night

PROFESSIONAL LOOK !

Does it have to be that way??

It really does !!

THE VALUE OF A SMILE

A smile costs nothing , but gives much .It reaches those who receive without making poorer those who give .It takes but a moment , but the memory lasts sometimes a lifetime .None is so rich and mighty that he can get along without it , and no one is so poor but that he can be made richer by it. A Smile creates happiness in the home , fosters good will I business .It brings rest to the weary , cheer to the discouraged .A Smile is sunshine to the sad, and is nature’s best antidote for trouble .Yet it cannot be bought , begged , borrowed , nor stolen , for it is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a Smile . Give them one of Yours , as none needs a Smile so much as he who has no more to give.

JOB DESCRIPTION

HOSTESS /CASHIER RESPONSABILITIES

Pick up Log Book and reservation Sheet from Management.

Check with manager on duty how to divide room according to business and labor force ( team ) .

Check daily folder and daily information .

Print matches with guest name ( s ) on them , …..or any other form of recognition towards our House Guests .

Should know daily menu . Change display items and roll case outside before lunch , to be brought back in ,after dinner time .

Should be at podium at all times except when called away for other duties .

Should keep podium neat and clean at all times .

Be pleasant over the phone and answer this type of sentence when answering calls :

Good afternoon ( evening..) , this is “ADRIAN” Hotel , Adrian speaking , how can I be of assistance ?…

DO NOT let the phone ring more than twice ( 2 ) !!!

The hostess is responsible for receiving incoming calls and giving information regarding the restaurant ( Hotel , the establishment in general ) and availability of tables ( rooms )..etc, etc .She records reservations and special guests .

The hostess greets al arriving guests in a pleasant manner, making them feel welcome and at ease. She leads them to assigned tables if they have already been assigned , or assigns tables taking care not to overload individual stations while still respecting the wishes of the guests.

She indicates to the waiter , that newly arrived guests have been seated ,with proper information to waiters ( Host position ) , by giving them check with table #.

She must be aware at all times which tables are open or will become available so she may seat guests without hesitation. If all tables are filled , she takes the guest name , suggests the Lounge / Bar as a waiting place , telling them approximately how long it will be before their table becomes available When the table is ready she notifies the guests and escorts them to the table .

Whenever a guest asks the hostess for service , she must be helpful and answer in the affirmative . She must see that the request is filled , by relaying to the Maitre d’ Hotel or the Waiter on that section .

Keep log with computated information on guest counts.

Must be able to handle cash ( bills , notes , banknotes – various denominations ) , checks , credit cards , vouchers etc.

Change daily dates on credit card machine….if applicable.

Typing of VIP cards for local guests.

Acknowledgment of guest leaving !

COCKTAIL WAITER / WAITRESS

Opening duties 9 wipe tables , ashtrays , etc )

Knowledge of Tapa’s Menu , wine list and cocktails.

Service of the above duties .

Use of cash register with key or #.

Must use receipt to order and pick up any drinks .

Should be able to help hostess or waiter duty.

No guest should be forced to pay their bill if going to dining room , but transfer should be made to waiter with new information .

BARTENDERS

Because of your location in room remember that you are seen by all guests coming or leaving !

Check procedures of pouring with Bar/Beverage Manager .

All service rendered to employees must be delivered through receipts of registers ONLY ! Captain orders or verbal orders are just for better communication.

Underline check after service .

Wine receipts and beverage receipts must be kept and given at the end of the day to the Maitre d ’Hotel for control.

Pouring drinks to bar counter guests should be done in front of them , checks are to be rung through with you key or # and put face down next to hem.

No guest should be forced to pay their bill if going to dining room , but transfer should be made to the waiter with new information.

Knowledge of liquor laws if doubt or problems , please check manager on duty!

WAITHELP

Greeting the guest by name ..This information will be given to you by the hostess , just to help you personalize the service !

Offering of cocktails or wine by the glass / bottle .

Water served upon request ONLY , with napkin on the side for service .

Use your key or # for registering the guest and table .

Punch your order on register and use receipt for ordering / control to bartender .

