HEC behind the scenes: Food and Beverage Service Team

March 6, 2015

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By Jenna Greco ’18 and Claire Hourticq ’17

The Food and Beverage Service Team plays a major role in Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC), but their hard work often goes unnoticed because the goal of service is to be seamless.

This team is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of all the food and beverage events by exemplifying outstanding customer service. To better understand the role of the team, we asked Justin Meselsohn ’16, the F&B Service Team board director, what service means to him. He explained that service is important because it is at work in almost all everyday experiences. He emphasized that service is often mistaken for exclusively being the way we treat guests, yet it is also the way one would treat a team member or a friend.

HEC 90 - F&B Service Team with Director Justin Meselsohn '16.jpg

Justin Meselsohn ’16 (bottom right), HEC 90 Food and Beverage Service Team board director,
with the rest of his team.

“Service is not one particular situation, but rather every interaction that you experience with someone,” Justin said. In true Hotelie form, he concluded with “Service is what makes this hospitality conference—as well as the industry—so unique: we have the opportunity to create remarkable experiences for others that they can take with them and remember for a lifetime.”

"Service makes HEC and the hospitality industry unique ... creating remarkable experiences others can take with them and remember for a lifetime." - Justin Meselsohn '16, HEC 90 food and beverage service director

Exceptional customer service throughout the weekend of events is the main goal for the Service Team. However, the preparations working up to the weekend are more administrative in nature. Justin and his team are responsible for ordering the paper goods and linens for the entire weekend. This requires numerous decisions to be made before any ordering can be completed: the type of service that will be provided and the setup the other departments have in mind, to name a few.

Apart from meeting with his team weekly, Justin has collaborated with other HEC departments to create amazing floor plans, some of which involve transforming your favorite SHA study spaces. Through open communication among departments, Justin is ensuring that each event and each person’s vision can come to life during the weekend.

HEC welcomes student volunteers from all colleges, providing opportunities to network with other students, faculty, and industry leaders.Volunteers and their training are integral to creating a flawless weekend. The Service and HR Teams have collaborated in recent years to ensure that all people involved in HEC understand the importance of service. This year’s training focuses on the definition of service and the implementation of basic food-service techniques. In addition, throughout the volunteer training, HR and Service teams encourage interaction between guests and students. This communication will provide a remarkable experience for both parties.

As Justin has mentioned, the Service Team is responsible for ensuring the overall success of the weekend. Unlike other departments, the Service Team represents every back-of-house HEC member, because they are present for every event and interact with all guests. Without Justin and his team, HEC 90 wouldn’t be possible, which is why they continue to work tirelessly as the big weekend approaches.

You can be a part of making history: register to volunteer online! HEC is a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience. Not only do you have the chance to meet and work with other motivated students, you can earn practice credit.

Hotel Ezra Cornell welcomes students from all colleges. For non-SHA students, volunteering for HEC still provides valuable opportunities for networking with other students, faculty members, and HEC guests, who are industry leaders.