Director of Food and Beverage
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2002
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Management Trainee, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
- Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
- French Baccalaureate, Lycee Francais Beirut, Lebanon; Bachelor degree in hospitality Management, Ecole Hoteliere Jean Drouant, Paris, France; MBA in hospitality management, IMHI (ESSEC-CORNELL), Cergy Pontoise, France
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Arabic, French, English, Spanish
“Our guests know what they want and we deliver accordingly.” That’s George Safi, Director of Food and Beverage, on what makes a food and beverage professional turn the Manama dining scene into second to none.
A career in hotels wasn’t actually George’s first choice. “My forever dream was to become a doctor until I met a passionate person few months before finishing school. During a job fair, Lara Shaaban made the hotelier part of myself wake up. That was the moment when I started to realize the majority of my childhood memories were centred on food and service. “
No question, George possesses a passion and deep love for his profession. “I was very close to my grandfather who owned a hotel in Beirut and always talked to me about going that extra mile to make guests happy. I also remember those lively evenings when my parents invited their friends to our home and all of a sudden I started acting as server going around and taking their orders.”
Working closely with the Hotel’s culinary team at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, George continuously strives to move food and beverage offerings to the next level. He has a lot to work with, not least a banqueting operation that is offering guests the best venues of choice for upscale social events in the Kingdom. The focus is on outdoor events, thanks to the expansive outdoor ballroom terrace and lawn.
By catering to the likes of precious guests, the Hotel’s catering service team approaches each occasion individually. “The key is to have the right offer for the right demand and passionate people to make the guest experience unforgettable,” George says. “We are having the right concepts finalized to respond to our guests’ expectations and we are continuously training the team to adapt those concepts in the best possible way.”
George further highlights the Hotel’s lead chefs, who are masters of their cuisines and whose relationships in the local market assure the procurement of finest available ingredients for dining rooms and boardrooms alike.
When asked what he enjoys most about his role at the Hotel, he says it’s all about doing his part to ensure that the guests have a memorable time. “The best part of my job is making people happy. It is when we exceed guests’ expectations and we see that they are having the best times in their entire lives. It is when a bride cries after her wedding because it was organized even better than she dreamed about in her young princess dreams.”
In his capacity as Director of Food and Beverage, George is responsible for the seamless operation of six options for indoor-outdoor dining and drinks – including three signature restaurants by Wolfgang Puck, 24-hour In-Room Dining, the catering operations of two ballrooms opening to garden terraces, and naturally lit meeting rooms on the 50th and 51st floors providing the height of prestige.
In his time away from the urban resort, George likes to spend quality time with his wife, daughter and son, obviously cooking and enjoying some of Manama’s excellent cuisine, often described as being the best in Bahrain.