Is slump the salvation for sloppy service?

    F&B outlets must use current lull to train staff and improve service
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    Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek's Uwe Micheel.
    Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek's Uwe Micheel.

    The economic slowdown may prove a boon for F&B service standards in Dubai, as restaurants finally have the time to train their staff.

    Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek director of kitchens Uwe Micheel said he would “like to see the service and the whole quality in Dubai improve” over coming months.

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    “I would say about a decade ago, we’d overtaken Europe in terms of service — we had the right number of people working in the hospitality industry and the training was good; you wouldn’t put someone out on the floor unless they were properly trained,” he said.

    “But over the past three years, it was all done in a rush: staff went straight from the airport, into their uniform and out onto the restaurant floor. And only then would the manager discover this poor person hadn’t got a clue!”

    Sombun Phongri, chef de cuisine at the hotel’s Fish Market restaurant, expanded: “We first opened in November 1989.

    “Today there are many more seafood restaurants in the UAE — and many of them have taken members of our staff when they open.

    Micheel continued: “The problem has been that places were taking on new people in roles they were not ready for, for a vastly inflated wage.

    “Here, we believe in thorough training — but that takes time; sometimes the people that go are not ready to make that leap.

    “And unfortunately, some of these new restaurants do not keep their promise when it comes to the food and service.

    “And it all comes down to the fact that things have gone too fast in recent years,” he claimed.

    “There hasn’t enough time for training, and a lot of these amazing-looking restaurants do not have the basics there.”

    However Micheel predicted that the current slowdown would give outlet the opportunity to “get back to those basics and put an emphasis on training”.

    “Now, with business being slower than it was, we have had time to reflect on such matters and hopefully rectify the issues that had cropped up,” he said.

    “I would like to see the whole quality of service in Dubai improve; I hope that we will return to where we were a few years ago, with truly excellent standards of service.”

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