Interviews Main Headline

Secret of success? Be prepared, says Wynn F&B boss

Mr. Kristoffer Luczak, Executive Vice President for Food and Beverage of integrated resort operator Wynn Macau Ltd

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

The development of tourism in Macao continues to create opportunities for careers in the restaurant industry, says Mr. Kristoffer Luczak, the Executive Vice President for Food and Beverage of integrated resort operator Wynn Macau Ltd. The IFT News Portal and Mr. Luczak, a veteran of the food and drink industry, talked about how to make a fine-dining restaurant a success, and about his advice for getting ahead in a career in the industry.

– You have been working in Macao’s restaurant industry for more than a decade. How do you assess its development during that period?

Over the past decade we have witnessed Macao’s significant economic achievements. Gastronomy has been an important input factor for supporting the city’s economic diversification and transformation. The ongoing development of large-scale hotel projects in Macao does not only contribute to the rapid growth of Macao’s economy, but also helps facilitate the development of hospitality-related industries, with the food and beverage sector being one of the major beneficiaries. In terms of the labour market, this economic transformation also has helped set the foundation for youngsters who hope to pursue a successful and exciting career in the food and beverage and hospitality sectors.

Macao’s strategy of moving towards a mass-market tourism orientation also brought new opportunities to promote the city’s unique culinary culture. At the same time, such orientation steers towards a more balanced and sustainable development of the community, particularly as Macao positions itself as a world centre of tourism and leisure.

– In 2017 Macao became a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of gastronomy. What was the impact of this accolade for the local restaurant industry?

Becoming a creative city of gastronomy provides Macao with expanded opportunities in attracting more visitors from around the globe, particularly as Macao increases promotional activities and develops new tourism products around gastronomy. This recognition also facilitates greater promotion for local restaurants in the city, helping sustain their business growth and creating more job opportunities in the food and beverage industry.

– In your opinion, what are the main features needed for a fine-dining restaurant in Macao to be successful?

In each of our fine-dining restaurants at the Wynn group, we always strive to create the most enjoyable and world-class dining experience for our guests. To create these unique culinary offerings, our culinary team has combined forward-thinking philosophies in food and interior design to create restaurants that dazzle both the eye and palate. For this, we have received award-winning acclaim, including a number of 5-star awards by the Forbes Travel Guide, which have also recognised our commitment to culinary excellence. All credit goes to our talented chefs, who bring their exceptional skills to the table every day.

‘Becoming a creative city of gastronomy provides Macao with expanded opportunities in attracting more visitors from around the globe’

– What are the main fine-dining trends today, not only in Macao but also globally?

There are 3 major trends in fine dining that have emerged recently. The first is the suitability of food for the time and place. This means seasonal produce, as well as local produce directly from the farm or the sea to the table. The second is interest in the product itself, and being educated on where it is from and how it was treated – from protein to vegetables, tea leaves to wine grapes. Lastly, authentic flavours: guests really want to feel connected with the culture and traditions behind the cuisine.

Labour to stay competitive 

– Before moving to Macao, you worked in hospitality properties in Sweden, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Dubai and the United States. Can you talk a bit about your professional journey?

My journey has taken me from Michelin-starred restaurants to 5-star hotels and now, finally, integrated resorts in Macao. While I’ve been able to work in incredible restaurants around the world, I started at the bottom, working as a steward in the pot wash, then as a commis in a restaurant. I had to polish silver, refill service stations and then peel potatoes in the kitchen. My career has ultimately been all about people, including those I have met and worked with, and the people I have served as guests along the way. It has been an education in product and service excellence – an amazing journey.

‘The secret of success is to be prepared for opportunity when it comes’

– What are the career opportunities at Wynn Macau Ltd’s food and beverage division for fresh IFT graduates?

Wynn provides diverse development opportunities in a variety of specialties, one of which is the food and beverage services sector, which helps aspiring candidates shine in the new phase of their career. Cutting-edge equipment and high-quality training spaces create the ideal training environment for team members.

Since 2016 Wynn’s F&B Academy has launched a variety of training programmes designed to prepare team members to excel in the food and beverage sector. Our professional certification programmes also work in tandem with international educational institutions, ensuring team members benefit from the highest level of training that attracts promotion opportunities.

In the past year alone, some 20 trainees have received a promotion to senior and managerial positions upon having completed a training programme, proving its success in helping trainees further enhance their capabilities and offering them promise of genuine career advancement and satisfaction.

– What advice would you give to IFT students wanting to pursue a career in food and beverage?

I’m confident that the continued improvement of Macao’s infrastructure and attractions will continue to influence the rise of the city’s food and beverage industry, meaning there will be an ongoing demand for manpower. Fresh graduates can take advantage of the new opportunities to pursue their professional careers in the food and beverage industry.

The secret of success is to be prepared for opportunity when it comes. With the reputation of Macao as an international tourism destination continuing to rise, local talent is also facing the challenges of intensified competition. In view of this, students must work hard to equip themselves with the tools to deal with these challenges via continuing education, upgrading their vocational skills and knowledge, in order to maintain their individual competitiveness in the labour market.

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