The Sunday Leader

Poised For Excellence

By Sadhana Senanayake
In Dubai

Looking at Patrick Robineu’s life, you can say that hospitality is his destiny, his true calling. From a young age, his path seemed already laid out for him, he only had to walk it. His career résumé reads a future hospitality hopeful’s dream; he was Assistant Food and Beverage Manager of Jumeriah Beach Hotel, Director of Food and Beverage of the Raffles Hotels and Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and most recently the Vice President of Food and Bevergae at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. He has now been appointed the Hotel Manager of the Palazzo Versace Dubai, which is due to open up in 2015.

Patrick, born in Paris to a Spanish mother and a French father, inherits a taste for finer things in life, “My mother is from Valencia in Spain, a city famous for its Paella, and my father is from the Loire valley in France, famous for its wine,” he explains. Being born in Paris, a city that is a renowned for its cultured aesthetic, he developed a passion for music and hospitality from a very young age.

“My godmother and her husband ran several successful restaurants and nightclub in Paris and at the time they were recognised as pioneers in their field. They were the first to establish the restaurant/nightclub concept and their establishments were frequented by international stars. They created the most talked about night venue in Paris called the Ball de la Marine. A few weeks ago I was privileged to meet Quincy Jones and he referred back to the club as the good old days where he used to go and listen to great live music!”

His English was extremely poor since he grew up in France, so to improve his English, he decided to gain some professional exposure in the UK. “After finishing my catering college term, which was at the Chamber of Commerce in the UK, I ended up working for 10 years in England in establishments such as the Savoy, The Waldorf, The Hemple and One Aldwhych”

Patrick is now a veteran of the hospitality industry, he has travelled extensively and lived in the UK, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Egypt, the USA and the UAE. “My professional highlight”, he says, “was with Four Seasons, where I worked amongst the most amazing people. It’s by far the best company I have ever worked for. No company is perfect but they have great business ethics and place people at the top of their pyramid, as opposed to most companies, who believe that driving profit is the solution to a successful business. Our industry is all about people, its people who make the difference. The same principle should also be followed in life.”

The road has not always been smooth, and he has had unpleasant experiences in the industry, “I have had some experiences where I was poorly treated, deceived and lied to. But this taught me never to treat people bad. I live by a very simple rule; treat others the way you want to be treated. The same principle is actually featured in most religions but people poorly applied it.”

He believes that the hospitality industry needs to embrace the way that world is changing, and learn to adapt, “In an ever more competitive and global business arena, hospitality professionals need to embrace innovative approaches ahead of time to providing the most intuitive services which will translate ultimately into memorable experiences.

Experience created by people is what the consumer remembers.” He says, “I believe in simplicity and keeping processes efficient and simple always keeping the consumer – the people, in mind.”

Alongside his work in the hospitality industry, Patrick has also established himself as a visionary and an innovator by challenging the status quo for the hospitality industry. In March 2010 he started a blog on INNOVATION in Food & Beverage called PSSSST! to inspire professionals to think out of the box. Two years later he founded YORB DESIGN, which creates the future of dining, through aesthetic, functionality and uniqueness by the use of cutting edge materials, design and technology to stimulate the mind through visual and tactile experiences. NYX Tableware by YORB DESIGN was a unique project which won the Bronze A’ Design Award for Tableware, Drinkware and Cookware Design Category in 2013.

Patrick recently left his position as VP of Food & Beverage from the Atlantis the Palm in Dubai, which led him to created INNOVATION OVERLOAD “This is where I inspired a new breed of innovative and creative thought leaders who are actively inventing the future of the industry not limited to just creating products.

Creating a shared innovative vision is also part of my objective and I infused this through trainings, shared platforms and seminars.” Patrick believes that people in the hospitality industry should think out of the box and come up with similar ideas, “As professionals we often focus on our own industry. However, we should really have a 360 degree vision on other unrelated industries and learn from what they are best at.”

Patrick names Gandhi and Steve Jobs as his sources of inspiration, “I have great respect for Gandhi for leading a nation to peace. Steve Jobs for creating products that people did not know they needed and for ultimately inspiring so many other companies outside of the technology industry. Apple is a company which inspires me by their ethics and for their dedication behind creating excellence and the wonderful internal culture they have developed.” On what his future plans are he says, “I remain focus on growing within the industry and developing people that have a real passion and I am now given a wonderful opportunity as Hotel Manager of the Palazzo Versace Dubai where I am surrounded by a great team of professionals.

The expectations are high and we are all dedicated to create some wonderful memories for both colleagues and guests. I believe, like people, a company needs to have a soul, which can only be ignited and truly flourish through its culture.”

1 Comment for “Poised For Excellence”

  1. Pilar, great advice, I love the idea of volunteer translating. Diana, Sunocean18, love to hear your stories. My son just actually finished his first few days, it’s been rough, lots of tears, and apparently he asks every person who walks by done esta mi mama?’ Crossing fingers!

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