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Hotel Sustainability For A Fine Dining Experience

Clear communication to customers, through menus and well-trained staff, can help to drive sustainability when it comes to the dining experience, experts have argued. The issue was the subject of a panel discussion at the inaugural Hotelier Middle East Sustainability, which took place at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai on May 20. A large part of the discussion revolved around seafood and the need to educate customers about sustainably-caught fish and explain to them why they might want to steer clear of certain options, such as hamour, as part of the UAE's 'Choose Wisely' campaign. “In the menu we have the logo of the campaign and we dedicate one full page where we attract the eye of the customer,” said Doubletree by Hilton Dunai Jumeirah Beach food & beverage manager Evangelos Karakoulis. “What makes the difference is the actual team members. If you don’t tell someone about it, it’s not going to be effective. “So you incentivise the team members and then you have mystery shopper to check round. Does the team member ask and suggest about the ‘Choose Wisely’ campaign and inform that they should not go for hamour and go for something else?”Al Maha food & beverage manager David Miras agreed with the need to train both front of house staff and the chefs who were cooking the dishes behind the scenes. “The kitchen has a sustainability award where we train staff on what sustainability is and what the ‘Choose Wisely’ movement is all about,” he added. Going forward, it was argued that hotels and restaurants needed to make sure they publicize their sustainability efforts in order to drive movement across the industry.
“If you do something good, you have tell people,” said Kempinski Hotel Ajman executive chef Nicolai Schleifer. “If you hide it or maybe just display it as a small flyer somewhere, people will not know and it doesn't spread the word. “Make it visible and make people talk about it and get other hotels and colleagues understanding. If everyone is doing it then it becomes the norm and guests will understand." The inaugural Sustainability Summit was attended by around 120 general managers, F&B directors, hotel engineers and housekeepers, who discussed the most important issues in running hotel sustainability programs.

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