Stories

July 29, 2019

Our associates make the difference

Nothing is impossible with hard work and endless teamwork

There is no challenge too big for Roel Poblete Alcazar. As the Burger King Brand Manager for HMSHost International in Vietnam he is responsible for an impressive 12 Burger King stores within five international airports. It’s his goal to make every store profitable, to keep his team members happy and productive, and to make the stores the best outlets for people who are always on the move.

Essential: a hard-working attitude

“In 2013 I started working for HMSHost International, a good choice because they take good care of their employees and are very consistent about career development”, says Roel. “At the same time HMSHost International matches with my personal values because I have a strong background in providing customer service and hospitality, especially to travellers. Furthermore I just love working on an airport, the diversity in customers is immense. Working with almost 43 million annual passengers and 8.8 million annual transactions, is a tremendous task of work. It’s like working in a different country every few minutes.” That’s why Roel looks for the best managers and employees for Burger King and HMSHost International.

“The characteristic I look for when hiring a person is attitude. Skills are important, but they can be trained. We are looking for a positive and a hard-working attitude. The willingness to learn, to adapt and act are of great importance. Not every day is a day as sweet as honey, there are also rough days. For a manager it is very important what their attitude is towards those days. Are they able to cope in the HMSHost International and Burger King way?’’

Can-do versus cannot-do

Roel is a Filipino working in Vietnam which wasn’t always easy. “In the past there were a lot of culture differences and the language was hard to learn. However, with perseverance I was able to cope and beat this challenge. Now I pay those lessons forward to the team managers. My method is that we give them salt, pepper and sugar. That means: actual results. No blaming or only sweet words. We give them ups and downs as well as insights in opportunities and goals. We show them that we ‘can-do’ instead of ‘cannot-do’.”

Roel had his own ‘can-do’ moment in 2015, when the review score of the Burger Kings was an insufficient F. “It was a very challenging time. Everyone’s eyes were on me. I really felt like giving up. But one of my mentors - Simon Stansfield, the General Manager of HMSHost in Vietnam - told me: ‘The darkest hour is right before dawn’. It became my mantra, and I pushed through. This year we achieved an A. The highest score of the year, we got 90% of the audit system. This is an average of all the twelve stores. So, you see: nothing is impossible with hard work and endless teamwork.’’

The associates of HMSHost International are the real heroes behind the organisation’s success story. Interested in more of our strengths? Read the story of Kathhiravan Radhakrishnan, General Manager at Bangalore Airport in India.