Mr. Sandeep Pal, Food And Beverage Manager at Country Inn suites by Radisson, Goa

Name :Sandeep Pal
Age : 34
Designation : Food And Beverage Manager
Name of the Hotel : Country Inn suites by Radisson, Goa
Duration of Career : 11

Mr. Sandeep Pal entered the hospitality industry purely by accident. Being a BSC student he always wanted to join NDA and dreamed to be a part of Air force. During his second year tenure he visited his father’s office at Nanu’s where he met the owner, Mr. Sandesh Naik, who suggested him asking his opinion about the hotel industry and suggested work in a hotel, part time in the evening to get an understanding of what it is all about. Young Sandeep was not keen about it as during that time the hotel industry was considered low grade, however he obliged. Mr. Naik who suggested to experience the chef’s role, it sounded good to him, so he joined the industry in the kitchen. Everyone was nice to him and he began enjoying the work. He started liking the industry more than the aim that he had aimed for. He told his father about this, dropped everything and enteredAIFCCS (Agnel Institute Of Food Craft And Culinary Science) Goa and completed his three year journey of hotel management from there.

It was never thought of, never decided. He just came across it, got into it, explored it, liked it and here he is today.

To the readers and youngsters wishing to join this profession he would like to give this message, “Everybody dreams to travel the world but I believe that being in the food and beverage service, I call the world to me. You name the nation, I have the people. I understand their nature and their culture being at one point and one place. So, if tomorrow, I get an opportunity to travel the world I would be loaded with knowledge. I would know what to eat, what no to eat, how to behave, or what is their culture. I believe I invite the world to me instead of not going to the world.”

When asked about his challenges, Mr. Sandeep expresses that manpower, initially, is a task to train. It all depends on how one trains and motivates them. Once you overcome that challenge it goes smooth. Today people look at the hospitality industry with pride unlike earlier when it was looked down upon. It is difficult to get the requisite manpower because the generation today wants quick promotions, quick growth, everything is expected to be within short span of time. Within one year they want to be an Executive or in 2 years they want to be a Manager. While interviewing any candidate for his hotel Mr. Sandeep asks them what are their short term and long term goals. They answer that within 5 year they want to be General Manager. When he hears such answers he starts to think about himself.

He says, “It took me 9 years to be a Food and BeverageManager. People want instant results. They need to understand that one needs to build up the groundsbefore constructing a building. It is a task, no doubt, especially when it come to this kind of industry where learning is endless. You just cannot cover it in the books. It is vast. People think that it is challenge to get through engineering, IT, B.Com etc. I believe that it is possible to finish those books but when it comes to Food and Beverage, it is endless. There is no limit to things. I may work my entire life in this industry, I will still be a learner as every day there is something new to do.”

He also expressed that being in this very challenging profession he is blessed with a wife who is a hotelier herself and understands him very well. She is capable of understanding when he comes home at 11.00 p.m. or 12.00 p.m. or sometimes even 1.00 p.m. when there are events. It does become a task but it is easier when the person understands you.

As career growth, Mr. Sandeep looks forward to be EAM, i.e., Executive Assistant Manager who is second to GM. However getting into a bigger brand at the same position is also something that he looks forward to because there will be more to learn in the same position also. That way he can expand his FNB knowledge.

He says that the scenario today with the industry is such that there is no person that works behind the screen. Even chefs are very interactive with the guests. There is much more to hotels than the stay and FnB. The different departments play a very important role which makes it possible for the frontline staff to deliver guest needs and create comfort to their stay.

When it comes to guest preferences, Mr. Sandeep is of the opinion that different people have different preferences. People come on a holiday just to get relaxed. They do not want to work and want everything to be right there for them. Now a days what people really look out for, is the kind of staff that is there around them and their behaviour. You may give them the best of things but if you do not give the right approach and make them feel home then everything goes for a toss.

Mr. Sandeep says, “At Country Inn we work upon the skills of the individuals to make them better and better. They ensure our welcoming, greeting and meeting process are in place to make their experience the best and to give the wow effect as that is considered to be the first impression which will start the smoother beginning. Before they can think, we are ready with what they expect and that leaves an impression. For example, if we see our guest struggling with their food we go up to them and ask them if they need any assistance and if their comfortable with their meal which helps us to understand if our guest is really enjoying the food or beverage he ordered for or his palate needs some addition or subtraction of ingredients to the dish. Most of the time our guest comment saying that they are enjoying the meal which is been served, however Some times the guest mention that the food is indeed spicy, needs to be cooked more or to be cooked less as per their palate and style , so we ensure that same is been replaced as per the guest request. Which indeed avoids complaints and our guest enjoys the meal and carries with him the service experience.

When asked about what else could be done to enhance the guest’s experience Mr. Sandeep mentions that there is no limit to new ideas and technologies coming up today. If you add a personal touch and at times try to be as simple as possible, that automatically enhances their experience. The old traditions are coming back. People have forgotten what authentic cuisine is like. People believe in fusionand more innovative things but while doing that the authenticity has been forgotten. In India, saying“Namaskar”is one way of showcasing the culture. And that is what makes a difference to our guest and helps them remember their experience for a longer time.