I shadowed F&B/MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) operations manager Jason Zhang for a couple of hours, and found plenty of photo opportunities that were quite unexpected.
Before my visit, I imagined spending the whole day sitting in the office with the phone glued to my ear. In reality, Jason spends 80% of his time on the ground, especially since it was pre-opening (for Genting Hotel Jurong) and there were a lot of coordination with his 17 TMs, contractors and suppliers.
We popped by his office to take a look at his spreadsheets. I wonder how people kept track of expenses, plans and job delegations before the invention of computers.
Part of Jason’s duties is to make sure that the facilities and equipment are in order.
The biggest MICE area here is the pillar-less Genting Ballroom, a banquet hall which can fit 300 guests, for say a wedding banquet. By simply moving some dividers in place, the hall can be sub-divided into smaller areas for luncheons or conferences.
The three meeting rooms, two conference rooms and the Sky Lounge on the 15th floor are also under Jason’s jurisdiction.
Jason also looks after the Festive Café, the dining area for guests located on L1 beside the lobby. When in operation, the café serves Asian dishes for up to 130 guests. Jason will check the presentation of food as it impacts how appetising it looks.
Since it was not in operation yet, I used my imagination and dreamed up checking the presentation of the best briyani that was never served.
On L2 of the hotel is a pool, a bar and a lawn, which can be used for private events such as lawn parties with canapés and finger food. Jason coordinates with the TMs regarding the arrangement of the cocktail tables and how the food is stored at the small back of house area which can be challenging.
Our last stop was the rooftop Sky Lounge.
This is Jason’s favourite MICE facility as, being on the 15th floor, it offers an unobstructed view of the surroundings. It has an indoor space with glass walls and air-conditioning and an outdoor space with a lawn. Here, we arranged some tables for a possible open-air dining event.
After a day of work, we headed to the Team Member cafeteria, Nalla, for food and rest. Team Members at GHJ get packed food for meals.
During the pre-opening period, Jason spends 11 to 12 hours at work making plans and setting up the areas. Post-opening, he will be in charge of day-to-day operations service and training. Despite the long hours, Jason is positive and makes the most of his day.
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