Operator of the Strand Hotel, O&L Leisure announced last week it will be spending what must be a new Namibian training record up to the day before this upmarket establishment opens, to train its 235 strong new hotel staff complement.
The intensive training started last week and runs until 08 October.
The Strand Hotel Swakopmund training programmes are based on the more than 2,000 tailored Standard Operation Procedures (SOP’s) prepared for all departments. During the last four months these were developed by Amalia Boshoff, the O&L Leisure Quality Assurance & Training Manager in collaboration with the various Heads of Departments.
To facilitate the many training programmes, specialist trainers have been recruited from all over the world. Grant Heale, whose communication and sales technique training is based on the Disney Institute and the Rain Group in the USA. Ken Matthews from Abu Dhabi is running the Service Excellence Training. Chef Katsuhiko Miyamoto from Japan is running the Sushi/Sashimi Training whilst the specialized Wine and Beverage Training is facilitated by the Cape Wine Academy. The owner of Namibia’s well known Slowtown Coffee Roasters and Coffee Shops, Dennis De Wet will be conducting the specialized Barista training. Boshoff, a born Swakopmunder who left Namibia at the age of 5, created this tailored training programme. She studied at the Capital Hotel & Training Academy in Pretoria. Her initial working career was spent in the Guest Relations and Food & Beverage departments of various hotels in England, Ireland and Scotland before she moved to Dubai were she was part of the opening team of the 5-star Sofitel Luxury Hotel.
Specialized Sushi training was conducted last week by renowned Japanese Sushi Chef, Katsuhiko Miyamoto, better known as chef Miya.
Chef Miya has been in the industry for over 30 years and is known as a master in preparing the best of Sushi dishes. He travelled to South Africa 28 years ago after he was given the opportunity to work in a Japanese restaurant that was in need of an authentic Japanese chef. He has over the years built up a loyal clientele, who would follow him wherever he goes, because they adored his tempura and sushi.
Miya’s faithfulness to the Japanese community in South Africa however remained, and he catered for various Japanese companies who preferred his sushi to that of other chefs.
There are many different sides to being a sushi chef as passionately expressed by chef Miya: “An important consideration is the person eating the sushi. The challenge is not to fill the stomach, but rather to appeal to the eye and then to the palate with the taste sensation of sushi. The successful sushi chef wants to please his customer physically, mentally and psychologically.”
Health and Safety (HACCP) training consisting of First Aid, Fire Fighting, Health and Safety and Food control and management will the follow the Guest Care training programme currently in session.
The entire training programme closes with a 4-Phase soft opening “test run” program just before the Hotel opens its doors at 12 noon on 09 October 2015.