Africa News Front-of-House interview: Meet Osama Soliman, restaurants manager, Crowne Plaza...

Front-of-House interview: Meet Osama Soliman, restaurants manager, Crowne Plaza Dubai

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Sum up your role in 50 words
I look after the daily operations of the hotel’s outlets, by ensuring that our guests receive high quality food and beverage products prepared by talented and well trained culinary and service team. Following up strategically and regularly on my KPIs, in order to achieve the financial and guest satisfaction targets.

Hospitality experience
I started my career journey in 2004 with Hyatt after completing my bachelor degree in hospitality management from Sadat University, Egypt. I had a progressive position in F&B at Hyatt, Egypt, the UAE and Qatar. I later moved to Sofitel Legend Aswan, Egypt as 1902 French restaurant manager and held the position of restaurant manager with Kempinski Bahrain and Shangri-la Doha. My most recent position was with Madinat Jumeirah as restaurant general manager.

Reasons for working in hospitality
Knowing that I get to connect with people from all over the world from different cultures was what made me want to work in this industry. It makes me be part of their own world and traditions, but without having to physically move to other countries.

Career obstacles
I had a great challenge when I started my career in one of the top luxury hotels in Cairo, following which I was given the opportunity to move and grow within the company abroad. I was offered a managerial position in the same hotel, which I accepted. It turned out to be one of the greatest challenges in my life as I had to manage my previous supervisors who were almost double my age and had 10 years more experience than I had. However, I turned these concerns into memorable lessons, with many successful stories with this unique team.

Reasons for thriving at work
I believe everyone has a unique personality which can be used effectively; my team is my success and by developing, I make the best out of them

Monitoring feedback
By engaging in person. Therefore, it’s essential to personally meet guests and ensure a direct bond with them. Also, reading and replying to the guest reviews in most popular resources and APPs.

Dealing with tricky situations
Generally speaking, if guest expectations are not reached, in most cases the reason is that something different than planned has been agreed with other hotel teams. When miscommunication happens, the trouble is to try change the first opinion that guests have made in their mind of the hotel not being organized and efficient. This may lead to losing loyalty and faith in the hotel’s team as a consequence.

Self-motivation
I believe in my unique capabilities and my team’s. Mistakes may happen and it’s important to make them in order to learn. It’s also essential to review daily achievements and set daily targets. I tend to treat myself and the team fairly when simple achievements have been reached.

Five tips for guest satisfaction

  • Remember guest preferences
  • Celebrate guest special occasions
  • Money value in terms of products and service quality
  • Create a lively, entertaining ambiance
  • Personalised and engaging experience.

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