Dubai: It’s a question we hear a lot: How do I break into a certain industry? How do I get my first job without experience? Who do I need to talk to? How can my CV stand out? What should I say in my interview?
Working in the F&B industry can be very tricky. It’s a fast paced industry with very late hours. An industry you have to be very passionate about in order to succeed. There are many other things you can do in F&B that do not involve being in the kitchen, an example of that is Food and Beverage management. Sometimes a restaurant can have amazing food and ambiance but could tank if a manager didn’t know what he was doing.
Managers carry the responsibility of the business performance of the restaurant they manage, as well as maintaining impeccable standards of service, food, safety and health.
We meet Mert Turkmen, the restaurant manager at Galliard Dubai former Restaurant Manager at Scalini with experience managing the lounge at Roberto’s.
What do you do at the moment?
I am a General Manager working at The Galliard Dubai, a Mediterranean fusion restaurant.
How old are you?
Did you always know you wanted a career in F&B?
F&B runs in my family. I born with it.
What did you study in university?
After I finished tourism and hotel management in high school, I couldn't go to university because at that age I was already at management level in my career. The food and hospitality industry are more about hands on experience.
How long did it take you to get into the industry?
It’s all I can remember. Ever since I’ve known myself I was in the industry. I basically started working at the young age of 15 in my father’s restaurant.
How important was networking in you breaking into the F&B industry?
It was very important for my career in order to grow faster. It’s important to greet everyone and get to know many people, who can always give you a heads up or recommend you to others in the industry.
What did you do during your job application process?
I’ve grown up working in many high end restaurants and with many professional people, so I’m always prepared for any job offer that comes my way. It is very important to me to always keep my social media profiles updated, I research the company where I apply or where they offer a job, I reach out to current employees and ask them for feedback.
How do you stand out in your interviews?
I always arrive early, well-groomed and I talk about more than just what is on my resume. I research my interviewers and prepare myself for any scenario.
How did you recommend people use their younger years wisely?
Keep learning, get make sure you are prepared for the business you in the future and start working at young age even as a part time because that is the real life experience that sometimes matters more than your education.
What advice would you give students on the path to take towards a job like yours?
Do the job you love, that is only way to become successful. I started out as a server and worked my way up to manager.
What are the hard parts about your job?
My family is back home in Turkey and sometimes being away from them is difficult.
What are your favourite parts about your job?
Meeting new people every day. We have all kinds of different people from different walks of life come into the restaurant. I love being social.