Rajesh Radhakrishnan, Director of Food and Beverage at Radisson Blu Goa
Name : Rajesh Radhakrishnan
Age : 46
Designation :Director of Food and Beverage
Name of the Hotel : Radisson Blu Goa
Duration of Career : 24 years
Hailing from God’s own Country, Kerala, Mr. Rajesh completed his education in Orissa and then completed his Hotel Management from IHM Bhubaneshwar. His 24 years of career started with the Taj Group of Hotels followed by Cidade de Goa. Then he moved to Mahindra Group followed by working for Sayaji group of Hotels and currently he is the Director of Food and Beverage at Radisson Blu Goa.
The reason why he joined this profession is an interesting one. When he passed out from 12th hotel management was portrayed as a glamorous and booming career opportunity. He personally likes meeting people. He goes forward and meets new people around him and does not wait for anyone to come and talk to him. That is his main passion. Apart from rooms and restaurants, hotel has various other departments such as engineering, housekeeping, horticulture, wellness which creates employment opportunity for several people with different skill sets under one roof. One gets to learn and understand the operations of other departments. It is small world in itself.
To the readers and youngsters reading this he says “If you have the willingness to meet people and the passion to serve, then hotel industry is the best industry where you can really rise up in your career.”
In the initial phases of your career you really need to learn how to maintain a work and life balance and be prepared to sacrifice a lot. The most important thing to maintain and control is EGO. You have to leave your ego at home and come to work. Only then will you be able to learn anything. This is what he used to tell his juniors now he tells this to his colleagues also. Ego really has to be kept aside. If there is no ego, you can serve willingly. That is why in any career ego is the biggest hindrance.
He suggests that you need to keep moving up the ranks by switching hotels to improve upon the knowledge and keep appraised on the latest offerings. He also expresses that he should have pursued his studies post IHM. Once you join the hotel industry you hardly get an opportunity to study. It gets tiring and there is no time. He actually wanted to study more but he has no regrets. In the work phase you get to learn everything.
Being a part of the management, the one thing that he strongly believes is that you take care of the associates and the associates will take care of the guest. He believes that the management team can think of how to grow the business while the associates are providing excellent services to the guests. They are the ones who are interacting with the guests. As such, for Mr. Rajesh, they are very important.
His next higher goal is to become a GM.
He believes in the policy ‘practice what you preach’. The one mantra that has helped him in his junior days is ‘clean as you go’. Hygiene is of paramount importance in the hotel industry. Whether it is the room or cloak room, restaurant or garden, hygiene must be maintained. This is important as the guests are watchful and they build up a perception about the whole property. The first thing a guest enters and sees is the lobby and experience how clean it is. Once you do proper cleaning, hygiene is automatically dealt with.
According to Mr. Rajesh, the olden days where the chef used to be confined to the kitchen are long gone. Now everybody is into walk the talk live counters and the chefs are more interactive. They start interacting with the guests and the guests can see how the food is cooked. They can customise as per their need. Interactive kitchens are a big hit now. Moreover it saves a lot of cost. You are not cooking in bulk in such kitchens and putting in the chafing dishes. Only the required quantity is being cooked. So there is saving also and the freshness remains. Since the food is being prepared in front of them they don’t mind waiting, hence the best kitchen is an interactive kitchen.
He says when guests enter a restaurant or a bar they want to see it absolutely neat and clean, good presentations of the food as well as the drinks and also observes the grooming and interaction of staffs with them. If you go to a restaurant and the staff is not interacting with you then it is not a complete meal.
These days guests are a little demanding. Their expectations are very high because they start comparing with other hotels. For Mr. Rajesh, value addition will bring back a customer. It is an experience. The guests should feel different when they come to a hotel. That is what an experience is all about. Most of his guests have told him that they come back to Radisson firstly because of the staff and the taste of food. The guests love the warmth and the hospitality and Radisson always makes sure that every guest leaves with a WOW. Radisson’s guest satisfaction is very high. Over the days and months they have really scaled it up. Competition is growing and they need to live up to the expectation of the guests.
At Radisson they always do things very differently. Their FNB team is very strong; Chef Mahesh and the GM all work very closely. They are very creative and try new things every day and receive the required support from the management as well.
The main aim is to keep our local Goan patrons happy. We work very closely with the local patrons, understand their requirement and provide the best. Locals have mind-set that Radisson is very expensive, but that is not true. To all the Goans out there and people living in Goa, Mr. Rajesh would like to say that, “Radisson is unique with the offerings; very pocket friendly and you should come and try us out”
He believes that one should work with passion and keep motivating others. Keep evolving yourself to be in the market and in the competition.
His desire is to make a singing album of himself. He has not attended any requisite singing classes but is a fair singer indeed. He also wants to learn a musical instrument and wishes to be a cluster Head managing 2 or 3 hotels together.