Emeric Autier is a Vatelien who has made quite a name for himself. The motivated, hard-working student has become an efficient and demanding professional. He epitomises the expertise and values that are at the heart of Vatel. Here is his success story...
Please tell us about your current position, and where you work.
I work at the Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa*****, a hotel that is part of the Accor group. The establishment consists of a hotel with 109 rooms and 17 suites with direct access to the ocean and thalassotherapy centre. 180 people work there all year round. As guests often tell us, it is an ideal setting in which to work.
My profession? Restaurant Manager. My job is to provide a level of service and profitability with regard to everything related to food and beverage, in keeping with the brand's reputation. I divide my time between guests, "ambassadors" (the name we give to Sofitel emplyees), and administration. My team includes a wait staff of 23 (bar, room service and restaurant) and a kitchen/dish washing staff of 14. I am also in charge of special events at the hotel (receptions, evening events, tastings, etc.).
What have you done since you graduated from Vatel?
Once I left Vatel, my number one priority was to find a job with management responsibilities. I counted on this because I already had 6 years of experience serving, doing replacements and seasonal work, etc. I therefore took my time and did not accept just any job offer. This paid off, since I ended up with a good job with a large catering firm. I was quickly promoted and became specialised in meals served at cultural sites such as the Théâtre du Chatelet, Opéra Bastille, Grand Théâtre de Provence, etc. I was also responsible for making several audits and opening up points of sale (such as the Fauchon boutique at the Villepinte Exhibition Centre), temporary restaurants, etc. After nearly 5 years organising special events, I was delighted to accept an opportunity with the Accor group since this was my aim to begin with when I left school.
What made you want to attend Vatel?
The girls!!! No, just kidding!
Vatel was an obvious solution for me since I hadn't studied at a hotel and catering school. With my BTS advanced vocational diploma specialising in sales, I was slated to specialise in hotel management, and Vatel was one of the rare hotel management schools I could afford.
What do you remember most about your time at Vatel? Do you have any anecdotes to share?
My class was just amazing. There was a fine atmosphere at the school and the teachers were great. These 2 years were the best I ever spent as a student. After several rather fruitless years doing other studies, I didn't expect to find such a rewarding experience at any school… I have stayed in touch with friends from my class and now it my turn to offers internships to Vatel Bordeaux...
An anecdote? When I went to Madrid to present the EURODHIP conference, I was fortunate to be able to visit the famous Prado museum with Madame Fourquet (a tourism professor in Bordeaux) as a guide. This was an extraordinary experience for me, since I was not exactly used to going to museums...
Please tell us if there are any special memories you have of your time at Vatel, and that still influence you.
That would undoubtedly be the organisation of a gala dinner and the EURODHIP conference in Bordeaux (the subject of my dissertation). This is what oriented me towards managing special events in the first place. The opportunity to form a ten-person team and create an event for 130 people over 3 days while still at school is fairly unique. This definitely enabled me to acquire certain skills and helped my tremendously in launching my career. I will never forget the chance I was given. I still have the desire to create events and surprise my clients. This is a fundamental part of my work experience and my personal history, just like my time at Vatel. Thank you Christophe and Nathalie, and thanks to all my professors. I am proud to say that I studied at Vatel Bordeaux.