Vinod Dhara – Beverage Expert
Name : Vinod Dhara
Age : 30
Designation :Beverage Expert
Duration of Career : 8years
When we are young, our dreams are very different. Some want to become engineers, some others doctor, but as you mature you decide what you want and what your passion is. At a young age itself, Vinod was very fond of cooking. He was very fond of watching shows on TLC and the skills that the chefs displayed.
His father too was a chef. Watching his father cook something new always inspired him to become a chef. Upon completing his hotel management he gave many interviews but did not get a good job as everyone was looking for experienced people. He even requested the interviewers to hire him for less salary as at that point his main goal was to start his career. Yet they were not ready to take him on. He was very frustrated and was about to quit the industry but then thought otherwise.
One day, one of his friends took him to an institute where he saw girls and boys making cocktails and juggling bottles. He thought of it as a kind of circus. Mr. Dhara was extremely fascinated by it and was curious to know more. He was told that it is an Art of Mixology and Flaring. He immediately joined the 15 days free training session and that is where he began his training in flaring.
On the very first day of the training Mr. Dhara realised that he will never become a chef and that his true calling was to become a mixologist. Mixologists have the same skills as chefs do. Chefs experiment with food while mixologists do the same with alcohol. Now a days they are popularly known as Liquid Chefs as per the latest trend.
He was so passionate about it that the institute did not charge me a single penny. At a campus interview he got his job at Dela Adventure and & Resorts in Lonawala. He completed 4-6 months there and got an opportunity in Goa through Mr. Sachin Nagar at Sinq Beach Club, Goa. He seized his moment and it has been 8 years since he has been into this profession. He truly believes that he has achieved the top designation.
While speaking about his key failures, Mr. Dhara mentioned that when he was working at Crown and Casino as an F & B executive, he was very strict with his staff. His staff called him Hitler. He said, “As time went by, I realised that being strict is not always the solution. Your staff and your team will always talk bad about you.They will never praise you and more importantly you can never become a role model to them.” He had to be diplomatic in his approach by maintaining a balance between good and bad with them. Since then whereever he has worked, his staff and his colleagues still remember him. When working in Nigeria, while leaving that job, his colleagues cried for him and asked him not to go. When you are diplomatic you can build a relation, and it becomes great.
As a Bartender his top three priorities are that whatever he serves should be well presented, eye appealing, and the guest having it should appreciate it. He should never be dissatisfied. You should always satisfy guest with the best.
While speaking about his challenges he mentions about some type of guests, who behave very rudely, even if you do the best for them. They aim to put you down. So being polite to such guests even if they abuse you is very challenging. All one must do is to keep smiling. “Hospitality is not easy, it is a challenging job. You have to always keep smiling and go as per the saying, A man who never smiles should never be at the shop”.
He further says, “A liquid chef or a Mixologist, knows the ingredients or the beverages that he is using, he knows the taste before as well. So before he pours he starts imagining the taste and after finishing it, there will be a final tasting that will be done. A professional mixologist or liquid chef will not even taste it again, but it is a good sign to taste the drink upon finishing it your guest will better appreciate the cocktail when served.”
Mr. Dhara expressed that all restaurants and bars are coming up with new concepts everyday. Just as the technology is being updated everyday in the same way the bar and beverage industry is getting updated everyday. Many hotels have new concepts, so they are doing well. Some properties collect waste products and build up their property. These kinds of concepts take hospitality to the next level.
In his opinion ambience and food always delights the customers. But how the employees treat the guest is also of utmost importance. If you serve them the best food or cocktails but don’t treat them well, then they will be disappointed for sure. More than service, building the relation is necessary. He even stated, “Guest may forget what you said or what you served but they will never forget how made them feel”. When they visit you again they will look out for you and will call you by your name. That becomes a relation.
He believes that beverage generates more revenue.
His advice to everyone is, “In every sector, you have to struggle. So never give up! Have patience, have faith and show your passion and skills, you will reach to heights you aim.”