Hotel and Event Management student Chris Reijers chose an English-style internship and became a Management Trainee at De Vere Venues Milton Hill House, just outside Oxford. In a short period of time, he managed to implement several changes and he and his team won the Best Food Experience Award.
Chris: “During my shift, I am responsible for everything that goes on in the restaurant. There is usually no other manager on the floor, so everything is in my hands. I lead a group of four to twelve employees. The best part about my internship is the fact that I get full responsibility over the restaurant and sometimes the entire hotel. I am having a fantastic time here.”
When Chris first started his internship, he was told that he would get as much responsibility as he wanted to take on. Chris: “I am working hard to elevate the quality of service in the restaurant and to make eating here more of an experience for guests. I am also trying to change the staff’s attitude. They are a fairly unmotivated and unqualified group of people without much feeling for hospitality. I feel a shiver running down my spine when I see a bottle of wine being slammed down on the table, even without pouring the wine itself.”
Chris: “People have learned by now that being twenty minutes late is unacceptable to me. Every morning, we get together for a short briefing to give everyone a chance to say what did and did not go well. Getting a little better every day, implementing new things and simply learning from the mistakes people make.”
Chris: “The restaurant department’s job involves much more than just serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have to set up receptions, keep the coffee stations in the hotel clean for the guests, set up for wedding parties, prepare buffets, etcetera. This may not sound very difficult, but it becomes trickier when you consider that instead of doing it myself, I have to get others to do it. During my shifts as a duty manager, I am also confronted with some difficult situations, ranging from overbookings to a wedding cake that was accidentally thrown out. When something like that happens, it is all about switching quickly and making sure everyone is smiling again in the end.”
Best Food Experience Award
His efforts not only earned Chris a fantastic internship and a wealth of new experiences, but also the Best Food Experience award. This award is given to the most innovative and progressive team in the restaurant department. Chris: “Of course, I am proud of that, as of the fact that we receive a positive review on TripAdvisor nearly every week. When I read about the wonderful time people had with us on TripAdvisor, I know all my hard work was worth it.”
Follow Chris on LinkedIn.