The Big climb: Hakkasan's Milos Zekovic
Milos Zekovic is the new cluster operations manager, Middle East at Hakkasan Group
What attracted you to the role?
I’ve always had a passion for hospitality and this has kept me motivated to step up to new challenges and progress my career. I’ve been with Hakkasan Group since 2011 and have thoroughly enjoyed working with the company, so when I was offered the opportunity to move to Dubai for a new regional role, overseeing the Middle East, it didn’t take too much consideration. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to move up the career ladder and develop my skills and knowledge.
What skills and knowledge do you bring to your new position?
With over a decade of experience in Middle East and nearly six years with Hakkasan, I can certainly bring a thorough understanding of the market as well as the group’s brand standards and ethos, which is essential for both existing and new restaurants. I also have extensive experience in pre-opening operations, which I look forward to utilising as Hakkasan moves forward with expansion plans in the region.
What have been your career highlights so far?
Among all that I’ve achieved so far, I would say that my time as general manager of another Hakkasan property in the region over the past two-and-a-half years has been the most successful in my career so far. During this period, we received a multitude of accolades and awards, successfully positioning Hakkasan as the best restaurant in that country whilst also ensuring profitability. This success was due to the hard work and dedication of the talented team that I was lucky enough to lead. These achievements during my time at Hakkasan make me very proud.
Describe your typical daily routine?
My day starts at 8am with a bowl of cereal and coffee whilst listening to the news. I am usually in the office by 10am to check the previous day’s financial reports for our restaurants across the region. Following this, I work alongside the team for a regional update on our pre-opening projects, which tends to take most of the afternoon. We plan to open five new restaurants in Saudi Arabia within the next five years so it’s a busy period! At 5pm, I pay a visit to one of our restaurants for the evening team briefing and stay to oversee operations, greet staff and generally support.
What are you particularly looking forward to in your new role?
I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge and taking on a new challenge, whilst also ensuring that Hakkasan remains one of the leading restaurant groups in the region. We have a lot of exciting plans in the pipeline and I can’t wait to be part of them!