Nearly 4,000 miles! That’s the distance between Lyon, where Guillaume Crepet studied at Vatel and Doha in Qatar, where he currently works as the Restaurant Manager at the Nusantao Four Seasons Hotel and Resort.
This Success Story starts in Mauritius, continues in France, goes through the United States, the Maldives, and then continues in Qatar.
Vateliens, we can really say that the world is your oyster!
NEW JOBS FOR VATELIENS: After having spent 5 years in Qatar, Guillaume Crepet moved to Mauritius, where he manages two French bakery and pastry shops. He'll tell you more about this soon!
Hi Guillaume. Could you tell us a bit about the hotel and restaurant where you work?
The Doha Four Seasons Hotel opened nine years ago. It is located in the heart of Westbay, the center of the capital. It has the best location for both an urban hotel as well as a resort: a private beach, five swimming pools, 232 rooms each with a breathtaking view overlooking the Golf as well as a state-of-the-art fitness room.
The restaurant, which can seat 175 guests, has buffet breakfasts and a menu for lunch and dinner. We offer a variety of authentic cuisines: Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian and Middle Eastern dishes. The menu has 95 different choices. A true trip to Asia!
People from 35 different nationalities work in the hotel and our clients come from the entire world. Our working days are long but the experience is very enriching. My team (35 employees and assistant managers) and I manage the restaurant from A to Z (ordering wine, food for the menus, taking care of groups, managing special products, etc.).
How did you happen to choose a job like this?
As my parents were expatriates, I went to high school in Mauritius, the French High School, where I followed the Economic and Social Studies stream. I traveled a lot with my parents and we stayed in many different hotels, and that sparked the passion of traveling and hospitality that I have. After I finished high school, I started to look for a school where I would be able to study tourism and hotel management. I looked into all the different schools in this field, and Vatel, with its mixture of theoretical courses and practical applications, really caught my eye. In the hospitality and tourism fields, theory is of course, very important, but in my opinion, you can only experience the reality of the job you want to do if you actually work in it while studying.
What memories do you have of the years you spent at Vatel in Lyon?
When you didn’t attend a professional high school, it takes more time and greater motivation to get used to the changes in rhythm between the week of academic courses and the week of practical application courses in the School’s hotel or restaurant. In high school, you’ve only got theoretical courses, one after another, every week of the year. Today my first year practical application courses are a part of my very best memories! All instructors are very professional and you learn a lot both in the restaurant and in the kitchens. I also have very fond memories of people that I met and all the friends I made at school.
What about your internships?
I have incredible memories about my second year internship, and I’m sure you’ll understand why when I tell you about the context. I went to the Maldives, in the Kuda Huraa Four Seasons Hotel for its reopening after the 2004 Tsunami. The official date for its reopening was set at two months after my arrival. The beach and the rest of the island were devastated, still full of tree trunks and waste, and reconstruction work was only half finished. I couldn’t believe that we were going to open in only two months. But the hotel opened its doors on schedule and the first customers walked in just as if nothing had happened. Some of the memories that I’ll never forget were the teamwork required, as well as the special attention paid to each and every detail during the pre-opening period.
You can compare a hotel with a fine watch: people only notice its beautiful facade, but even if just one of the clockworks that is inside the watch isn’t functioning correctly, the whole thing will stop working.
You graduated from Vatel in 2007, what did you do after that?
At the end of my third year, I did a one and a half Manager in Training program (M.I.T.) at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotelin Los Angeles, in accommodations (1 year at the front desk and 6 months in housekeeping). When I finished this contract, my visa had expired and I was transferred to the Doha Four Seasons Hotel, in the Restaurant department. After various positions as Assistant Manager, I was promoted to the Bar and Lobby Lounge Manager. And finally, since the end of 2012, I have been managing the main restaurant, the Nusantao, which offers six different types of Asian cuisine.