MAKING FOOD BETTER ONE BITE AT A TIME WITH MANISH GOYAL, F&B DIRECTOR AT HOTEL YAK AND YETI
Nepal has a diverse and colorful history when it comes to showcasing hospitality. As Nepalese, it is in our nature to have a great sense of hospitality. The same goes to show when it comes to the hotels here in Nepal. Although ‘hospitality as a business’ may have started late here, it is now blooming as the hotels here have come a long way when it comes to hospitality management.
Having reached the mile stone of 41 years last September, Hotel Yak and Yeti still moving forward to make their hospitality service even better. TNM Magazine had an opportunity to have a conversation with Mr. Manish Goyal, Food and Beverage Director at the renowned historic hotel. Here is the conversation with him on how the hotel and the entire industry is doing.
STARTING OFF, HOW IS THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AND MANAGEMENT DOING IN THE CURRENT MARKET STATE?
In my opinion, the hospitality industry in Nepal at present is doing really well. This is also because of the initiative by the Tourism Board of Nepal as Nepal Tourism Year 2020, targeting even more people to have them visit the country. This is something any tourism and hospitality industry wants and this gives us a great opportunity as a renowned hotel to fully get into the initiative and make Nepal recognized as a tourist destination all over the world.
“AS IT WAS ESTABLISHED AROUND AN ORIGINAL PALACE, WHICH HAS BEEN CONVERTED INTO A CONVENTIONAL CENTER, THE HOTEL HAS A HISTORICAL HERITAGE CONNECTION. THIS SPEAKS OF A COMPLETE SENSE OF NEPAL’S HISTORY AND THE ARCHITECTURES DEPICT NEPALESE CULTURE AND HERITAGE.”
AS YOU MENTIONED THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IS DOING REALLY WELL IN THE COUNTRY. IN THE MIDST OF THE CURRENT SITUATION WHERE DOES YAK AND YETI COME IN PLAY?
Yak and Yeti has always been a pioneer hotel in the industry since it started 41 years ago. As it was established around an original palace, which has been converted into a conventional center, the hotel has a historical heritage connection. This speaks of a complete sense of Nepal’s history and the architectures depict Nepalese culture and heritage. That is how yak and yeti has been for all the years as a hotel.
WE MIGHT BE WRONG, BUT AS FAR AS WE UNDERSTAND THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN NEPAL IS FOCUSED MORE TOWARDS INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS RATHER THAN THE LOCAL TOURISTS. LET’S MAKE THIS A UNIQUE QUESTION. IS THIS STATEMENT TRUE? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT?
It is common to have that assumption as most of the five star hotels in Nepal, including Yak and yeti, will have more of foreign tourists than locals. However, Yak and Yeti was not established with the mind-set of attending to only foreign guests. We are trying to portray the hotel to be for the local tourists as well.
Just recently we had a package deal, called the Monsoon Retreat, and the Nepalese tourists were the main target. The hotel holds similar packages and events to promote the local tourism on a regular basis. Yes, we hope to attract the local tourists through these events but the main motive behind these kinds of events where the target audiences are the Nepalese people themselves is to motive the people to the concept that Nepal itself is a great destination for the Nepalese tourists.
TALKING ABOUT THE EVENTS HOSTED BY THE HOTEL, INVOLVING THE FOOD AND THE RESTAURANT, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THOSE EVENTS BEING THE F&B DIRECTOR? AND WHILE ON THE MATTER, WHAT ROLE DOES FOOD AND BEVERAGE DEPARTMENT PLAY IN THE ENTIRE THING?
F&B Department is all about the food, the restaurant, the banquet and other services provided by the hotel, including from the room services to the dinning. When it comes to those events the department plays a big role in them, as it falls in the department’s responsibilities to cater to those events.
Talking about our recent-most event, the family barbeque at Yak and Yeti, the general idea behind it is to have family and friends come together and have fun. Out restaurant is built on the same concept of having fun and still remain true to yourself.
GETTING BACK INTO THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, WHAT ARE THE DIFFICULTIES AND CHALLENGES PRESENT IN THE CURRENT SCENARIO? HOW IS THE INDUSTRY PROGRESSING AT PRESENT TIME?
At present, there are not much pressing challenges or difficulties in the Nepalese hospitality industry; ‘the weather’s been good’, as they say. It has been highly favorable condition for us who are in the hotel business with all the initiatives and other things happening in the industry. It is just that we have to/should be able to put our right foot forward so that we can cater to the things required.
The numbers of hotels is rapidly increasing in Nepal and this gives us an opportunity to expand and grow better than before. When we have guests visiting us, either foreign or local, the main priority should be given to catering to their requests, see that they are well taken care of and return back with great memory. It has to be a memorable experience to become life time experiences; this is something the tourism of Nepal states. This is not a difficulty if sorts but it is challenging for most, if not many if you are not experienced or adept to cater to your guests well.
AS YOU MENTIONED, THE INDUSTRY IS GROWING AT A GREAT PACE AND ALONG WITH IT THE NUMBERS OF HOTELS HAVE BEEN INCREASING RAPIDLY. YAK AND YETI HAVING A SIGNIFICANT HISTORY AND BEING A PROMINENT HOTEL OF NEPAL, DOES IT HAVE TO STAY IN THE BOUNDARIES OF COMPETITIONS WITH OTHER HOTELS?
Yes, there are competitions, but these kinds of competitions are healthy. No matter which hotel you represent, the general idea is to take the service and the quality level of hotels and hospitality to another level. With all these hospitality chains entering the industry and more hotels being established, this leads to a positive sign that the Nepal is starting to set its name as a country with great hospitality industry.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SCENARIOS TO COME IN THE INDUSTRY IN FUTURE?
The prospects are very good. With 2020 being Nepal Tourism Year, people will be visiting our country which is great for everyone in this industry as it doesn’t just promote the hotels and hospitality services but also encourages the local tourism industry to bloom. This will give the hospitality sector all the scope to expand.