Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Kurz

Gabriele Kurz

Executive Wellbeing Chef Talise Wellness, Jumeirah Group

As a vegetarian herself, Chef Gabriele (Gabi) Kurz joined Madinat Jumeirah in 2007, when she took on the role of Chef de Cuisine and developed the concept for a fine-dining restaurant specialising in wellbeing. Over the years, her role has expanded and in 2011, she has been promoted to ‘Resort Wellbeing Chef’ of Madinat Jumeirah where she is developing a ‘wellbeing’ cuisine that is both wholesome and nutritionally well-balanced, using only organic and plant-based ingredients to the resort’s restaurants. Chef Kurz is involved in menu development for all the signature restaurants in the resorts including in-room dining and Conference & Incentives events, as well as being responsible for the entire menu at Talise Spa. Her cooking classes are popular with Dubai residents and in-house guests alike. Chef Kurz received her Master Hotelier from Steigenberger College of Hotel Management, in her home country of Germany, where she also took an apprenticeship at the Park Hilton Hotel in Munich. Following her apprenticeship, Chef Kurz managed a vegetarian fine dining restaurant and cookery school at the family hotel, situated in the mountains of Bavaria, Germany. Chef Kurz conducts Educational and Nutritional Advisory classes and holds a certificate for Diabetic and Obesity Consultation; she is also the author of several celebrated vegetarian cookbooks, one of which was recently honoured with the ‘World Cookbook Award’ in Paris, 2011.

Ms. Kurz can be contacted at +971 4 366 6730 or gabriele.kurz@jumeirah.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.