Samui Wining & Dining
A Day in The Life of…

Khun Surachet, Food and Beverage Manager at Fair House Beach Resort & Hotel

20Hotels on Samui seem to effortlessly hold extravagant gala dinners, sumptuous buffet spreads and grand dinner-dance bashes. Gourmet cuisine comes gliding out, and champagne glasses magically refill themselves. And then, as the night goes on, the evening’s entertainment is punctuated by an extravagant fireworks display that lights up the sky with a million colours. You turn to your significant other and ask, “What’s the occasion?” before realising, oh yeah, that’s right. On Samui, every day’s a special one.

    Fair House Beach Resort & Hotel, located in Chaweng Noi just two minutes’ drive south of Chaweng, has an intimate dinner set-up on the beach at its eatery, Sea Paint Restaurant. There are tables both inside and outside a terraced restaurant space, as well as private tables for two sat apart from the rest – for which diners are offered the special ‘private dinner on the beach menu’, an indulgent four-course meal of either international or Thai food. Low-key live music, like a guitarist or duo band, is also organised during the evenings.

    So just what does it take to keep this well-oiled machine running to perfection on a daily basis? Expectations are high every day of the week and every evening is a special occasion: someone’s last night of their holiday, a birthday, an anniversary or their honeymoon. You’ve got to think about the food, the drink, the set-up, the service and the atmosphere. And at the helm of it all in Fair House Beach Resort & Hotel is the Food and Beverage Manager, Khun Surachet.

     An average day for Khun Surachet goes from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm, with a break from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. If it has been a particularly stressful morning then a nice nap is in order but on an average day he just uses the break for a bit of a sit down to grab a bite to eat and recharge ready for the evening ahead. Because the evening is the most stressful part of his day. As the eager dinner guests arrive, Khun Surachet must ensure that everything’s ready for their arrival.

As the eager dinner guests arrive,
Khun Surachet must ensure that
everything’s ready for their arrival.

 

      And that starts with stocks. As it’s pretty much a full-time job, he’s delegated stock checking to a colleague. Khun Surachet just needs to ask the trusty employee in question for an update and then it’s all go for dinner service. He then walks around Sea Paint Restaurant greeting guests, making sure that everyone’s happy and that everything’s running smoothly.

      And if anything goes wrong, then Khun Surachet’s the one his staff has to answer to. But he’s a nice boss, he says. “I’m a very kind manager. Not the type to stand there and shout at people. In my opinion, if people like you then they’ll be better employees. If you give them trust and respect they’ll be more inclined to listen to you.” So he cultivates a close relationship with his staff through daily interaction as well as a weekly staff meeting where everyone can vent and update each other on what’s gone on in the restaurant over the preceding seven days.

      Spending a lot of time with Executive Chef, Khun Chinnavat, is all part of the food and beverage management role. “We work together a lot. We share ideas all the time and brainstorm to create new menu items. We love creating new fusion dishes. It’s quite a creative job.” They decided that the best way to combine quality dishes and to still have variety was to separate the menu onto two sides of an A3 board. On one side you’ll find international dishes with Thai on the other. So you just choose what cuisine you want and then select a dish from that side of the board. Much simpler than rifling through pages and pages of a confusing menu. Khun Surachet’s favourite part of the job is when he’s spending time with customers. He works hard all day to ensure that the environment’s perfect for them when they arrive. So when he gets feedback right from the customers themselves about the fantastic time they’re having, it’s hugely rewarding. “I like to walk around the restaurant and see how people are enjoying their meals. When they’re happy, I’m happy.”

      On his day off, Khun Surachet likes to go out to different restaurants in Chaweng and Lamai to try – much like his menu – both Thai and international food. But he says it’s hard to switch off the ‘work brain’. “Even on my day off I’m looking at other restaurants to see what they’re doing. I look at their décor, for example, and wonder if it would suit Sea Paint Restaurant. I love to find new ways to improve our food and beverage operation, and that’s a good thing, because it’s my job!”

 

 

Christina Wylie


 


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