A debate titled “A rising talent pool: but at what cost” at The Big F&B Forum on 20 September revealed that HR is becoming more strategically important in the F&B industry as competition for talent ramps up.
Highlighting that HR has traditionally been undervalued in the UAE F&B industry, Lynne Bellinger, managing director, Purple Hospitality commented: “The role of HR is very undervalued in this part of the world.
“They don’t pay the right salaries for HR because they don’t see the importance of that role so they hire an administrator to recruit all of these important people that you talk about, and to organise the right processes and procedures within the organisation.”
Nicholas Couvaras, managing director, Kroma pointed out that HR is becoming increasingly important in the hospitality industry as companies compete for the best staff.
He said: “I think HR itself in big organizations is becoming a very important strategic position. If you’re sitting on the board you should insist on allocating a certain percentage to this. Organisations should hire companies to get their employees to engage and be part of the family.”
Solutions Leisure has recently recruited a group HR director, and Sacha Daniel, operations director explained why this has benefited the company.
“Recently we’ve invested in an HR director for the group. It’s not just about the stats, it’s not just about operation of the venue; you’ve got to have the right culture and philosophy for your group. It’s important to spend time with your staff, do a proper induction, train them, look after them, care for them.”
Also sitting on the panel were Assia Riccio-Smith MIH, Founder, Evolvin’ Women and Markus Thesleff, co-founder of Whissle Group.
The debate explored how operators can best balance increasing payroll costs with consumer demand for value for money, while retaining their best talent and minimising staff poaching.
The second edition of The Big F&B Forum, hosted by Catering News Middle East, took place on 20 September at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, with more than 250 F&B professionals in attendance.
Supporting The Big F&B Forum were some of the industry’s most influential suppliers: Al Rawdah, Official Breakfast Sponsor; Coffee Planet, Exclusive Coffee Sponsor; Banvit, Official Lunch Sponsor; Soft Drinks Sponsor, Waterfalls Brands, Support Sponsor African + Eastern and exhibitors, TSSC, Rational, Ronai, Pulsar Foodstuff Trading, Hotelity, American Garden and Quooker.