Pick up & service of glasses by STEMS ONLY !

Use right garnishes for special drinks .

All beverages to be served on the right hand side as much as possible …When unable to do so , make sure to serve from the other side but FACING ALWAYS THE GUEST !

Serve ladies first ( upon age ) , gentlemen after and HOST last !

Check Blackboard for specials of the day .

Present menu and wine list , get attention of guest and go over specials ( soups and salads ) .

Orders to be taken by memory or captain orders

If meat is choice of main course ! ask how would they like to have this done ( saignant , rose , rare , medium rare , medium , medium well , well , well done ,roasted , black ) .

Try and get the wine order ASAP.

Process order to register , which will go straight to the kitchen / galley , using your key or # .

Service order should be ; appetizer ( hors d’oeuvre ) , soup , salad , entrée ( main course ) & desserts , hot beverages ( tea or coffee ) and after dinner drinks ( cognacs , brandy ) .

You should be able to serve 4 guests at once , carrying 3 plates on your left hand and the last which will be the first to be served , in your right hand .

Present bread , grissini and butter once you have taken the order !

Any addition of silverware should be done using a service silver tray covered with a clean napkin .FORKS , teeth up on the left , KNIVES , cutting edge inward to the right and SPOONS to the right of the knife. Also on top of B/B plate ( bread and butter side plate ) , knife parallel .

Wine should be open right after being presented to host which will check and agree to go ahead.

White wine in Ice buckets , reds in baskets and champagne in ice buckets as well

The glasses change has to be done before bringing the wine to the table.

The way a Restaurant should look like …

I‘ve just had the proof , after 8 years!….Long story short : worked as a Maitre d’Hotel in a French Restaurant – Cuisine Devant “La Maison du Lac”, in a 5* hotel in the Union of Myanmar , Yangon , Kandawgyi Palace Hotel .Coming to that hotel was a true exotic and unique experience alone!

res12Table No. 7

Before opening the restaurant , while working on the menu to be with the French Chef-Mr. Gerard Sauvade , our Resident Manager-Mr. Robert Lassince , our General Manager-Mr. Richard Cheung and myself ( Maitre d’Hotel-Adrian Laurentiu Fulga ) a task fell into my hands ……setting up the restaurant , changing the table set up and location…well everything ….not an easy task.

I did the job the best I could , we’ve started the operation , the years past , I’ve left the hotel 2 years later ….and for 8 years no other feed back came to my attention regarding that particular restaurant and any other details about it for that matter.

Well , since internet communication is at its peak nowadays , I got in touch with my beloved French Chef ….so after 8 years guess what?!

He tells me that not only the menu that we put in place did not change a small bit ( including prices ) but the layout of the restaurant remained the same as if that place was frozen in time !

Inside info says that the General Manager ( the one on the job at present ) did try to change or something like that….unsuccessful……

Why was that?

No , not because one is the best ( no one is ….) the set up and layout of that restaurant remained the same just because of the solid and constant think over !

Basically I’ve spent countless hours before opening the restaurant thinking how best I can fit , how best I can arrange the interior of the restaurant in such a way that my guests / clients feel well and at ease

Was it difficult ??

In did it was , but IF , after 8 years , you come across some news like the above , well you know that what you did was solid work and very well done !

res11Main area of the restaurant Table No. 1,2,3 & 4

Is it important , does it matter?

Of course it does !!!

Ambient / settings and layout could influence from the way a GUEST feels to the NUMBER of guests the establishment has !

None of the less , location within the city is very important as well , in such a way that many of the restaurants ( in every city ! ) are located mostly down town .

A secondary location should be resorts area If you don’t know fashion , trends , ways to set up a restaurant / location , well….check some magazines , ask for professional help …ask your colegues !….they might have a great idea !

restWildest ideas come to life when it comes to interior design

Most of the times “LESS IS MORE”…remember to much of a complicated , overcrowded design / set up might damage the result …the outcome?….less and less people will show up to the restaurant / establishment due to the feeling they will have inside = UNCONFORTABLE !

