Ndaba Dube, Food & Beverage Ops Manager, The President Hotel says, “Such moments and initiatives like the Distell Inter-Hotel Challenge during this challenging period help us stay resilient as it reminds us of our passion for forging a career in this industry.” (‘Most Promising Wine Steward’ 2013, 3rd Place ‘Best Wine Steward’ 2014, Mentor to the ‘Most Up & Coming Wine Steward’ Anita Thomson, The Vineyard hotel 2016, and more…)

Where are you currently working and what is your job role?  

The President Hotel as Food & Beverage Operations Manager. It’s great working at The President Hotel, it’s a fast paced place. There are many opportunities to grow and I have learnt the attitude of adapting, having an open mind and on overall knowing that the sky is the limit.

What is the best part of your job? 

Unlocking potential in my team and receiving great feedback as we live up to our ‘Purpose’ as a hotel. Achieving our daily targets as a team and learning from our challenges.

How did your F&B Manager journey begin?  

I started as a barman at The Vineyard hotel and steadily rose through the ranks.

What are your immediate goals and those you wish to attain in the next five to ten years?  

My immediate goal is to achieve our current set targets as a business, stabilise our current offering post Covid and identify personal growth opportunities. I would like to be an Assistant GM in the next year and in five years time run my own business.

What are your values?  

Respect, honesty, team work, passion and innovation!

What message would you like to give to the 2022 Distell Inter-Hotel Challenge Candidates?

This is your year! Grab this with both hands and starting building your future. This is a great opportunity and worthy of you. Put in the time and effort and you’`ll achieve your goals.

Are you continuing your pursuit of academic excellence or broadening your horizons? 

Yes, I am currently learning more on revenue management and maximizing capacity.

What are your special interests outside of work?

Running, wine and giving back to the communities.

Reflection and achievements: Distell Inter-Hotel Challenge

Getting recognition and an award from the Distell Inter-Hotel Challenge marked the beginning of a belief in myself in a career that chose me. The support and confidence shown by The Vineyard hotel allowed me to achieve my full potential. The Inter-Hotel Challenge confirmed that hard work, passion and focus does pay off on a young professional’s career growth. I could place my confidence in something and measure my efforts. From this I grew into becoming an ambassador of The Vineyard hotel and the industry at large. I entered the competition twice as I believed there was still room for growth from the feedback received on my first entry. And no doubt, this was worth it.

My journey evolved, not only did my wine knowledge and exposure grow. I was afforded a chance at leadership within our Food & Beverage department. From being a mentee and understanding the value behind it, I took on the mentoring role to all the candidates that participated after me. My journey to give back and uplift others found its grassroots. This came naturally to me as I am passionate about assisting people realizing their potential. I found this a prized gift. As a hotel we could now craft a development plan for all our aspiring wine stewards and the Inter-Hotel Challenge gave us a platform to measure our investment in our staff with exposure for the candidates.

Each year my responsibility and passion grew. I had the privilege to to gain more knowledge as I took more educational courses at the same time I gained insight on how the industry works holistically and could identify my career path and how I could make a difference. 

In the pursuit of growth and adding value to the hospitality industry, I spent the greater part of 2019 as Food & Beverage Manager at the newly opened Blaauwberg Beach Hotel in Blouberg overseeing the overall department’s wine portfolio and events. I joined The President Hotel beginning of spring 2019 continually striving as a part of a well acclaimed President Hotel team.

My Qualifications:

2016 Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration (B. Bus Admin) Degree, majoring in Finance and Sociology – University of South Africa (UNISA)

2016 Certification: PGDip UCT Graduate School of Business (short course) in Wine Business management

2018 Certification: (Passed with Distinction) UCT Graduate School of Business (short course) Hospitality Leadership Program

2018 Certification: Leadership skills and Effective Engagement – Worlds view Academy (9 Conversations in Leadership training)

2018 Wine Judging Academy (Michael Fridjhon) Certification of Competence with Distinction (In association with UCT Graduate school of Business)

2015 Wine & Spirit Education Trust: WSET Level 3 award in wines and spirits (QCF)

2014 Cape Wine Academy: Certificate wine course

2013 Wine & Spirit Education Trust
WSET Level 1 Award in wines
WSET Level 2 Award in wines and spirits

Membership of Associations/Societies:
2019 Winemag Best value tasting category judge
2018 Winemag Tasting Coordinator Christiaan Eedes wine judging reports
2017 – 2018 FEDHASA (Young professionals Chairperson) 
Fostering Young professionals’ growth and relevance in the hospitality value chain with the ultimate goal of good sustainable succession planning and skills base.

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