“Disappointing! The breakfast spread is too Asian.”
“Too much local food.”
“You should serve bacon, sausages, cheese and yoghurt!”
“There are just too many Asian/local dishes in the a la carte menu!”
These are some of the comments we received from our guests with regards to the food we served at our café.
First and foremost, let me tell you that all of the all-day dining cafés in hotels here serve a variety of international dishes and being in Malaysia, a multi-racial and multi-cultural nation in South East Asia, I guess it is more than acceptable to have more Asian/local dishes than the western ones in the menu to cater for the various tastes of guests from all over the world. And as for the buffet breakfast at our hotel, we actually have a very good spread with a combination of local and western food but sadly, not every guest is easily pleased. In fact, some are downright demanding or have an expectation that is hard for us to meet. And mind you, this high expectation certainly is not proportionate to the price they pay to stay in a hotel with star-rating such as ours (we are a 3-star hotel and for information and comparison sake, hotels like Hilton, Shangri-La, Ritz Carlton and JW Marriot etc. are 5-star).
Just to give you an idea of the “limited” western food that we serve at our breakfast buffet line — a manned egg station, chicken sausages, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, potatoes or sweet potatoes, salad, pancakes/waffles/French toasts, assorted bread, pastries and cakes and cereal etc. What more do you ask for?
Now, let me pose this question to you, say I travel to Europe and stay at a hotel there — what do you think the response of the service team will be when I, an Asian girl told them that instead of the simple continental breakfast or the bacon and eggs that they serve every single morning which I find not to my taste as they are far too western, I would like to have some tasty noodles/nasi lemak/mee rojak/roti canai or some yummy kueh that I am familiar with and love?
I think you get my point!
When you decide to travel to a foreign country that is totally different from you own, I find it rather strange that you are not prepared nor willing to accept or embrace the interesting and sometimes can be truly amazing experience that you are going to encounter almost as soon as you land at the airport – from the culture, lifestyle, people to the local food (especially the food!) and drinks!
My friends, it is a privilege to be able to go places and see how people from another corner of the globe live. So, be adventurous — go and be dazzled by the colourful culture, befriend the locals, learn a few local words to delight the local folks and most of all, take a bit of the culture home by trying out the local food and eat like the locals do!
I’ll address “You should serve bacon, sausages, cheese and yoghurt!” in another Confession of a Hotelier in due course.