Junhyeok Choi Director of Food & Beverage at Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta

Junhyeok Choi Director of Food & Beverage at Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta

E: What are your responsibilities in this job?

A: My main role is to support and nurture our F&B colleagues in every aspect, by bringing out their best abilities to become their best self at work. On top of that I would have to ensure our F&B offerings and services are maintained at the highest standard,
a Mandarin Oriental standard as I would call it.

E: What’s your typical working day like?

A: My day starts with the breakfast operation, this gives me the opportunity to greet our staying guests and to get to know them better. Thereafter, we have a team meeting and then a one-on-one catch up with different team members – we typically discuss everything, both professional and personal. My goal is to ensure the communication is open and effective to support the development of my team members in every way I can. 

E: Following the first question, what’s a typical day like when you have a day off?

A: I am very intrigued to explore the F&B scene in Jakarta and am working my way there one day off at a time! You might say I am biased but my favorite Indonesian dish so far is sop buntut from Cinnamon, Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta. Other than that, I enjoy playing football, we have a weekly football game within Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta which I have been enjoying. I’d be happy to organise a football game with other hotel teams
if possible. 

E: Team player or team leader?

A: Every team leader comes from a team player. I wouldn’t think my role has shifted but I think more of creating a support system for my team when needed. After all, my team is running the show and provides exceptional service. 

E: Name one really special thing about each restaurant at MO Jakarta.

A: Li Feng – the food is just impeccable, one of the best upscale Cantonese in town. The menu is crafted by Chef Fei, two Michelin-starred chef from Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou. Meanwhile, Lyon is known for its Saturday Brunch, where you can experience the finest quality French dishes in a relaxed vibe. Last but not least, Cinnamon is a fantastic space to experience authentic Indonesian food. You can find the best sop buntut in town here!

E: The most important trait to have in your work?

A: Trust and happiness. These two are my top priorities while working and while looking for talent.  

E: Most memorable moment of your career?

A: On my first day at Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta, I had such a warm welcome from the team and, even though it was a foreign city to me, I felt at home almost immediately. I have to thank the Indonesian hospitality for this! 

E: Who has been the most influential figure in your career to date?

A: There are a few people that have influenced my career path. James Riley, David Nicholls, Gregoire Simonin and Michael Groll were my mentors during my previous role in Hong Kong. They have not only encouraged me with their own experiences, but they have also influenced me to be a better leader, keeping an open heart and staying humble. 

Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta