Today we would like to introduce to you, from our hotel in Aberdeen:

Christina Canale-Dow, Food and Beverage Manager

at Thistle Aberdeen Altens

What do you love most about your job?

One of the things I like most about my job is that every day is different, and with 32 Food & Beverage staff to keep happy, things never get boring!

Two of my biggest achievements at Thistle have been achieving a guest feedback score of 85% and above from our nationwide customer satisfaction survey and whipping the Food and Beverage team in to shape! Many people would be surprised to know that if my department were a standalone business, it would turn over £1.9 million a year.

Which tasks form part of your daily routine as Food and Beverage Manager?

Most of my time is spent on the floor although I also sit behind my desk more than I’d like to. The largest part of my job is managing my over 30-staff large team, training them, working out rotas, ordering stock such as liquor and napkins, dealing with the financial site of the orders and generally making sure everything runs smoothly.

What are some of the daily challenges you are faced with?

Generally, weekends are the busiest and at the same time most challenging particularly with keeping on top of the staff, making sure they are doing their job properly and to our standards and foreseeing how many members of staff will be needed for dinner, breakfast, night bar etc. When all of a sudden a large party arrives unannounced, additional staff might have to be called in or re-allocated, which can be challenging.

What has been the most challenging day/event in your career?

The most challenging day of the year is Christmas Day. Every year, we have lots of guests, particularly families, all of whom are expecting a lot. Exceeding their expectations on such a special day is a great challenge but then it’s even more rewarding when you get told personally or through one of our customer satisfaction cards which guests fill in at check-out that they loved it and appreciated all the effort.

If you had to plan your ideal meal, what would you choose for starter, main and dessert?

Starter – Scallops, black pudding and minted pea puree

Mains – Chilli burger with hand cut chips and salad

Dessert – Crème brûlée (any flavour)

My top tips for leading by example…

  • Never ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself
  • Find everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and match them up
  • Find out what motivates the team, and remember that everyone is different
  • Always encourage feedback from your team and ensure you act upon it
  • Whatever you do, do it with integrity


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