Training still inefficient for F&B staff

If operators can't get staff with experience, they must train properly

Desert Palm Dubai's Lionel Boyce.
Desert Palm Dubai's Lionel Boyce.

The issue of Middle East service standards and F&B personnel is still provoking debate amongst industry professionals.

Speaking in a panel session at The Hotel Show in Dubai last month, Thomas Klein International (TKI) managing partner Daniel During said he felt themed outlets should source their staff from the appropriate country, but that if this was not possible, proper training became even more vital.

“If you can’t offer authenticity, at least offer training so that the staff you do have understand the product and can represent it properly,” he argued.

Fellow panel-member Lionel Boyce, executive chef at Desert Palm Dubai, added: “A lot of the staff in outlets here are Filipino or Indian, they don’t know what food they’re serving and don’t care. And the problem is not nationality, it’s about good training.

“In my eyes we haven’t achieved good training here yet,” Boyce continued. “It’s because of this lack of training that half the staff in restaurants here don’t know what they are serving — if you don’t invest in your staff, they won’t invest in the job.”

Commenting on the idea that themed restaurants should recruit staff from the corresponding country, Boyce pointed out that this was not always possible.

“We have always found it hard to recruit certain expats into mid-range positions in the kitchen,” he admitted.

“The chef industry here pays the top dogs the right money, but from there down it totally falls apart.”

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