Do you remember the olden stories about groups of science aficionados tirelessly searching for ways to turn usual substances into gold? Well, it now looks like Accor S.A. is getting its very own alchemists. The French hotel chain has recently announced that Supreet Roy, the General Manager of a Novotel hotel in Chennai, was appointed Master Alchemist for the IMEAT (India, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey) region. Philip Mahoney, VP, F&B, for IMEAT, comments “Our vision is to make food and drink the heart and soul of our hotels, and the way to do this is by having every one of our ‘Heartists’ play a part in making that come true. While present-day alchemists routinely transmute gold daily, we aim to curate the best F&B experiences at our hotels.”
Meanwhile, Roy remarks that making every hotel’s F&B a strong revenue generator is one of the priorities for the company. “There’s another colleague I am working with, Sachin Maheshwary, GM, Grand Mercure in Bengaluru, and two of us have this task of making sure everyone is on the same page from a business point of view. We’re going to make F&B a passion for the teams with an interesting story for every hotel. We have formed a team in the entire hotel network comprising the F&B head and one culinary head of each hotel.”
What Accor executives seem to be having in mind is a perception shift: instead of looking at food & beverage as an auxiliary service, they want it to take a place at the centerpiece, together with the rooms department. Roy accomplished that with the Novotel on Chamiers Road in Chennai. The property has become famous for its F&B offerings and was at the vanguard of launching do-it-yourself food kits, which proved to become very popular during the pandemic.
According to Mahoney, the Master Alchemists lead the commercial ambition of the hotel-based Alchemists, a group of highly skilled F&B connoisseurs who are driving the effort in properties within the region. “We currently have 41 commercially-driven creatives active throughout the IMEAT region that are enabling the communication between hotels and our regional office to increase the speed-to-market of initiatives, driving good practices, sharing successes, and co-creating new standards.”
“With dining offerings in the market on the rise, competition is fierce, and leveraging on the knowledge, creativity, and know-how of our teams is more important than ever. We’ve seen some exciting initiatives fruition out of the Alchemists. We endeavor to make our hotels the top dining destinations in their cities,” adds Mahoney.