Yuna Jung is the Food and Beverage manager at Jumeirah Hotel Rotana, who completed her Hospitality diploma in Montreux Switzerland and a BA in International hospitality in The Netherlands, and moved to Dubai to pursue her career in 2015. She is passionate about looking for new and effective ways to improve the way things are done and in contributing to the overall strategic and organizational goals of the department.
1 – What are your responsibilities as a food and beverage manager at Rotana hotel?
As a Food and Beverage Manager, I am responsible for the short and long term planning and the management of the food and beverage operations in the front and back of the house to achieve customer satisfaction and quality service while meeting or exceeding financial goals. My role involves managing and achieving the profit and quality for all foods and beverage operations in the hotel, including restaurants, catering and banqueting operations, conducting trainings, and coaching all colleagues within my department in order for them to have room to grow. I also conduct a daily walk around to ensure everything is in place during the operation and Rotana standards have been followed. I do conduct market research to see the trends and benchmark with our competitors. However, my responsibilities are not limited to this; part of my responsibilities is to work closely with the marketing team to plan any food and beverage promotion campaigns, implement new ideas in the most cost effective manner, etc…
2 – How and why did you integrate this sector?
It was always my passion to work in the hotel industry. The moment I finished my degree, I started working as a trainee in an international group of a Hotel Company. From then on, I started climbing up the ladder of my career and positioned myself to where I am now. I started working and focusing on Food and Beverage in 2006, and held the position of an assistant outlet manager. From that year, I slowly moved forward and now reached the position of an F&B manager. I am proud to say that starting from a lower position made me a better person and manager now, and it helped me to motivate my people to have more patience in their work because sooner or later they will become like me.
3 – What is your daily working routine?
As soon as I get to my office, I reply to all important emails and send emails to colleagues within my department for any urgent tasks to be done. This is followed by a morning briefing with the management team, and a walk around to check the restaurants before opening and during the day to make sure everything is in place as per the standards of Rotana Hotels. That is followed by Lunch at 1pm and asking for feedback if necessary. I then have my daily briefing with colleagues within my department to get them ready for the operation of the day. I finish my work at 7pm; however most of the days, I extended my time until the restaurants open for dinner. I always pass by as well during holidays and special occasions to randomly check restaurant operations.
4 – What are the most common problems you encounter at work and what are your means to solve them?
The most common challenges that I encountered at work are whenever guests are having a conflict of interest or last minute requests. Since we are in the hotelier business, guests are very important for us. Being vulnerable or being too harsh will never help at all. You have to be brave and confident always in order for you to handle any situation that arises.
5 – Hotel Rotana is known to have many guests from different cultures and international diners. How do you accommodate your menu accordingly?
In order for us to meet the needs of our guests or satisfy them, we created a themed night menu that caters different cuisines from different countries at the Five Dining Restaurants. This includes Mexican, Italian, Asian, International/Oriental, Seafood and Steak. Additionally, Rotana Hotels created local dishes that we have to include on our menus and will be implemented soon.
6 – How do your personnel and family view your position as a female manager?
My husband has been a great supporter in my career. When I was first given the opportunity for a higher position, I was assigned in Ras Al Khaimah. I was hesitant to transfer, however, my husband was the one convinced me not to let go of this chance. For more than two years, he commuted to Dubai everyday. Being a female manager was never an issue between my husband and I; he is still the head of the family, and his decision is implemented. I can still balance my time personally and professionally, as I make sure that I always spend a quality time with my husband and my little one.
Interview conducted by: Luma Kudsiova