He does not leave home without his phone and a good mood in the morning. He is able to handle his day thanks to strong coffee and even though he can bake you something sweet, he does not need it for his life himself. Let´s meet Roman Čeliga, General Manager of Kubu Aupark.
He built his love for culinary in his childhood. He used to help his mother with cooking and when children when speaking about their future carrier in the primary school, he told he would become a chef. However, this field of study was not opened in Senica so he followed the career of a waiter. A kitchen has remained in his heart and he still enjoys cooking and baking in his private life.
When studying, he participated in various events, he got a job in a cafe and then even tried a role of a manager. After almost nine years he needed to move forward.
“There was no possibility to develop further in Senica for me. I needed to change the environment, people and myself overall,” he recalls himself leaving his hometown.
That is why he left for Bratislava for work in 2013. As he says, he has always wanted to work for Primi, that is why he applied and got a job of a shift manager in the facility at Michalská ulica. After three years he moved to Eurovea as a floor manager, where he worked for another one year.
Eventually, he finished at Kubu in Aupark as a general manager. Although he says that Primi is still his favourite one, he was not concerned about a change of a facility. Less guests, less employees, different environment, but as he says, daily problems are all the same – the auxiliary labour on which the entire operation stands and falls, and interpersonal relationships.
The first ones must always be stabilized and as for the second ones, he tries to solve them by a discussion. He says that there is a mutual understanding among colleagues, they are able to work together under all circumstances,
However, a change in his position was the toughest part for him:
“I was used to work from fourteen to sixteen hours daily all was my life, so running out of it has been a mystery. My routine has been changed so much that once I arrive home at five I don’t know what to do. I´m really bored.”
Roman explains than even being a floor manager is hard, there are not so many competences and responsibilities as when being a general manager. With his responsible staff – chief bartender, chef and shift manager – he must regularly discuss staff, auxiliary labour, bills, stock-taking and staff again. And preferably on a daily basis.
When speaking you could feel that Roman feels like at home at his work. We were interested in what he enjoys the most.
“Working with people. I spend most of the time in the field, I only deal with the necessary cases and my agenda in my office,” he replies.
We feel that Roman has created a perfect plan for everything. We ask for his opinion on a quality of a good manager. “He must have an overview in terms of environment, product and staff. This is alpha-omega. Once the manager handles this, their subordinates should be inspired.”
Kubu introduced its new menu recently. Roman says he did not interfere with the process as he fully trusts his kitchen led by Lacko Výpala. His duties started at the end. “I am the final man communicating with marketing, check our treasury settings and overview the staff training.”
Roman builds on theory that for the waiters to successfully sell the new menu, they should have tasted it as well. It is not enough to know the allergens. He started with this approach at Michalská and has encountered great results – during tasting, questions that could appear in the field arise and thus the team is able to prepare in advance.
We were wondering whether any guest could surprise with any question after so many years. “One lady once asked whether there is rice in risotto. And she was serious.” Roman recalls the story when working for Primi.
But he adds that mostly they are requests for a change of some ingredient. In extreme situations it might be that a person makes his own meal. “Last time, there was one lady coming with a written note what she would like to have cooked. There were ingredients the boys should have used.” He says that they respect allergies and intolerances to various food but sometimes there is just not enough room for such modifications. Such modification in ingredients is then reflected in our stock-taking, when something is in surplus and something is missing. We point out that when we have lots of work any such modification may be very burdensome.
At the end of the interview we wanted to know, what does Roman do in his free time but we got very surprised by the answer.
“I don´t know whether I relax.”
Then he revealed that he either lies in front of the TV and does nothing but wants to start swimming and playing tennis. As the summer is coming he is looking forward to his regular vacation in September when he always opts for a different destination. There is too much to see in the world to go to one place.