Xenia Lam, F&B manager, Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa clarifies on personality requirements of the hospitality industry and opportunities in the F&B world
What personality type: introvert/extrovert, qualities are required in the hospitality industry. Is there room for all type of personalities?
The beautiful part of the hospitality industry is that it works on the system of values and ingenuity. Being an introvert or extrovert might be relevant in only one factor, and that is dealing with your associates and guests, however each one has their own style. While this might seem to be the most important part of the industry, the job is such that it moulds your persona to fit your temperament. From what I believe, from the many people I meet, and have had the pleasure to work with is this – that the most basic need is to be genuine and trust your style of working, achievements will prevail – there is always room for all.
Could you please elaborate on the different opportunities in the F&B world?
Think of the World of Food and Beverage as being the life cycle of a butterfly. Inside the cocoon there are so many ideas, so many realisations of wants and needs. Yet, when we think of the industry we eventually think of either restaurant service or food production and their prospects for entrepreneurship. But the industry is so varied just like the variety’s of butterfly’s. The industry is a niche and such means specialisation.
There is Entrepreneurial presence, Public or Guest Relations, Marketing, Pre-Opening and Concept Consultancy, Training and Coaching, Real Estate Valuation, Food Labs, Hospitality Accounting, Beverage Labs, Beverage or Food Brand Employment – in sales or as brand ambassadors, Events and Planning, Sales or development of Flatware/Hollowware/Chinaware, etc and of course the core operations of it all, food production and food and beverage service. The core operations too vary in different streams, with service having mixology and gastronomy as its majors. Think of where it is your passion lies and there is definitely something for you.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to only focus on the culinary aspect of this industry and not on the hotel management aspect?
It is an admirable profession – gastronomic science is a field it which I hold a higher education degree.
Culinary arts requires a lot of passion, it is a refined stream with ever changing trends and thereof varied ones around the world at the same time. While having focus on culinary arts or any stream for that matter, it is most necessary to know the job of the departments that support the operations. That is the true value of the job. To know how to mend cost to fit your menu, where to source, and to account for it, which wine would be perfect for the dish etc. In the rapidly changing world we live in, it is but imperative to know all things your creation must go through to make it a success.
Will the fast food, drive thru ventures have a competitive edge because of the insecurity created by the pandemic?
Indeed, there will be a large spike in Take-away, contactless delivery and drive-thrus due to the current situation, and while this is going to be our reality it is also critical to understand that it is a temporary one. Vaccines will come, we will all want to try out our favourite restaurant’s new menu or our favourite bar’s new cocktail list with friends. Our industry is one of resilience. Humans will forever be social beings. We thrive on contact with our family and friends and restaurants and bars facilitate in the varied ways this necessity of ours. The industry has stood the test of time because it is truly in every sense of the word – essential.