Issues like the one above are pretty common and one will be able to find examples all over the world. Without blaming any one ( management or so….) , the cause might be the drive and will to have a establishment like no other , which is fine , except that there is a thin line in between extraordinary and c..p!

OPENING ASSIGNMENTS – BOTH SHIFTS

1.Sign in as you arrive , fully dressed , ready for work / duty .

2.Inspect / check your station , reset as needed and survey the dining room for any additional cleaning or set ups .

3.Crumb seats before opening and each time a guest departs .

4.Polish silverware , including bud vases .

5.Polish all glassware.

6.Align seats in your station

7.Check under the table for debris.

8.clean ashtrays , place matches to the side on the table ( with the esception of NON SMOKING establishments ! )

9.Place Salt & Pepper mill on each table

10.Set flowers on tables , clip ends and change water daily

11.Check with Front Desk / or Reservations Agent for any special seating , i.e. , large parties , special requests….

12.Check Kitchen Board for specials !

13.Prepare : Service Stands in the dining room :

-Creamers

-Butter Service

-Coffee Station

-Water Station

-Pepper Mills

14.Add rosewater or almond extract ( 1 cup full per quart ) to hand towels .

15.Prepare extra silverware and insert in proper napkin fold.

16.Arrange condiments on each service stand

17.Prepare Gueridon and stove ( for table side cooking / gueridon service ).

18.Run carpet sweeper thru station at end of shift.

FRONT DESK / RECEPTION / GUEST RELATIONS

Now , let’s start with another department …the one above :

One , working in such a spot in any establishment , should be aware !

One has to be able to level with the man on the street or with the Queen of England !

ATTENTION! Just because you’re on the other side of the desk does not mean that you’ll have to know only this and that ….and that’s it!

One will be surprised by the type of questions and issues a client / guest has and approaches with…..from :”I need a extra blanket”…to “maybe you can help me …” and being there you’ll have to be able to answer to ALL of them .

First time I’ve ever spent a night shift in a hotel …well , it was like another world ;I fell asleep once reached my bed time , it was close to pass out!

It is most of the time quiet ’till the moment you hear the elevator and then your mind starts to function : is there a problem? , is anyone leaving? , Why? , Early check out ?….and so on .

Working in this department means that you’ll have to be early at work in order to take over from the finishing shift : the team about to leave has to put you up to speed on the events occurred , no shows , special requests , issues , bad credits, non payments and others …including guests of other guests still existing in the establishment .

Coming early would be valid for all departments as well for the affilliates Front Office , Cashier , Concierge , Doorman , Bellboy .

One’s establishment might use different software programs : Landmark , Sitel , Fidelio , Opera , Micros…..despite the fact that they do well the job : managing at all times the establishment situation , in / on a front desk for employees eyes only there has to be a take over book which will provide the base for all hand written messages / issues / postings that have to be left from one shift to the other .

Reservations have to be checked including the no shows …and have a decision taken upon according tho the establishment policy.

The difference might be made by offering a coffee to a client / guest before leaving the hotel even if the Room Service or Breakfast is not available ….not every establishment has Room Service…Breakfast would exist in most of the establishments , still …

The difference is being able to offer a coffee or tea before departure …make it yourself it only takes 3 minutes …it will not only change the mood of the guest / client from sleepy to smiley but this will definitely make the guest / client remember !It has been proven so many times one can bet money on it !

Does this cost anything?Probably a few extra $$$ a month…Will that change your financial situation?..Probably not.

Will this show to the guest / client that you’re a employee that knows what the “EXTRA MILE” means ??? YES !

These , among other small things and gestures can , will make Your client / guest return !

A smile !

A coffee or a tea in the morning .

A flower .

A candy / chocolates bowl on the Guest Relations Desk .

A bottle of champagne on birthday or a special event .

Some of the above will cost the establishment something but nothing compares to having a client / guest BACK !

HOW SHOULD ONE BEHAVE ?

I should have started with ways of approaching the guest / client …the way one should talk to a guest / client .

One has to be polite , does not have to share personal problems , issues with the guest / client , it is not professional at all.

The “etiquette” as the French say is of the out most importance !

