Updated: May 5
This week, we asked Sokunthroth Y., to tell us about his journey in the hospitality industry.
After studying in Switzerland, in the prestigious "Hotel Institute Montreux" and "Swiss Hotel Management School", he returned to Cambodia with a Master of International Business in Hospitality Management.
Now, Sokunthroth is General Manager of one of the trendiest place in Phnom Penh : Sakaban restaurant.
b. Consulting aims to promote Cambodian talents in the hospitality field. You too can be an example for new employees in the hospitality industry. If you wish to testify, please contact us.
"Asking me how I get into this industry I would answer Passion and Love but ask me how I get into the Hospitality Industry my answer would be Hospitality found me."
Sokunthroth Y. GM of Sakaban restaurant.
How did you get into the hospitality business?
It all started with a nostalgic experience and passion. Looking back when I was a kid, I visited one B&B Hotel near the seaside in Sihanoukville. On a fresh morning I went to their outlet and saw their staff preparing a buffet breakfast for their guest like a line of service, full of systematic from hot to cold dishes and place the nametags of each items with care and precision. It amazed me how could just 3 stars local hotel could do, but I can feel they put their heart into it.
As I was travelling home, my mind kept thinking about the hotel’s hospitality and hospitality and not the sea or vacation that I had.
Since then, the experience I have gained and the passion I have for the industry has led me to continue to follow it, even though I sometimes failed to find a job in a hotel before I graduated with my hospitality degree, but I continue to practice it by serving meals to my friends and family.
Asking me how I get into this industry I would answer passion and love but ask me how I get into the hospitality industry my answer would be hospitality found me.
What studies did you follow to become a hospitality professional?
Hospitality is about people business. You would deal with the different type of guest with various emotion and expectation. It’s not just what you learn from your degree but the job itself. It is really important for any person in hospitality industry to focus on On-Job-Training as the industry keeps evolving.
Plus, with new technology begin to involve, we need the ongoing skill training to keep those experience alive with be continuously curious on how we can continue to meet expectation from our guest.
What do you like about your job? And what do you like less?
What I really love about my job is to be able to connect and share experience with people. By “People“ here, I mean our team, our guest, and our shareholder.
Every day is a new learning experience as we can meet, talk, share, train and learn from our people. When you decided to step into this job, you know you already sacrifice your life balance and instead deal with long haul hour, this might be what I like less but passion and love for this industry also the smile and compliment from our people are what motivate me to continue this journey.
For me, experience from my first internship has opened my eyes on how hospitality should be.
What is your best experience, story in this profession?
I began my job as an F&B internship at one restaurant in Switzerland, even with the experience from my previous job and several training from my degree, I still felt out of comfort zone and nervous.
My first week there wasn’t what I had imagined, I create lot of problem to the team such as spill the oil all over the floor while we were catering 120 guests at lunch time. The manager asked me to take 5 minutes rest outside the building to calm myself. After the shift I went to the manager office to apologized, to my surprised he comforted me and spend the extra hour to train me right after the shift. This show me what leadership look like and how professional in hospitality should be.
Within 1 month, I became confident in my job and started to train a new intern. I spent my 2 days off working voluntarily in the kitchen and eager to learn more about kitchen system, service workflow, and moreover about different guest expectation.
For me, experience from my first internship has opened my eyes on how hospitality should be. It gave me a lot of learning aspect from professionalism in hospitality to the leadership. Hospitality doesn’t limit to the interaction between the service provider and the customers, it is also about encouraging and motivating people around us too.
This is what I seek to fulfill on my journey.