Raphael Roques, a Vatel 2012 alumnus, was hired as the F&B Manager in a five-star hotel in Brussels, for his very first job.
Raphael, could you please tell us about the hotel you work in?
I work at the Chatelain Hotel, a five-star hotel located between Avenue Louise and the Place du Chatelain in Ixelles, which is a district in Brussels. The hotel has 107 rooms and suites as well as a gourmet restaurant, a bar, 700 square meters of seminar rooms (7,500 square feet), a fitness center, an indoor garden, limousine services, etc. We work with multinational companies whose headquarters are located in Brussels, with the European Commission and many other global organizations, such as NATO. So we mainly cater to a business client base.
Please tell us about your job.
I’m the Food and Beverage Manager for the restaurant. I report directly to the Operations Manager and the General Manager. To be more specific, my job consists in overseeing all operational aspects of the Food & Beverage activity: breakfasts, bar, restaurants, banquets and stewarding, and making sure they are all turning a profit.
Here’s a brief outline of what I do:
- coordinating operations,
- developing business and increasing earnings,
- optimizing customer satisfaction,
- managing schedules / inventory / equipment / suppliers,
- welcoming, training and monitoring new employees,
- setting up and following the application of standard operating procedures.
Why did you decide to study at Vatel?
I chose Vatel because of its reputation and its alumni network. I can also tell you that sometimes students or alumni may have a type of inferiority complex with regards to alumni from Swiss hotel schools, but I often work with them, and can testify that this feeling is absolutely not justified.
What really impressed me in the three years I spent at Vatel, was the great atmosphere and the lifestyle that we enjoyed at school. Everyone in our class got along well and was very close to most faculty members as well as administrative staff members.
And the friendships I made during my years at school also impacted me as they are still very present today, both in my personal and my professional life.