You have to greet the guest / client !

In case you know He’s been in your establishment before go straight to them ( clients / guests ) and say hello! Recognize them ! If you know the name is even better !

If you know that the particular guest / client is one of the best tippers DO NOT JUMP! Let your colleague that served Him before take care of Him , just because of the courtesy you have to show towards your colleagues as well and most important because if one served once a guest …the second time one might know exactly what the guest / client needs !

Patience , Your time will come and you will be having a very good ( when it comes to tips ) guest / client as well! It happens to everybody!

It happened to me , to my friends ( working in the same field ) it will happened to you to….

Should a guest / client not know the value of your currency….well…this is not the time either to let them know what and how ….ONLY if they ask….only then one employee should point to the right currency exchange rate according to the National Bank Official Statements !

Then , if the guest / client is willing to leave you a tip , they will and you should say thank you and put it in your pocket …..your work has been rewarded a bit extra and that’s it!

During my carrier I have faced different situations :once , at the beginning in 1993 while being bellboy I have carried about 80 or so pieces of luggage I have said “thank you” and “have a pleasant stay in our hotel” only to receive 4 , 25 cents coins …..1 $ US

Did any of my guests noticed I was mad , or unhappy , or I don’t know how ???

By all means NO!

Was I mad??I might have been at that moment…more tired than mad , then again five minutes later I was laughing at the strange situation knowing that this will not be the last of that sort ….and it was not , will be not!

On the other hand , at another particular moment while in the very same hotel , We’ve had the pleasure to host a Swiss Gentleman guest at that moment of a very wealthy business man in Bucharest ( just happened to be our Hotel Owner brother ….).He stayed for a week , did not say much …leaving at 8:30 in the morning , returning at 7:00 or so in the evening , always smiling and pleasant in presence ….check out time …I carried His briefcase to the car , He turned to me and said thank you so much and shaked my hand ….and what do you know ?! 100 $ US bill in my hand ONLY for saying “Good Morning Sir” , “Have a Nice Evening Sir” and for carrying a briefcase for 30 seconds……..

Mr. F. T. , Turkey Football National Team Coach use to come to our hotel and every time , as He was leaving , tipped everyone! There …every single time giving each and every one about 250.000 Turkish Pounds ( 1.25 $ US ) .No one dared to comment on that , then again tho one inviting Him in Romania every time , saw the moment at one time and said :”F. , your a wealthy man …this is no tip for these very nice people , hold it , I’m gonna take care of them NOW and next time you should do the same …next you know Mr. G. B.( cause is Him we talk about now ) collected from each and every one of us the Turkish Pounds and give us each instead 50$ US !

Of course , next time Mr. F.T. came to our hotel , he followed Mr. B. “instructions” if I may call it so .

Disregard whatever these characters are doing ..scandals , games…..important is the way you treat them in your establishment as guests / clients and the way sometimes they are rewarding your services !

Please forgive me for not using the entire names , it is only understandable due to the fact that we’re all professionals and PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY should be at highest peak !

Another story that I can tell you about , would be the one of serving H.E. Mr. R. H. , Former Prime Minister of Japan , sometime in 1999 , while being in Union of Myanmar ( Burma ) , in Yangon , in that amazing 5* hotel – Kandawgyi Palace.

H.E. Was invited by Maj. Gen. A. from the Myanmar Government Ministry of National Planning and Development …well ,being Maitre d’Hotel / Restaurant Manager at that particular time the responsibility fall on to me to organise , prepare and execute service at the highest standards for the above mentioned.

Not only the V.I.P. Table was watched at all times by two Japanese Secret Service , but being aware of the people seated at that table one has to make sure mistakes do not appear .

I was not allowed to move but half a step for and from the table ; while NOT serving I was supposed to stay open hands behind so the Secret Service Agents could have a look ( doe at several times I looked behind my back they were eyes closed – just like sleeping!!! Just imagine!!! ).

Such a service extended to about 3 hours and 45 minutes , a very long time considering the circumstances.

