Nigel Moore is director of F&B at the Swissôtel the Stamford, Singapore, where he is responsible for 12 diverse food and beverage operations. He tells Janet Harmer how working abroad has broadened his horizons
Q Can you give me a broad outline of your current position?
It is my job to manage and control the various food and beverage operations, as well as plan ahead for their continued success. Among them, we have JAAN restaurant, ranked number four in Asia by The Miele Guide and New Asia, which was named Time Out Singapore‘s Best Bar for 2010. I am also food and beverage champion for Swissôtel's 11 Asian properties.
Q What encouraged you to work overseas in the first place?
I was always attracted by the excitement of travel and wanted to learn and understand different cultures. At the time the service industry in the UK was not recognised as a profession in the same way as it is in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Hence my decision to initially go to Switzerland, where I could develop my career among the most precise and passionate service professionals in the world.
Q How has working abroad enhanced your career?
I've gained a wealth of experience by working with people of different cultures, understanding their local customs and traditions and learning to adapt to many diverse, challenging situations.
Q What do you like about working in Singapore?
Having lived here almost four years, I've found that Singapore really is the centre of Asia's cuisine and culture. It is rich in its own heritage - especially with diverse food offerings - that has developed through generations of world trade.
Q What do you dislike about working in Singapore?
The only thing I dislike is the lack of seasons. Singapore is constantly hot and humid with daylight times never changing. It is nice to have the diversity of the seasons and what they bring.
Q What could UK hospitality learn from Singapore?
In the past few years, the Singapore government has worked hand-in-hand with hospitality industry players to focus on increasing productivity and service standards. It is an indication of the country's long-term commitment to remain appealing to international tourists. In addition, the UK could learn from the naturally warm Asian style of hospitality - an expression of service that really comes from the heart. Here in Asia, there is a true sense of care and concern towards each guest.
Q What could Singapore learn from the UK?
UK hospitality schools are still more advanced in the training and development of future hospitality professionals. Developing the next few generations of forward-thinking, well-educated and motivated hospitality professionals is key to increasing Singapore's strength as a hospitality hub. The country would also benefit from higher quality food products.
Q What advice would you give to anyone wishing to work abroad?
If it is your first time working overseas, get a full understanding of your living conditions and the location of housing and research the actual area that you would be working in. The most important point would be to never forget you are a guest of that particular country and you should respect all forms of culture and religion.
CV NIGEL MOORE
â- Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey - restaurant operations manager (two years)
â- The Georgian Restaurant, Harrods, London - restaurant operations manager (one year)
â- Stapleford Park, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire - house manager (two years)
â- The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Brunei Darussalam - director of operations (four years) and director of F & B (one year)