The Big Climb: Robert Nilsson

The Big Climb: Robert Nilsson
Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai general manager Mikael Svensson personally offered Nilsson the role.
Published: 14 June 2017 - 6:32 a.m.
By: Claudia De Brito

What attracted you to the role?

First of all it was Mikael (Svensson general manager of Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah) who approached me. He invited me and once I was here and saw the product it was not very hard to say yes. It’s a stunning product and the whole hotel speaks for itself. It was a great opportunity for me to be able to be part of this.

What makes you the right person for this job?

The main reason Mikael contacted me was that I was more of an independent restaurateur working in standalone restaurants, more than restaurants that were hotel-operated so I come with more of that side of the business and many years of experience at a high level. But I think the main thing is that I come with restaurant experience rather than hotel restaurant experience.

What have been your career highlights?

Winning some of the competitions that I’ve won like Chef of the Year in Sweden in 1998 and Chef of the Year in the Nordic countries were big things for me. It would be fair to say that every day is a highlight. It’s a wonderful experience to work in the business and there aren’t very many professions that has the direct response the way we get. It’s quite fantastic.

What is your daily routine?

I start my day with a nice cup of coffee and scan over my mails to see if there’s anything that needs extra attention. Then, I run through the reports from the day before. After that, I walk through the F&B areas.  I go to each and every outlet to say good morning to people and see if there’s anything I can do or if there’s anything they need from me. I do this not only on a guest level but also on a colleague level.

How do you intend to make the Viceroy’s F&B operations more profitable?

The only way to make it profitable is to maintain very high quality, to inspire colleagues and make sure that their knowledge and quality of the work is consistent. If the quality is not there, it’s not going to happen. I feel that training is also very important.

What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

The best about opening a hotel is being able to greet the guests and to see the business thrive and flourish. It’s wonderful.

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