Rumbidzai Chinyoka takes us through all things hospitality

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Rumbidzai Chinyoka (42), general manager of Hoyohoyo Chartwell Lodge, gives us an insight into the hospitality sector. The lodge is a privately owned flagship hotel of Hoyohoyo Hotels & Resorts, located in Johannesburg.

1. I chose to work in the hospitality sector because my parents loved hosting. I grew up watching them warmly welcoming visitors to our home, and ensuring that they were comfortable throughout their stay. This became a part of my life, and I later realised that I also enjoyed hosting people. So, working in the hospitality sector was an obvious choice.

2. My duties include ensuring that the lodge operates at a profit while maintaining a 100% guest satisfaction. I’m hands-on, and involved in almost every aspect of running the lodge. I welcome guests, resolve their complaints professionally while also motivating and giving direction to all employees. I ensure that the standards are maintained, and that our four-star rating is in accordance with the tourism grading council regulations. I also participate in menu planning and coordinate events hosted at the lodge.

3. I love my job, but it can be challenging. I have to keep calm when dealing with tough situations, such as a difficult guest. I also have to multitask even when working under pressure. Sometimes we work with guests who speak different languages, making communication a challenge. But, this prompted me to learn various languages. I have to effectively plan for off-peak seasons in order for the business to keep operating. There is a lot of competition within the sector, and I have to ensure that the lodge remains the preferred choice.

4. With 12 years of experience, I believe that the key to success is passion and a positive attitude. You have to love what you do because you will be required to work long hours or during weekends and public holidays. You also need to fully embrace meeting new people every day, and making sure that the guests feel happy while their needs are met. You need to be able to smile and maintain a positive attitude at all times.