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10 QUESTIONS


10 QUESTIONS WITH... YONAS SALEEM


Each month we ask an industry professional the Tomorrow’s FM 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to Yonas Saleem, Guest Service Manager at bespoke hospitality services provider Bennett Hay about Audrey Hepburn and being a pilot.


Q4 Q1


WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?


I had a seasonal job picking onions when I was 14. There was a lot of that kind of work where I grew up, in the countryside in the south of Sweden.


Q2


HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE FACILITIES


MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY?


When I was 20, I moved to London and worked front of house for the Ivy, Quaglino’s and, latterly, Terence Conran’s Boundary in Shoreditch. By 2012, I was looking for a change of direction so I got a managerial job with a catering contractor in an investment bank. In 2013, I took on my role with Bennett Hay.


Q3


WHO, IN ANY OTHER INDUSTRY, DO YOU


MOST ADMIRE?


I really admire Jeremy King and Chris Corbin who I worked for at the Ivy. In 1990 when they bought the restaurant and it was still quite quiet, a celebrity called up and asked for a table that evening. Jeremy, who took the call, immediately phoned his friends and family and invited them to dine for free. By the time the celebrity showed up, the place was buzzing. The Ivy has been a magnet for celebrities ever since. As well as having excellent acumen in business, King and Corbin fostered a very atmospheric ethos and encouraged all of us to live this.


64 | TOMORROW’S FM


IF MONEY WAS NO OBJECT, WHAT CAR


WOULD YOU BUY?


I would buy a Morgan sports car. I love the fact that, in this high- tech world, the Morgan is still handcrafted in the Midlands. I’d go for the four-wheel classic version.


Q5


HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE THE FACILITIES


MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY?


I would like FM to participate in design discussions, which is still quite rare. Often the designer doesn’t think about delivery points or waste points, but these can impact the quality of our service delivery. A designer might put a café counter in the wrong place, causing queues to build up. If facilities is in on discussions from the start, things will likely run more smoothly.


Q6 Q7


Q8


WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE


GROWING UP? I wanted to be a pilot.


WHAT DO YOU DO TO UNWIND?


We’re so connected these days, thanks to technology, that it can be difficult to switch off when you’re in a managerial role. So, when I go on holiday, I switch my phone off and take a complete break from it all. I find activity holidays such as skiing, sailing and cycling very therapeutic.


IF YOU COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH


ANY THREE GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE, WITH A FOURTH COOKING AND A FIFTH PROVIDING THE MUSIC, WHO WOULD THEY BE AND WHY?


I would invite the comedian Lee Evans for entertainment, the BBC’s foreign correspondent John Simpson for intellectual interaction, and Audrey Hepburn to add some glamour to the occasion. Music would be by Adele. I would ask Nuno Mendes, the chef at Chiltern Firehouse, to delight us with his avant-garde approach to modern European cuisine.


Q9


WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE


FUTURE OF THE FACILITIES MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY?


We have a very bright future. The industry will be increasingly focused on how guests – building users, be they internal staff or external visitors – should be treated while they are on the premises, and anticipating guests’ emotional needs. By understanding what happens at the touch points where facilities staff interact with guests, facilities can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. The demand for a five- star guest service from the facilities team will only grow to accommodate today’s workplaces, which are increasingly providing on-site amenities and communal spaces to encourage employee collaboration.


Q10


. PHIL HOLLAND, MANAGING


DIRECTOR, INTEGRATED FACILITIES MANAGEMENT, MITIE, ASKED: IF YOU DIDN’T WORK IN FM, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE DOING?


I would probably be restoring things such as old furniture or old cars, anything practical that involves craftsmanship really appeals to me.


www.bennetthay.co.uk twitter.com/TomorrowsFM


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