Rafael Mar­cos Soedarjo

Food & Bev­er­age Business De­vel­op­ment Man­ager at Cloud Lounge & Din­ing

Exquisite Taste - - Calendar: Bali - (cloud­jakarta.com)

: De­scribe your typ­i­cal day in a sen­tence.

Rafael: Very dy­namic and in­volv­ing an on-site con­struc­tion meet­ing or con­fer­ence call to pitch a fran­chise, or I could be in my of­fice writ­ing a fea­si­bil­ity study or scout­ing for prospec­tive can­di­dates to join my op­er­a­tional team.

: So how did you come to be Business De­vel­op­ment Man­ager for Cloud Lounge & Din­ing and other out­lets in MRA’s F&B di­vi­sion?

R: I was project man­ager for MRA's new F&B out­lets, and only han­dled the con­struc­tion side of a project. MRA then wanted to fo­cus on grow­ing its F&B di­vi­sion so they de­cided to ex­pand my role. My re­spon­si­bil­i­ties have evolved into also man­ag­ing the pre-op­er­a­tional as­pects of our new out­lets and ex­plor­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand in In­done­sia.

: What’s the tough­est part of your job?

R: Peo­ple are the most valu­able as­set in the business, so the tough­est part would be find­ing the right peo­ple who can com­ple­ment each other as a team to achieve a com­mon vi­sion.

: And what makes you smile at work?

R: Re­ceiv­ing pos­i­tive cus­tomer feed­back on over­all din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for all of our F&B out­lets and see­ing the out­lets you helped cre­ate be­come ma­jor contributors to the bot­tom line of MRA Group.

: What mo­ti­vates you?

R: Work­ing on a new project be­cause there will be new chal­lenges and prob­lems that we may not have seen be­fore. By try­ing to solve these chal­lenges we will even­tu­ally learn new things. Hav­ing a con­crete goal to meet is also a great mo­ti­va­tor for me as I'm a re­sul­to­ri­ented per­son.

: Would things fall apart if you weren’t around?

R: No, I al­ways brief my team and give them a heads-up on what's com­ing ahead. I think it's very im­por­tant in a work­place to have some sort of con­tin­u­ing ca­reer-de­vel­op­ment plan for each po­si­tion as this will keep the em­ployee's morale and mo­ti­va­tion at a high level.

: Who, in your team, de­serves more recog­ni­tion and why? R: I be­lieve ev­ery­one who is in­volved in a project de­serves equal recog­ni­tion. Each one of them plays a part in the suc­cess of an out­let no mat­ter the size of their role.

: Why should peo­ple come to any of MRA’s F&B out­lets to dine?

R: An ex­cep­tional din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence re­solves around four things: the at­mos­phere, the prod­uct, the cus­tomer ser­vice and the value for money. I like to think that our out­lets pro­vide all of these key el­e­ments, which makes them wor­thy, en­joy­able venues.

: Away from work, what’s your favourite place to eat?

R: Bornga and The Grill for grilled meats, Mie Alip and Soto Eling-Eling for street food, Taste Par­adise for dim sum, lastly Ton­toki and Nasi Cam­pur Ke­nanga to sat­isfy my pen­chant for pork.

: How do you un­wind?

R: Lis­ten­ing to and dis­cov­er­ing old-school songs and hid­den gems on YouTube and SoundCloud. I also en­joy binge-watch­ing TV series, one of my favourites is The Wire, but cur­rently I'm hooked on Nar­cos and Sil­i­con Val­ley.

: Fi­nally, any ad­vice for those looking to break into the in­dus­try?

R: Be pas­sion­ate, be hands-on and be pre­pared to dive into the de­tails. The F&B in­dus­try takes a lot of hard work to make it. Con­cen­trate on your prod­uct and cus­tomer ser­vice, not just on at­mos­phere.

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