Like a lucky Dream
Jochen Kern

Malaysia / Penang 1995




Time changed drastically but the title of Executive Chef otherwise. The capability of the king in the kitchen was over. The contract changed to one month’s resignation. Protection from true professional leaders like GM or F&B was over and nobody would burn his or her fingers for you. All tese portray the insecure situation of these people. They have no more professional pride, not much responsibilities on their hands

(empowerment) and surely noninvolvement with problems. These people exchange the professional guideline with financial statements, all controlled by the financial controller. A funny way life goes when you are king without power. The company came out with staff comments to vote the capability of the department head and their quality, what was wrong at the hotel or why expatriates were earning so much money. In kitchens all around the world, production is only possible through hierarchy. Somebody has to give guidelines, take responsibilities, control cost, conduct meetings, guide communication and so on. Otherwise the whole production, standard and quality will collapse. But alas, practical and theoretical views are different today. If one particular guest comments, we have no choice but to change regardless of whether other guests are unhappy. Decision-avoiding management! What an easy way out.

Where is the nice time and the big fishes gone... previous here at the brassiere's big fish promotion.

Empowerment! What a big word. It is surely easy to empower if you yourself are not professional enough. Otherwise it is difficult to trawl your leadership away. Anyway, my F&B Manager was ot responsible for the restaurant service or operation but only through delegation. When a guest complains, he always takes it without any personal feeling and informs the person in charge (who does not exist), maybe at the end of the line a service runner or commis de rang (new starter, professional young waiter). The monthly hassle of food cost which was at the mercy of complimentary eaters were too much credit work and high food cost. The financial controller could not understand the basic things like what is food cost (product usage to revenue received) and were to them unimportant. Their views are also as such, why border if someone else gets the blame. The teamwork often came up with finger-pointing excuses. Menus on production needed a few months because nobody had said okay or to go ahead with it.

Such unhealthy attitude like "luckily its not my business" prevails. Ownership takes on a new meaning. Today, being the proprietor also means being actively involved in theoperations, and not only when you feel like it. Many things happened at Rasa Sayang Resort. However, the winning best resort award for the year 1994-1995 puts the proud side again on the high side and followed directly with some power play of Union and GM, and no more overtime. the dark side of the hotel is revealed when we tell our guests to go home when we have finished. Two supervisors improved themselves to be the little champion in this guest losing game. What do you expect from two bananas who like to be jack fruits?

Only a matter of a year or less in this hotel. Let’s see what else comes along besides the mountain of changes that occurs from being a private ownership hotel to a corporate chain hotel.


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