Name: Dhruv Khanna
Campus: Les Roches Bluche, Diploma in Hotel Management, 2007 – Kendall College, BA in Hospitality Management, 2009
Current job: Director of Food and Beverage at Loews Hotel 1000 (Seattle, WA, USA)
“Experiencing the hospitality industry in different countries is essential. The US, for example, is a fast and growing market for hospitality. You are respected for your work — and career growth is exponential!”
Indian alumnus Dhruv Khanna speaks from experience. Since graduating from Les Roches Switzerland in 2007, Dhruv has worked at luxury hotels all over the US. We asked Dhruv about his journey to becoming Director of Food and Beverage at Loews Hotel 1000 in Seattle, Washington.
Building a Hospitality Career in the USA
“Chicago is a great market, with numerous luxury hotels and career opportunities,” Dhruv says. The Windy City was where Dhruv’s hospitality career in the US began. Starting with an internship in 2008 as Food and Beverage Supervisor at Hyatt Regency, he moved on to several professional roles at Trump International Hotel and Tower, including Food and Beverage Manager and Housekeeping Manager. “One of the highlights was receiving the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star awards as part of the team at Trump Hotel Chicago.” During this time, Dhruv also worked for several months on the transition and rebranding of the Trump National Doral Miami.
In 2013, Dhruv left Chicago for the Park Hyatt Washington D.C., where he joined award-winning restaurant Blue Duck Tavern, first as Food and Beverage Manager and later as Banquet Director. Then, in 2015 the opportunity to join Loews Regency San Francisco beckoned Dhruv to the West Coast.
Learning and Growing at Loews
At Loews Regency San Francisco, Dhruv served as Assistant Director of Food and Beverage for one year before being promoted to his current role. Now Director of Food and Beverage at Loews Hotel 1000 in Seattle, Dhruv’s main responsibilities include providing guests with a luxury food and beverage experience, improving profitability, and mentoring and training team members.
“Working at Loews has been a great opportunity and learning experience,” Dhruv says.
[quote]“The first principle is ‘we are family.’ Be it our team members or our guests, we believe in treating everyone as our family. And with 25 hotels and growing, our family is definitely getting bigger! There is tremendous opportunity for growth within the brand.”[/quote]
Director of F&B: Life on the Job
For Dhruv, no one day is like another. “But each day consists of interacting with all our guests and our team members,” he explains. “Our job is to understand and exceed our guests’ expectations while being a profitable operation.”
Dhruv also knows that every role is key to the overall success of the team. “There are days when I fill in as a host, a server, a bartender or a dishwasher when needed. My goal each day is to balance the time between meetings and floor presence, while making sure that we invest in our team members — they are the most important assets in any hotel operation.”
Lifetime Lessons from Les Roches
Dhruv credits Les Roches with shaping his business approach and entrepreneurial mindset. “All those hours spent on projects and practical learning made you think about how you can do each task better and more efficiently. When working at a hotel, you must find ways to be efficient, strong and profitable. And to me, this is the core of being an entrepreneur.”
A proud alumnus, Dhruv says,
[quote]“The most fantastic three years of my life were at Les Roches. From being in that red Ferrari uniform to learning about different cultures and languages — and the lifelong friendships — studying at Les Roches is an opportunity I would recommend to anyone and everyone.”[/quote]
An Alumni Network in Seattle
Meanwhile, the “Les Roches way of life” has accompanied Dhruv throughout his career across the US. “I am still in touch with most of my friends and network from Les Roches! It gives me a sense of family and pride when I can hire or collaborate with Les Roches alumni.”
Dhruv has worked alongside fellow alumni — and hired Les Roches students and alumni for internships and full-time roles. “It’s like a mini Les Roches alumni network here,” Dhruv says. “I know the training we received at Les Roches was the best, so when I collaborate with fellow Les Roches alumni, I know to expect nothing but the best!”