To my huge surprise towards the end of that dinner the two – the honorable host and the distinctive guest have started singing “Sakura” , a traditional japanese song which the Burmese Official knew by heart in Japanese – mentioning this one should know that the dinner consisted in some very pleasant French wine to – Chateau Grand Cru “Maison Blanche” – Montagne Saint-Emilion 1997.

This is not the exact etiquette of that particular wine , but none of the less….

Quite a few of these bottles have been emptied at that time.

The very same wine was among the two favorite ones when it comes to G. A. I. – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in Yangon , Union of Myanmar at that time .

The other one was a Chateauneuf du Pape ( one of the famous labels bellow ):

Even more interesting , while working in a establishment such as a hotel or restaurant , one should expect odd situations that would extend in gravity to serious , dangerous and even critical !

What do you do?

First of all , ANY employee should follow the establishment policy with regards to such situations , BUT one should not disregard the LAW of the territory ( country’s code of laws ) !

It is of the out most importance that ANY employee considers the “event” in a very serious and professional manner so the guest/client does not suffer , or -should the situation present itself as such – the guest/ client will not know / find out / come to His attention , UNLESS the so called “event” does present a immediate danger to Our guest/client.

A event such a fire will pose virtually an immediate danger to any guest/client or employee for that matter so there would be some steps to follow based on how critical the event is:

Should such a event be “NORMAL” -for example fire in a ashtray – well , just put the fire out , make shore it’s out , clear the area of the debris , aerate the location so the smell goes away , clean the area well and move on !

DO NOT FORGET TO MENTION IN A REPORT THE SITUATION TO THE SHIFT MANAGER !

Should the event be “CRITICAL” – Restaurant / Kitchen on fire , guest room on fire , staircase on fire ….or any other as such….. – call right away the Emergency number ( 911 , 112 – or any other ! ) -report the location in DETAIL , report the address and then follow the establishment plan of action / emergency plan.

Should the employee be able He/She should / will do the following:

Try and contain the fire with the fire extinguisher ( there are supposed to be at least 3 types in any establishment based on the type of fire:electrical , fuel based , accidental… ).

Limit the access to the area to any guest/client or employee

Announce any guest/client and employee in the area residing / sleeping…that they should immediate vacate the area concerned due to immediate danger

The employee should assist to the evacuation based on the emergency evacuation plan existing in the establishment!

During such events posing close danger to the life of guests/clients or employees ,ANY employee taking part in the EVAC procedure has to be very ferm , very clear in commands , show cold blood and control over the situation to such an extend that for that moment in time He/She becomes the leader and shows everybody to SAFETY , towards a safe area !

Such events have taken place already and will take place in the future as well so make sure you’re ready !

Another situation/event would be when the employee faces a client with strange demands or clients in odd postures ( drunk , on drugs , violent , vulgar…etc )

How do you deal with it ?

Make sure you’re polite and explain at first that the establishment does not allow such behaviour and the subject should control itself -should He already be a guest – until He reaches His room / until settling the account – using low voice , making sure the employee does not even touch the guest/client.

Should the guest/client does not comply with the favour asked , management should be announced and further action should be taken over the event presented i.e. Escorting the guest to the room , calling the paramedics -should that be the obvious case , call security / law enforcement if the event escalates !

All has to be done BY THE LAW !

Such behaviour either coming from a guest/client or employee should not be tolerated first of all because such events don’t have to be tolerated in the first place and second because the establishment has an image that has to be kept spotless!….and the establishment should be able to deal with this and have the well deserved guest/client list !

Prostitution is a well defined subject and very very sensitive ….everybody knows that arround the big majority of establishments such as hotels , motels , inn’s , bars , clubs , discoteques and so on there is a usual population ..colorful, obvious, very loud , revolving arround …and frankly some establishments can’t live without it !

Is just as simple as that: deal with it as little as you can or never at all and you’ll be fine !…the reverse is that one might end up in jail !

Now , when it comes to CRITICAL EVENTS…I’ll give you first an exemple and then one should be able to judge …

At another moment in time during my experience with Lido Hotel – Bucharest , we’ve had a guest staying on the third floor at the corner suite ( the most expensive one in the hotel ) …so far , so good .

