The Middle East hotel industry was told yesterday (Sunday 8th, 2001) that originality will be the key to success…
The Middle East hotel industry was told yesterday (Sunday 8th, 2001) that originality will be the key to success in the hotel restaurant of the future, and that special moments served up for guests will ensure profitability.
Hotel owners, operators, and general managers attending the two-day Hotel Intelligence Middle East Conference in
Hotel restaurants need to strive for originality, combined with maximum performance, Chi, president of New York-based Tony Chi & Associates, told delegates in his keynote address on the opening day of the conference, sponsored by Depa Arabtec, and taking place at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai.
Do not look to follow others, he said. Copying is usually demonstrated to be a fatal mistake. Aim to do it better, and with originality.
Continuing his advice to the Middle East hotel trade, Chi told the conference, which is co-sponsored by Aramex, Douwe Egberts, Restonic and Lurpak Butter: Before progressing with any restaurant, ask the right questions in the beginning. Identify your true capabilities and commit accurately to what you can sell, and to how you will sell it with excellence.
Above all, ensure that you do not get so carried away with the dining concept or theme that you overlook the food. Too many hotel restaurants are glaring examples of style over substance.
Chi is among an impressive line-up of hotel industry experts from around the world assembled by the conference organisers, R&R Communications, publishers of Hotel Intelligence Middle East, the new monthly hotel industry magazine.
Focusing on the host region, Chi said: The future Middle East hotel will function more as an urban centre uniting offices, residences, retail businesses and diverse services. There is potential for hotel restaurants in the Middle East to become more `neighbourhood` restaurants, and enhance their opportunity to deliver the special moments that customers will remember.
Other first-day speakers at the conference were Ron Hilvert, principal at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in Dubai, examining the challenges of education, recruitment and training in the region; Jeff Catrett, dean of Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in Switzerland, and Mark Norris, managing director of recruitment specialists Profile, expanding on this theme; and Mandy Nickerson, managing director of Bales tours UK, discussing ways of improving relationships between hoteliers and tour operators.
The Hotel Intelligence Middle East 2001 Conference is being run alongside The Hotel Show, the region`s top hotel supplies exhibition, organised by Streamline Marketing and taking place at Airport Expo Dubai (April 8-10).
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