Four questions to Yentl Stuiver about her experiences at Sibelicious, the in-house training company of the Hotel & Facility bachelor's programmes.
Last academic year, Yentl Stuiver worked as a first-year student at Sibelicious, the in-house training company of the Hotel & Facility bachelor's programmes.
Sibelicious is more than the stylish restaurant in the historical former convent on our BUas campus. It is a training company where students from Hotel & Facility gain experience in various disciplines of the profession. Second-year students manage the restaurant, meeting rooms, food outlets and bar. First-year students are the operational staff, responsible for day-to-day operations. In this way, they will learn to run a business!
How did Yentl experience her time at Sibelicious? She tells it on the basis of four questions.
In the Taste Lab you learn to taste and assess, ultimately aiming for you to give a good advice. This is something that can applied directly in the restaurant. Theory and practice are closely entwined, which makes it a great experience.
Yentl Stuiver about Sibelicious
Pleasure of the day
‘The great thing about working at Sibelicious is that you can show what you have learned. Last week we had a training course on different types of cheese, how to serve them, and which port or dessert wine best matches them. You learn to taste and assess, ultimately aiming for you to be able to form your own opinion and give advice. This is something that can applied directly in the restaurant. Theory and practice are closely entwined, which makes it a great experience.’
‘In my mind I sometimes struggle with the question: should I switch to Dutch now or shouldn’t I? The language of communication is English, I know that, but sometimes you notice that guests feel very uncomfortable with that, which is the last thing you want, of course. After all, we are here to create the optimal experience for our guests. Occasionally, there are guests who really don’t want to speak English, or are unable to. If this happens, we bring in a Dutch-speaking student to help out. I was rather nervous myself about starting on an English-taught degree programme, but a friend of mine who’s in her last year now assured me that I would get used to it soon enough. And she was right.’
‘When I started studying here, it was quite an eye-opener to me that everything here goes according to protocol – from welcoming guests to setting tables. Everything has to be just right, to the smallest detail. I like that, I am all for structure and I’m also a true perfectionist. I think this etiquette is a good thing, it contributes to a positive experience. Wherever possible, we do get to bring in our own personal touch though. How we dress the tables, for instance, is entirely up to us. At the end of the evening, when we make our final round along the tables, we notice that this extra attention is very much appreciated. That’s when you see what you’re doing it for!’
What about skills
‘Cooperating and communicating are important skills in this profession, so they are extensively covered in the study programme. Moreover, people skills are indispensable, of course. You have to be able to put people at ease quickly and make them feel really welcome. Obviously, this begins with the guests being welcomed in our Visitor Centre. I have to say that the setting here really works wonders, we have a beautiful location and a pleasant community. It’s a joy to facilitate events here. We see many different types of guests here, which is something you learn from. Our customers at the food outlets are mostly students and lecturers, and in the restaurant we mainly see business partners, but also parents of students and people who live in the area. Once in a very rare while, someone is impatient, but more often guests are interested. They ask us questions, because they know we are still learning. Sometimes that’s a distraction from the work, but mostly it adds something to my personal experience and learning process.’
Want to know more about Sibelicious? Go to the website of Sibelicious.