I‘ll begin with the fact that He was palestinian – or traveling to Romania under Palestinian passport – he was a so called business man but not being very clear ( not even on the reservation sheet ) on the business held ….

He was already staying for a week or so in our hotel , without causing any issues, to the contrary …one very polite guest , smilling ( please disregard His citizenship and religion – even doe very obvious – for the moment! )…and the last day , the check out day our guest calls bellboy service …I go up to the suite and he hands me over about 5 business suites for cleaning asking for a very fast service as he was having a afternoon flight.

We knew that He was having a guest…lady guest from the night before that did not leave the premisses to that moment, once again nothing unusual it’s routine!

Since Lido Hotel did not have a dry cleaning machine , we were used to go to our partners ( Intercontinental Hotel ) about 10 minutes away …which I did and following the procedure , before passing the suites to the lady in charge at the dry cleaning I’ve searched the pockets and what do I find ??? 5 other passports , various citizenships – israely , american , canadian …you name it!

What should one do facing such a situation????

I have returned at once at the hotel and called Romanian Secret Service , decision fully agreed by the management as well .

Few minutes passed and a S.W.A.T. from the R.S.S. came to our hotel ,wearing civilian clothes , very quiet they’ve made a plan , I knocked on the door , the guest opened , the Secret Service went inside and all ended very fast and very quiet ….

I‘ve been told – off the record of course – that I’ve made the right call not only because the lady was kept , still , in the room against Her will , but because that was one of the characters “most wanted” at that time and the Romanian Secret Service took credit for its capture!

One should be very mindful , encountering such odd situations , be open minded …it is not illegal to hold more than one passport , it is not illegal to be Palestinian , nor muslim for that matter for ANY GOD SAKE ! , then again …..

One should be able to put pieces together like in a puzzle and if the outcome sounds like “critical event” , well then …You know what to do !

I‘m not the only one that has had to go through such a experience and for certain this will not be tha last …

A few tips :

  • Treat the guest/client as usual .

  • Do not show any emotions , if possible .

  • Announce management and authorities immediatelly .

  • Should you have been the contact person , give detailed information upon the situation occurred , floor plan , individual characteristics of the guest/client , pref erences , other people still in its presence in the room at the moment and any other detail that can be used to a swift resolution of the situation.

  • Make sure that once the Authorities take over You have nothing else to do there unless they require …That includes members of the management floor staff or guest/clients residing on that particular floor so GO AWAY! .As curious as you may be , STAY OT OF THIS !

If this does not answer one’s questions on how to deal should such events occur in the establishment , than one should take time during days off and read , follow programs broad casted ,read because general knowledge of any kind is more than welcome and useful !

A Hotel Employee , or any employee in the hotel & tourism industry should be very knowledgeable , He/She should poses information , general knowledge about various things , i.e. Arts , Design , classical music , famous people in the particular country one is from and international , geography ! – just imagine being at Concierge Desk and face a guest/client that needs some information on a particular spot in the city you live in , or the country or any area for that matter.

One could go the”extra mile” knowing some details about -let’s say Amsterdam…how you get there , how you get to downtown from the airport ,

What’s the average cost of the trip by train or by taxi…what are the main attractions , where is China Town?

Should you have traveled around , make sure you remember the place , even make a note somewhere , because one day that will help.

I‘ll post a list just bellow with the places I’ve visited since 1991 and I can assure you , that I would be able to mention quite a few things on each and every of them and let me point once again that having that”baggage” is of the out most importance when you work in such a field as Hotel Industry !

I wish to thank as well to the following :

Lido Hotel – Bucharest / Romania ( 4 stars )

Kandawgyi Palace Hotel – Yangon / Union of Myanmar ( 4 stars )

Louis Cruise Lines – worldwide ( 3 stars ++ )

Costa Crociere – worldwide ( 3 stars ++ )

Ocean Vineyards Inc. – Auction House

Celebrity Cruises ” Staring You ! ” – worldwide ( 5 stars )

…more to come…

Published in: on September 26, 2008 at 12:52  Comments (6)  
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