Dusit Thani Philippines is set to change the hospitality scene one student at a time
Filipinos, as a people, are known to be warm and hospitable. But despite our welcoming reputation, it’s strange how there are very few Filipinos who are globally recognized as leaders in the hospitality and service industries.
We have a wealth of people who are capable of doing the job, if that’s all it comes down to. But meeting the highest standards of quality is another story. Let’s not turn a blind eye to it—we’ve all experienced these lapses in service at some point: being ignored by servers at a restaurant despite all your calling and flailing; getting your orders wrong or mixed-up; not knowing what to say when you ask them questions.
“Education is long term”
More than the skills, it’s the attitude and quality of service that needs to be improved. This is where proper education and training comes in. Whether you’re just beginning your journey into the culinary and hospitality industry or are already a seasoned professional, education plays an important role in improving your work.
“Learning is a life-long journey,” says Dusit Thani Philippines president, Evelyn Singson. “It is an investment.” And with the recognition that the world, along with its various industries, continues to evolve, it is also important that the way future professionals are trained and equipped should be at par with global trends. “You cannot apply legacy of teaching methods to this new breed of kids,” Singson says.
Potential to become professionals
The Dusit Thani group first began in 1948 in Thailand, where it was recognized as Bangkok’s first locally owned modern and first five-star
hotel. After four decades of operations and expansion, the group then began its education division, opening first in Bangkok. Their first school, which specializes in hospitality management, was called Dusit Thani College.
Nearly 25 years later, a new hospitality college opens, this time in the Philippines. The curriculum, created in partnership with Switzerland’s Ecole Hoteliere de Laussane and France’s Institut Paul Bocuse, integrates learning with on-the-job training. The Dusit Hospitality Management College (DHMC) shares the same roof as the dusitD2 hotel in The Fort, where students will experience a more “active learning approach” in their studies.
“When they get out of our school… they should not start at the bottom,” Singson says. “The concept of our school is different. When [our students graduate], they are already qualified to be either a management trainee or a supervisor because they will do all the minute work details and skills development while they are in school.”
“The [dusitD2 hotel] is not just a mockup room with two or three rooms where you practice how to make a bed, where you practice how to fix the accessories and amenities. This is a real hotel and they will be serving real customers, so they have to be perfect,” Singson adds. “Otherwise, the customers will complain. So we will train them to the point where they don’t [even] need further training when they start working. That’s how professional they will become at the end of our training.”
Changing the playing field
DHMC offers a Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management, fully certified by Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, which covers courses in general education (as mandated by the Commission on Higher Education), business administration, and hospitality and tourism management.
Because the college is also integrated with the hotel, students have opportunities to immerse in real-world hospitality and service situations, all in real time. And as a global brand, the Dusit Thani group through DHMC also provides opportunities for students for overseas practicum.
Aside from it's degree program, DHMC has a Professional Advancement Centre in partnership with France's Institut Paul Bocuse. The Centre offers programs such as Culinary Arts for Professionals, Pastry for Professionals (fundamentals and advanced classes) as well as Restaurant Management, and Hospitality for Career Switchers.
The goal, Singson says, is to develop hospitality professionals who will one day run hotels not only in the Philippines, but also in Europe and the rest of the world. “Because now hotels are managed by people of diverse cultures and you can see you can see Indians, Chinese, and Europeans, so why not Filipinos?”
Artist's render of the spaces to be featured in dusitD2 hotel
Dusit Thani Philippines president Evelyn Singson