Fascinating how life reveals its path moving our careers forward. Today we have another extraordinary hospitality professional example. We introduce you Roland Haimer, the Food and Beverage Manager at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel.
Roland is an accomplished Manager with a remarkable Five Star solid background. He is a humble, kind, professional and incredibly knowledgeable individual. It has been a wonderful pleasure to make possible sharing a little piece of him, with you.
What made you choose a career in Hospitality?
My grand grandparents had a farm in a little village in the north of Austria. Part of the farm was the local theatre stage as well as the local pub. Having spent substantial time at the farm I wanted to become a chef.
Where did you start your career?
Essentially as a kid in my grand-grandparent’s pub helping my grand-grandma in the kitchen and my grand-grand dad with the service. I later went to Hotel school in Vienna where I also spent my first few formative years.
You have worked for 5-star luxurious properties for your entire career. What would you identify as the most difficult part in running a business as such?
This is an interesting and much discussed question. Since I started in this industry many things have changed. Starting from less people wanting or being able to spend money for luxury stays to an oversaturation of the luxury market with many 5* properties opening. I do however think the most difficult part in running the business is to find the right people. Back when I started my career most of us were full of passion for our jobs and we were eager to learn from our more senior colleagues. There was just more attention to detail and willing to go the extra mile to impress guests and your bosses. There are not many people nowadays who bring the same passion and therefore it is more difficult to obtain high standards. With less passion work ethic has changed and we are dealing a looking away culture i.e. not picking up some debris from the floor because it’s not my job mentality.
Jobs in the hospitality industry are not coming with the highest pay check nor a respectable social status which makes working in the hospitality industry less desirable than other industries.
How do you expect the hospitality industry restarting after these 3 months of lock down?
The current situation is very unique and difficult for our industry. The corona virus will bring the hospitality industry to the brink of its collapse with many small businesses going to close and big players making big redundancies. We will have to adapt social distancing and think out of the box to create revenue streams and therefore to save jobs.
If you could send a message to you fellow colleagues out there, waiting to get back to work or currently job seeking because of the virus. What would you say?
Stay strong and focused. Use the lockdown to learn and train new skills to become a generalist who is able to perform in several roles. This will help to maintain your job and makes it also easier to find a new one. Daily news can be pretty depressing, however please observe other European countries as most of them are several weeks ahead of our current status. Restaurants have re-opened in a lot of European countries and we could observe a positive trend with guests queuing for a dining table. This is very positive and shows that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
Erika Visentin Bonomo - Permanent Division Manager