Originally from Pussallawa in the Tea Country, Amith Kumar, the ever-smiling Food & Beverage Supervisor at Fox Jaffna started his journey in hospitality with a diploma in hospitality at the Thondaman Vocational Training Centre in Hatton. Thereafter, he worked as a Trainee Waiter at Galway Forest Lodge and gained experience as a Steward and Busboy and was promoted as a Senior Waiter. Afterwards, Kumar joined Royal Retreat in Sigiriya as a Captain and overlooked the bar and restaurant at the hotel. After a short stint at Lake Wind Resort in Tissamaharama and American restaurant chain TGI Fridays in Colombo, Kumar joined Fox Jaffna as a Food & Beverage Supervisor in January. He overlooks the duties of three Senior Waiters and three Trainee Waiters.
When did you know you wanted to be part of the hospitality trade?
I remember when I was a child, I watched a travel programme on the Discovery Channel and since then I wanted to join the industry. I like hospitality because of the opportunity to meet people from different countries and to learn from them.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Training people can be difficult because you have to repeat instructions and be patient before the staff learn to get it right.
Has guest interaction helped you grow as a person?
Yes, one of the most important things I have learnt is the value of providing a service with a smile.
What is the most memorable moment in your career?
While working at my previous hotel in Sigiriya, I was asked by a solo traveller to accompany her to climb Pidurangala. The sunrise I saw from the rock was spectacular. It is one of my best memories.
Three things you want to improve on in the future?
- To train my staff on how to provide a good service to clients
- To have a better understanding about the food, the hotel, and its regional specialities
- To be more aware of the surroundings as well as the day-to-day occupancy in order to plan and set up for the meals appropriately
What’s your favourite part of your job?
I really like wine service. I’m keen on learning more about it in the future.
What’s next for you in your career?
Restaurant Manager, Food & Beverage Manager, and then Resident Manager. In the short term, I’d also like to learn about pastry making.
Fox Jaffna, launched last year, is a 24-bedroom boutique hotel in Jaffna under Fox Resorts. The group also has two hotels – Mas Villa in Kotmale, Ranna Beach Villa near Tangalle, and is in the midst of constructing another property in Kandy.