'I Intend to Focus on Retention over Acquisition'
Sandeep Singh, Shangri-La's Eros Hotel's new Director of Food and Beverage spoke to BW Hotelier about the challenges of his new position and how he planned to tackle them.
BW HOTELIER got the opportunity to speak with Sandeep Singh, the recently appointed Director of Food and Beverage at the Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi and asked him about what he planned to do in his new role in a hotel which has been, in the last couple of years, really pushed it’s F&B offerings and operations.
Prior to his current position, Singh was the F&B manager at the Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel and Residences, the Leela and it the Oberoi and Hyatt prior to that.
Here is an excerpt from the interview
BW Hotelier: How different do you find your new position compared to your work at your earlier hotel? What are the challenges, which you feel, should be tackled first? What is the best part of your new responsibilities?
Sandeep Singh: Within the short span of time that I have worked here, I have witnessed the magnitude of exposure that an international brand offers. In my previous assignment, I was based in Gurugram, which catered to a separate segment of patrons, however, the Delhi demographic is quite different, it is exciting and challenging at the same time. and offers vast and innovative offerings.
The common issue in every organization is talent retention and maintaining a certain brand standard. My aim is to try an overcome these discrepancies with the help of my team and hope to keep the brand flag flying high while simultaneously maintaining quality and consistency.
The hotel in the past two years has completely revamped the food and beverage offerings. It is extremely exciting to see the innovations the hotel has to offer and we would like to create a memorable experience for our guests. On the business front, I enjoy creative innovative business practices, which helps make chefs more business friendly. I interact with them everyday and intend to create a synergy between them and the sales team. Furthermore, I aspire to encourage managers to work as business heads as I would like to see every member in our department grow.
BWH: You have moved from independent hotel to an international chain, what is it that you find is the key differentiator and how do you think you are best suited for the job?
SS: Like I said before Gurugram and Delhi are very different in terms on taste, spending and clientele. Shangri-La's - Eros Hotel, New Delhi is an enterprising property and has become a hub for food and beverage in the city.
Shangri-La is an established brand and has become quite popular as a go-to hotel in Delhi. I intend to focus on retention over acquisition in every regard. Retaining the loyal customers is something the brand aims to do and goes out of their way to make every guest feel special at out hotel through memory makers.
BWH: Are there any new projects or products that you are excited about? Do you think you will change the way F&B is run compared to before?
SS: In the past two years, the hotel has revamped their food and beverage offerings and thus increased their positioning in the industry by introducing some of the finest and most authentic restaurants in the city. We keep adding newness to the menu, as we like to offer diversity to our clientele.
The hotel is coming up with “New Horizon Club Lounge” situated at the 19th floor exclusively for its resident guests. It is a friendly and private space with a contemporary touch. The resident guests can comfortably check-in and check-out from the lounge itself. Refurbishing the banquet space is also our upcoming agenda to provide a stellar corporate and social event space.
BWH: Finally, what's your plan to upsell and push F&B in a very competitive market?
SS: Again the focus will be on maintaining the legacy by the way of quality and consistency. We also plan to imbibe the wine culture in New Delhi by hosting wine tasting events and wine dinners. We aspire to drive business aggressively by connecting to our existing and acquiring new customers. Also, by connecting the food and beverage team to the sales team to get their inputs on the sales plan of the restaurants, thereby promoting them to work like one big team.
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