Marquis Bistro & Buffet
Be clear, be honest, be nice
We joined Atef Seefen on a cozy, late Autumn day at his restaurant, the Marquis Bistro & Buffet, to have a chat about his experiences in the hospitality industry.
A selection of the great food & drinks on offer at the Marquis (source: Facebook)
Q: What was your start in the Hospitality Industry like?
Well, it's actually a pretty big story - I started in a pharmacy because that's where most of my family worked. I didn't really like it, so I moved over to the hospitality industry. I started studying hotel management and business, and once I finished that I started working on a cruise ship. I did that for seven years, travelled the world and loved it!
It's a hard life, but through customer service you meet a lot of different people and make all kinds of friends. I really do love it.
Q: How has social media helped you grow your business?
Wow. This actually is the best thing I've done since I've opened this business, and I say thank you to social media!
In my first years here, I spent a lot of money on newspaper ads, which didn't really work. Since then I've started using social media I'm fully booked nearly every day. You can't ask for more than that!
What advice would you give to a hospitality business owner trying to use social media to grow their business?
I think social media is the best place to do that right now. Make sure you send your message really clearly, be honest, and try doing really everything nice.
People will come in, and if they have a good experience they will tell everyone that it's true.
What advice do you have for staff management?
The best way is I think, and I'm not sure if it's because of my experience at Wrest Point or on cruise ships, but is to make your staff happy, treat them like friends as happy staff will make for happy customers. If you make your staff upset it will never, ever transfer to good customer service or good food. Thank you to all of my staff for being great, as we all like working here and are like family.
What's the most popular item on your menu at the moment?
It's dessert actually. People just love them. Everything in our buffet is fresh and house made - we don't buy anything frozen at all (except for prawns from New Zealand, and ice cream.)
Atef continues to run the Marquis Bistro & Buffet and their very successful Facebook page. See for yourself through the link below!