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Adapt, Innovate, Overcome; Exclusive Interview With W Bali Seminyak F&B Director, Philipp Haupenthal

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Hailing from Germany, Philipp Haupenthal discovered his muse in the world of hospitality while working in a bar. Now, he brings all of his expertise and passion to W Bali Seminyak’s innovative F&B division. The gentleman himself makes time to sat and casually chat with Hellobali about the island’s current hospitality situation amidst the pandemic era, also his hope and insight for the future.

1. Tell us a bit about your career journey. What makes you decide to enter the world of F&B industry?

When I was 18 years old I started working in a bar in Germany, while I was still in school and absolutely loved it. So I decided to take this into consideration as a part of my future career and got into Hospitality industry which combined it all – the passion for F&B, to work with people and being able to work anywhere in the world.

2. What are some of the trends you see that are impacting the hospitality industry; especially F&B?

First, the continued approach on sustainability. It started already a while ago that customers are becoming more curious where their food and drinks are actually coming from. COVID-19 has now brought this “go local” approach to another level as the support for local business in these times is even more crucial. This leads to the second trend, which is a healthier approach in eating and drinking behaviors.

I believe Bali is a leading destination in this already and the customers from all around the world will appreciate it even more, as soon as they can return. A healthy and balanced lifestyle is for many now more important than ever before. Last the trend for new technology. From digital menus, to easy and fast food deliveries on the push of a button has grown rapidly. I believe as soon as more guests are able to return to Restaurants and Bars again this will still continue. As they’ll be looking for What’s New/Next in terms of Restaurant technologies it will need to be easy to handle and make their experience more playful at the same time.

3. If you can change two things about the current hospitality industry, what would it be?

If we talk about current situation of course I would wish that the pandemic changes and gets under control. We can’t wait to see people travelling again safely and that all the hospitality workers who had been laid off can go back to work rather sooner than later. Luckily, even we are not there yet, you can see that overall the excitement starts to return and things are looking already much better then in 2020. Changing our mindsets from contingency measures back to exciting future plans, was and remains the key during these times.

My second change would be trying to improve the reputation of hospitality jobs around the world. Asia is doing very well in this and you can feel how proud they are to work in this industry. However in many countries (and I also count my home country Germany in that), one of the biggest issues became to find good talents that are excited to do this job, as it is mostly just known for long working hours and low salaries. This industry has so much more to offer and with the growing demand for leisure and business travel the key to success will be to find enough passionate people who want to work in it.

4. What do you think about the growth of F&B industry in Bali, especially during this pandemic situation?

I think the pandemic obviously has slowed down the growth number of new venues in Bali’s the F&B industry as it is highly reliant on tourists, however I think it has not stopped the innovation at all – more the opposite.

Many F&B colleagues (including we here at W Bali – Seminyak) are working behind the scenes on new ideas and concepts and are just waiting to showcase them as soon as possible. I am very excited to see this happening soon. It is also fantastic how venues have collaborated over the past few months to support each other and still create outstanding F&B experiences around Bali.

5. What is the most memorable moment in your career so far?

The moment I signed the contract to move to Thailand 8 years ago. Having never been in Asia before I was absolutely excited to get a whole new work & life experience and of course also because of it’s amazing reputation for F&B – for me the best in the world. Looking back now it was the best career decision I’ve made so far.


6. What can we expect from W Bali – Seminyak F&B in near future? Any up and coming project that we should anticipate?

For May and June we have exciting collaborations coming up with Nusantara Restaurant / Ubud as well as Spice by Chris Salans. You should definitely check those out!

For the long term, we are working on new concepts and exclusive happenings that will combine F&B with our W passion for Music, Design, Fashion and FUEL on larger scale again, as soon as the current situation is under control and restrictions have been lifted. Stay tuned!

 

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