We met David Miras, a well-known Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Manager who currently works for Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, in Dubai.
David’s experience goes back to more than 21 years, after his success at Jesse De Forest, a Culinary Educational program in 1992. He started his career with an internship and continued working for luxury hotel brands such as the Le Meridien and Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, a Luxury Collection property.
Today we get this exclusive interview with David and want to find out what a man with his experience thinks about customer service today.
SE: ‘Good morning David. First of all I would like to thank you for your time today, and thank you for following Servicexcellence. We are delighted to have so many followers as yourself, who come from the Hospitality industry enjoy reading our reviews.
As mentioned to you earlier, we contacted various industry experts on the field of customer service and asked them to share what lessons their careers have taught them so far. Thank you for your time today and sharing your view on “customer service” in the Hospitality industry, exclusively with Servicexcellence.
Here is my first question to you:
David, please introduce yourself briefly to our followers and readers?
David: ‘I’m 34 years old, French, with culinary experience in France, UK, Taiwan, The Philippines and UAE.’
SE: ‘How did you develop your passion for culinary?’
David: ‘This came at an early age, it was more of an evolution than a sudden epiphany, from great childhood dinners to readily available gourmet produces from my region in Northern France, cuisine was always playing a part in my early years.’
SE: ‘What does “customer service” mean to you?’
David: ‘It means what many seem to have forgotten: The customer is King. No delighted customer = no thriving business, and let’s face it, it’s much more enjoyable going to work knowing the guests will be happy than wondering what sort of drama the day might bring. Customer service well executed is actually providing what the guest wants before the guest ask for it.’
SE: ‘In what way does your role of an Executive Chef influence “customer service”?’
David: ‘Since I lead a team, I first had to ensure that every single of the fifty person under my watch had the same vision, so I had to go the extra mile to show them that customer service wasn’t just a rhetoric but a philosophy, something I definitely believe in. we need more than a “can do” attitude to be part of the cream that rise to the top, we actually call it the “will do”. If you get into this career as a mean to simply earn a salary then delighting customer won’t be easy, however if what you do is your passion then it will come naturally and easily.’
SE: ‘What is more important for a guest, the food or the service? Or is it both?’
David: ‘I think it’s both, in a very balanced way. An amazingly talented and friendly waiter can’t make up for terrible food, the same as a brilliant Chef can’t impress much if his dishes don’t reach the table. Traditionally -and unfortunately too often too- there exist some sort of rivalry between kitchen teams and front of house teams, but that’s usually not the case in top restaurants, both sides know that each other depends on one another to function well, the end result of a perfect harmony can be felt by the guests.’
SE: ‘What is your favorite restaurant of Café in UAE, and why?’
David: ‘I’ve had my best meal ever at Sontaya, South East Asian restaurant in St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, I think it was because the balance of service and culinary was flawless.’
SE: ‘Where do you see “customer service” in UAE 5 in years from now?’
David: ‘In my opinion the UAE already has a very strongly positive customer service, this is due to the fact that the mix of nationalities making up the majority of the teams in hotels and resorts nationwide come from very hospitable countries where welcoming and care is a way of life. Most residents of the UAE will agree that we’re spoilt when it comes to going out and getting great customer service, it only takes a short trip home to be reminded of that fact.’
SE: ‘Thank you for sharing your expertise and detailed information about customer service! It is great that industry experts like you have such a drive for how “customer service” should be in a perfect world.’