For over a year now, Restaurant Management Program teacher, Sylvain Boussard has been teaching his expertise and sharing his experience with our students. We wanted to find out a bit more about his career path and his take on working in the hotel and restaurant industry.
Can you tell us about your career before joining Le Cordon Bleu?
After studying at Lausanne Hotel School, I embarked on an international career in the luxury hotel industry.
Following a number of years in South Africa, I began working in restaurant management in Mexico with Camino Real and Hyatt. My career then led me to travel widely to places such as Polynesia, the Caribbean, the Maldives, and the Middle East. In 2002 I headed to Peru, to take on the role of Corporative Restaurant Manager for the Orient-Express group, where I remained for 5 years. I still have amazing memories of my time there thanks to both the beauty of the country and the pleasure I got from working surrounded by a dynamic, motivated team who really knew how to make people welcome and provide excellent service.
More recently, I worked as Assistant Manager at the Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei, where I was honored to be part of the team which organized the ASEAN summit in 2013, as well as managing the work for the conceptualization and renovation of the hotel’s main restaurant.
Which entrepreneurs or managers in particular currently inspire you in the hotel industry?
My Lausanne Hotel School teachers, the quality of their teaching and the way in which they share their experience… but also some of the managers with whom I have worked and who made me become passionate about this profession …every experience I have had has inspired me in one way or another, but I would like to pay a special tribute to managers who attained this position thanks to their perseverance, willingness to constantly continue learning and above all their desire for a job well done! They often began their career as an intern in the restaurant industry, with social conditions which are not always easy, but always had a smile on their face! I was lucky enough to meet such people in all the countries in which I worked.
Do you have a particular memory from the first Restaurant Management classes that you would like to share with us?
They brought back memories of my first classes and I was very happy that I was now the teacher and able to transmit my knowledge to an international audience which shared the same passion for the hotel and restaurant industry.
If you could give one piece of advice to somebody wanting to start a career as a manager in the hotel industry, what would it be?
I recently told my students about a typical day as a Food & Beverage Manager: The working day is very long, the customers are not always easy and it is really important to try to find a balance between your private and professional lives… one of them responded: “You have to live it as a lifestyle”. To be successful in this field, I think that is the right philosophy.
Which are your favorite restaurants and hotels in Paris?
Amongst my favorite hotels are the Indigo Opéra, the Hyatt Madeleine and the Plaza Athénée, as for restaurants, it would be difficult to name them all but I really like Terroir Parisien for the simplicity of its cuisine and décor and the Pré Catelan for the excellence of its service and cuisine.
What vision of these jobs do you want to give to the students you are training?
Jobs within the hotel and restaurant industry are not easy, but what one can gain both personally and professionally is limitless. In the hospitality industry, we are responsible for customer satisfaction and as no two days, and no two customers, are the same: Every day is a new adventure! It is especially important to know how to appreciate the numerous enjoyable moments that this profession has to offer and to remember to remain modest…