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B MARINA BAY SANDS


From left to right: Justin Quek, David Thompson, Tetsuya Wakuda, Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Karla Mendoza, Dong Choi, David Myers


Blue Sky Margarita, Sky On 57


Pan roasted Maine lobster, CUT


Durian ice cream, Long Chim


Arancine alla Bolognese,


Pizzeria Mozza


Sands gets a much more diverse tourism population and, culinary-wise, Singapore is more sophisticated and international. The Singaporeans themselves are foodies, they really know what they want.”


Part of the family


When asked if he would recommend other hotels to take the celebrity chef route, Shanel says: “Sure, if they are able to. It is a size issue, because of the critical mass of an integrated resort. The business model created by our chairman, Sheldon Adelson, is such that it puts a lot of folks in a relatively large footprint. You have 2,600 rooms and 50 different dining options, the celebrity chef restaurants being a part of it. You have 1.2 million sq ft of MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions] space, continuously churning out tens of thousands of people every single day: retail, theatre, the casino and the Skypark. There are a lot of pieces that work together to create critical mass. For a


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hotel, it is a bit more difficult to create because the business model is different. “What we are able to create, and I think Marina Bay Sands is unique in this sense, is a culture where chefs want to join us.” says Shanel. “Tetsuya would say that he had some concerns in the beginning. He was thinking: ‘It’s such a large place, a large organisation.’ Now he will tell you he feels like part of the family. He knows that even though it’s a large organisation, he gets a similar level of attention as he would in a smaller one. We work very closely with all our chefs. “When we ask chefs to join us, they


want to. We’ve built a reputation as a great place for chefs to come, because they know they will get a lot of support and be in a great location. We have the traffic and the customer base.”


The winning formula


People are always looking for new experiences and venues and Shanel acknowledges the importance of


innovation and reinvention. “You cannot stand still,” he says. “We continuously go through evaluation and re-evaluation. As a result, a new outdoor bar and lounge called Flight will soon open on the 57th floor. We’ve also remodelled Boulud’s restaurant into db Bistro & Oyster Bar.” While Shanel hesitates to say the celebrity chef restaurant route encapuslates their strategy, he admits: “I think there is a bit of a formula, if you create good food and you know your market. The formula is to understand the market, understand the customer and what they are looking for, and make sure that the concept you bring to the market not already there, or, if it is, that you can execute it better than what is already there. And I don’t necessarily mean more expensive. I just mean better. “We continuously do market studies and you know what’s going to work and what isn’t. You won’t always get it right, but if you get it right 90% of the time, you’ve done a great job.”


For more go to foodserviceconsultant.org


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