'Hell's Kitchen' approach keeps burnout at bay, says hotel manager

ONE of the few women hotel managers in the historic city of Melaka admits using the “Gordon Ramsay" approach to ensure top-quality service for her guests.

Agnes Tay, the manager of Casa De Rio Hotel, said she is used to nagging her staff just like the reality-TV chef from “Hell’s Kitchen”, among other series, who is known for berating his cooks.

"I have no choice but to nag and point out mistakes bluntly to make sure our hotel maintains its position as the number one boutique concept in the local hospitality industry," she said after the launching of the establishment's Ramadan Buffet themed "Sajian Warisan Kita" on Tuesday (March 21).

Tay said her style is to develop the right working culture among the staff.

"Despite my nagging, I make sure their welfare and career development are taken care of.

"The hotel has managed to retain its senior employees," she said, adding that she has elevated many of her employees to managerial positions.

Tay said her approach had helped create a healthy working relationship and also boosted productivity.

"I will tell them that I need to nag in order for them to perform well but all of us can be good friends after working hours," she said.

Tay said she also introduced a reward system where employees get shopping vouchers and complimentary hotel stays for their families if guests commend their service.

"I have given these vouchers to many of those whose names were mentioned by guests.

"The hotel believes in quality personalised service to all guests," she said.

Tay also has her own mechanism to manage negative elements like depression and fatigue among the staff.

"As a manager, I need to establish a strong bond and actionable strategies to bring positivity to the work environment," she added.

A pioneer employee at the hotel, she joined the hotel in the sales and marketing department when it started operating a decade ago.

She was promoted to manager about two years ago.

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