Director of Food & Beverage (F&B) Deependra Singh tells us what’s different at Aloft Kathmandu Thamel and gives us an idea of the F&B scene, as he sits for an interview with Nepal Traveller
With over 19 years of experience in the hospitality industry and 11 years of journey in the F&B scene, Deependra Singh, Director of F&B at Aloft Kathmandu Thamel shares his experience and thoughts.
Tell us about the experience that you have had throughout your career?
I graduated in the year 1999 and straight away started my career with Hotel Radisson. But soon after that I joined a new hotel, Hotel Yangon as F&B manager for one and a half years. After that, I worked at Everest Hotel as a Restaurant Manager but I was overall in charge of F&B for almost years. Then I joined Hotel Yak & Yeti as an Assistant Food & Beverage Manager for three years.
When an opportunity to work in Australia came knocking, I took it and worked from 2008 to mid-2010 where I was associated with Marriott Resort and Spa Australia. After that I was called back by one of my General Managers and re-joined Hotel Yak & Yeti as F&B Manager and worked for a year. I was soon promoted as Associate Director of F&B and again promoted to Director of F&B in 2012. I worked in Hotel Yak & Yeti till mid-2017 and joined a pre-opening team of Crowne Imperial Hotel.
Finally I joined Aloft Kathmandu Thamel on April 15, 2019.
Thoughts and Importance of F&B Department
Food and Beverage Department (F&B) is responsible for maintaining high quality food and service, food costing, managing restaurants, bars, et cetera. In any hotel this is a major department. And if a hotel has large function rooms, then the F&B department of the hotel will be generating almost 50% of the total hotel revenue.
What are the F&B outlets in Aloft Kathmandu Thamel?
We have Nook as the all-day dining restaurant. Nook is a buffet driven restaurant with live cooking. At Nook we serve breakfast and dinner buffet 365 days and lunch buffet twice a week. Nook also has a la carte and graveyard shift menu. So, any time of the day or night anyone comes at Nook for food, they won’t leave hungry.
We have two different bars in operation, they are; W XYZ Bar which is at lobby level and Akua which is at 14th floor next to the swimming pool ‘Splash’. Every Friday night, we have Live @Aloft at W XYZ Bar where we bring in new on the rise artists or bands for live performance.
Aloft Kathmandu Thamel is coming up with an exquisite restaurant with Tapas concept providing guests with several courses of smaller portioned servings made to share. Though the servings are small, you are able to indulge in an array of delicious flavours. Tapas cuisine is intended to encourage conversation so we will have interactive chefs and most probably the Head Chef will be from Spain. The name of this outlet will be Nilgiri Sky Lounge which will be at the 14th floor where guests can capture the essence of Kathmandu.
For MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) we have Shankalan, our Ball room area.
As a five star hotel, we have 24 hours room service and offer in-room dining services.
I consider Re:Fuel as a unique outlet which serves as a one-stop snack shop 24/7.
Tell us something about your team.
As the Director of F&B, I assembled my team here at Aloft Kathmandu Thamel and interviewed each and every candidates. I am a bit choosy to some extent and prepared a long process of selection. Although I have considered some from other fields of study if they have had proper work experience in five star hotels and international exposure, most of my staff are BHM graduates.
Here at Aloft Kathmandu Thamel, I have created a young and energetic team. And I am satisfied and proud of my team and their performance.
Aloft embodies ‘different by design’ philosophy, so what is the difference of working at Aloft Kathmandu Thamel?
I don’t have to wear a tie here. As a head of department, if I was working in any other hotel I would have to wear a uniform but here at Aloft we don’t have a uniform. We wear smart casuals. The innovative programming centring on music and F&B make Aloft unique to the traditional hotel landscape. With our jet-setting style we create a vibrant social scene at affordable price for modern travellers.
What is your management mantra for any events in the hotel?
When you have a big event tomorrow, you do your planning today! That will make your life easy tomorrow. The first and foremost thing that you need to do is plan. After that, you need to have meetings with your team and clearly communicate the plan.
Then we need to do mise-en-place which means to gather and arrange the items and tools needed for serving. If the planning, proper communication and mise-en-place are done then everything will run smoothly.