The success of businesses relies on the good leadership of visionaries. Yet the passion and commitment of people are the necessities to drive a company to success. The Manila Hotel President Atty. Joey Lina, Potato Corner Chief Operating Office Dom Hernandez, and Sofitel Philippine Plaza Director of Food and Beverage Anne-Sophie Hurtaud share their passions through work. In their early years, they have known they would like to be part of something grander and further elevate it. Lifestyle Asia sat down with these three industry leaders to share their experiences
Atty. Joey Lina
The former senator and governor of Laguna left his life as a politician to venture into hotel management. Apart from ensuring The Manila Hotel provides a world-class experience to its guests, Atty. Joey Lina values serving the luxury hotel’s employees first. “[I want to] help provide them with a work environment conducive to promoting their human dignity, and enabling them to be excellent providers of service to hotel guests,” he says.
With how technology intersects with our lifestyle, Atty. Lina knows The Manila Hotel must keep its pace. Reliable internet service is one of the hotel’s strongest suites. “It is essential for The Manila Hotel to welcome a strong connection with open arms to give the highest quality of experience for our guests,” he says. With the help of premier telco Eastern Communications, the five-star hotel employees can take note of the guests’ preferences online. Thereby giving them a unique experience at the hotel.
He calls himself, “Potato Merchant” on Instagram but the Chief Operating Officer of Potato Corner is beyond this easy-going attitude. As a businessman, Dom has always been passionate to work in the food industry. He started with a street-side barbeque stall and then looked into franchising Mang Inasal. ” Those first few years taught me a lot. I had to dip my toes into everything… but that’s where I also learned to appreciate the franchise system and all the support they gave me.” Eventually, he opened franchises like Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Chino MNL.
With numerous restaurants with unique food concepts, the industry proves to be challenging. Yet Dom knows how to retain Potato Corner’s relevance and take it to new heights. “While we are a market leader in the Philippines, we don’t have any sort of footing in a new country or region,” he says. He explains they take the different processes, taste, and habits they learn from other countries and apply it here. He adds, “If we can contribute to helping Filipino restaurants or cuisine break the international market, [it] would be nice for us. I’d like to be part of that story.”
At a young age, Anne-Sophie learned about the dining scene of the Houston branch of Sofitel in Texas. Anne’s uncle, the former Food and Beverage Director, toured her around and she fell in love with how things worked. She pursued this passion and at present, she is the Director of Food and Beverage in Sofitel Philippine Plaza. “I love marketing and design so this has been my focus at the moment—to refresh the identity of the outlets. Sofitel is one of the oldest hotels in Manila but it does not limit us from creating interesting and vibrant offerings.”
The hospitality industry is quite competitive. Yet Anne-Sophie continues to elevate Sofitel through providing a unique and lasting impression on guests. She explains consistency and differentiation are the crucial elements to do this. “As a Director of Food and Beverage, I truly believe that you need to be on top of your game at all times and you need to know the trend.” She adds, “So you can use them as insights in your daily operations and be successful.”
These stories were originally written by Stephanie Ferrer, Gelo Diorona, and Pipo Gonzales.
Read the full stories on Lifestyle Asia’s July Edition titled, “Visionaries in their Own Right.” Download your digital copy on Magzter and Flip 100, or purchase your print copy on Lazada, Shopee or your nearest bookstore. For orders, email [email protected]