TROPHEE DE L'EMPLOYE EMBLEMATIQUE
Ömer Gezer, Responsable Bar, Steigenberger
TROPHEE DE L'EMPLOYE EMBLEMATIQUE
Head Barkeeper Ömer Gezer arrived in Frankfurt 42 years ago straight from the Ankara School of Hotel Management without any knowledge of German and without any friends in the country. His career in the traditional surroundings of the hotel began with an internship. Today he has become part of the fixtures and fittings at the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof.
Head Barkeeper Ömer Gezer has become part of the fixtures and fittings at the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof. He arrived in Frankfurt 42 years ago straight from the Ankara School of Hotel Management without any knowledge of German and without any friends in the country. His career in the traditional surroundings of the hotel began with an internship. The skill with which he dealt with guests soon became apparent, and he entered permanent employment in 1973. After further stints in the breakfast restaurant, he finally took up residence in the “Autorenbar” following his appointment as Chef de Rang Senior. Ömer has now been Head Barkeeper for 16 years.
He believes that a good barkeeper needs to be a “psychologist, entertainer, salesman, politician, city guide and comedian all rolled into one”. Although being an effective barman is the basic prerequisite for the job, he does not view this as being enough in itself. For him, the challenge is to adjust to new situations and requirements with the “speed of a chameleon”. A good knowledge of human nature is also essential, and Ömer knows how to make his guests feel at home when they visit the Autorenbar. He is a barkeeper who gives all his guests the highest priority, irrespective of whether he is serving a sheikh, a film star or a business traveller. Many have become good friends, and some he even considers as members of his own family. The secret of Ömer’s success is his ability to ensure that guests are in a good mood when they leave. “This is the only way to persuade them to come back.”
Ömer also displays his skills as a salesman in a way that extends beyond his own area of responsibility. His outstanding rapport with the guests has meant that many bar visitors have gone on to stay the night at the hotel or to use the facilities at the Frankfurter Hof to stage their own celebrations and events. He is one of the best operators in his field because he is prepared to think outside the box. This brings him the respect of both the guests and of his colleagues and staff. He believes that a strong team has flat hierarchies and enjoys friendly relations. Even at the age of 61, he is not content to rest upon his laurels. Keen to act as a role model at all times, he proudly states that he covers just as much ground as his colleagues.
Ömer’s service qualities are not his only unique property. He also brings years of expertise to the table and has a fine nose for designing drinks. One of his compositions has recently been officially named after him. “Ömer’s Lemonade” has become a real hit in the Autorenbar, particularly in the summer months, and delivers a flavour sensation all of its own. The inimitable cocktails he serves up are one of the main reasons why visitors return to the bar time and time again.
Ömer is a particularly indispensable figure during the period of the Book Fair. He is completely in his element when publishers and authors throng to the bar and guests stand shoulder-to-shoulder as they compete to secure the popular seats. “One year,” he recalls, “I found myself in the kitchen at night, cooking a meal for Lionel Richie.” As far as he is concerned, service is the be-all and end-all. In his eyes, it has no limits.
Ömer is married and has two children aged 37 and 31. He is proud of what he has achieved at the Frankfurter Hof and this year will celebrate 42 years of service.
Les deux finalistes
Werner Küchler, Manager of The Relais, PLAZA ATHENEE
Since 43 years, Werner Küchler brings to the customers of the Relais Plaza, a know-how and a nature who let to each the feeling to be in family. Known from stars and less famous customers, he assures a warm and sincere welcome with this particular talent to be for at the good distance, in the good tone.
Witold Stebner, Confectioner in Mercure Poznan Centre
Witold Stebner started his career in 1965 at the age of 14 while being in gastronomy school for internships in Merkury hotel in Poznań. In 1967, he’s part of the team preparing pastry and confectionary for the cocktail for Charles de Gaulle who has stayed in the Grand Hotel in Sopot - today owned by Orbis under the Sofitel brand, in Poland. In 1968, he graduates schools and starts professional career as a young pastry employee at the hotel in Poznań. In 1976, he becomes the Confectioner in Mercure Poznań Centre and in the same time AccorHotels got its first Novotel hotel outside France – the Novotel Warsaw Airport. He was responsible for the confectionary services offered to Pope John Paul II during his visits in Poland. Witold met also Lech Walesa. Then his career gets dynamic. He’s a mentor to the junior employees; he’s very energetic, extremely positive.
Since April 2014, he’s the Chef of Pastry of Passionata confectionary in Mercure Poznan Centrum. Until today, he’s managing the pastry in town – Passionata!
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