Movenpick starts Junior Hotel Academy

Hotel managers are getting younger by the minute, especially at the Movenpick Bur Dubai Hotel. The property is undertaking a summer-long Junior Hotel Academy, which will see children aged between six and ten years spending Sunday afternoons learning about the various departments at the property.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  June 28, 2005

Hotel managers are getting younger by the minute, especially at the Movenpick Bur Dubai Hotel. The property is undertaking a summer-long Junior Hotel Academy, which will see children aged between six and ten years spending Sunday afternoons learning about the various departments at the property. The young recruits will be guided through the many departments of the hotel, learning chef’s secrets, housekeeping details, and following the general manager’s hectic schedule. “We are not able to do a summer camp, so we thought, ‘Why not introduce the hospitality industry to children?’,” said hotel general manager, Thomas Tapken. “We decided to show a little bit of the hotel industry, from back of house where the food is prepared and where the guest sleeps, to checking in and concierge.” Every Sunday afternoon, starting from July 3, groups of 30-50 children will be seen walking through the hotel, wearing the uniform for the department they will be working in. “They will do what we adults usually do. With each child, there will be one trainer during the afternoon. They will have contact with real customers, and in the evening, the parents will be invited to a gala dinner to see their children serving the meal,” Tapken explained. Naturally, some areas will be out of bounds to the hotel apprentices. A special kitchen area will be locked off, so that the children can prepare food without sharp knives or hot equipment being in reach. Guests will also be forewarned that the Junior Academy will be taking place, and any guest requests not to be served by the children will be adhered to. “It is our lowest occupancy period, and a time of year when children need new things to do, and we can incorporate this into our operations,” said Tapken. The Junior Academy will take place every Sunday afternoon from July 3 until August 28. The cost per child is Dhs. 160 (US $43), which includes a welcome pack and t-shirt, afternoon break, dinner party, graduation certificate, and a photo album on CD ROM. Each week, the academy will provide an insight into three different areas of hotel operations, including reception, concierge, reservations, and banqueting. The children will also get the chance to let off some steam with an afternoon aerobics sessions organised by the fitness staff, before preparation begins for the gala dinner and graduation ceremony. “Switzerland is renowned for being the pioneer in hotel management schools, but unfortunately, a junior hotel academy is still not operational. As the only Swiss hotel in Dubai, it gives us great pleasure to introduce the world of hospitality to our younger guests. “My own children will take part and I am sure I will be one of many proud parents presenting to my young ones their first ever diploma,” Tapken remarked.

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