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Andrew Craig

Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Graduate of Bachelor of Business Administration – Hospitality (2015)

Current job

I currently oversee the day-to-day operations in the outlets and strive to make them both, in their own respective ways, high quality food and beverage experiences for guests of the hotel as well as local citizens of Maui.

Career path

Prior to this, I worked at Fairmont Royal York where I was initially the assistant manager in EPIC, but soon moved into Library Bar where I served as manager.

I began my career with Fairmont in Banff Springs where I worked as a supervisor in Vermillion Room (formally Bow Valley Grill) and Rundle Lounge.

Influence and inspiration

I can accredit my career in hospitality to my mom. As I was growing up, we would often have large family get-togethers for special occasions and she was the driving force in nearly all of them. She once even put together an extended family reunion at our house where we had nearly 50 guests join us from all over the province to take part. I soon found myself taking part in the planning as well as the cooking for these events (only partially forced) and really enjoying it. So I have carried that into hospitality operations because I really enjoy the feeling of bringing together an amazing experience for guests.

Standout NC experience

I feel that NC had a great influence on my career as a lot of the curriculum have been variables I often encounter in my hospitality career – from  implementing revenue management tactics to influence menu decisions, or event management learnings to properly execute a large event in one of my restaurants. NC was really the knowledge base that allowed me to prosper in hospitality situations that I face daily.

I utilized many of the extracurricular activities during my time at NC and I feel that it was a great opportunity to gain real-world experience in hospitality-based situations. As a server/supervisor in Benchmark Restaurant, I was given the chance to take part in countless events and I took part in as many as I could. Although I learned an abundance of knowledge in the classroom, being able to apply my learnings in the field made the teachings really hit home for me. I took part in many of the NC events inclusive Niagara Winefest, Caps, Corks and Forks, and many other off-site and on-site events and catering opportunities. I accredit this to the Canadian Food and Wine Institute’s faculty as all of these experiences taught me valuable lessons in the variables of effective event execution.

Words of wisdom

I think in order to be successful in the field you have to be passionate about hospitality and the hunger to learn about it. I took this approach during my time at Niagara College and I feel that it brought me a lot of amazing learning opportunities.

What’s more, I’ve carried this passion and hunger into the workforce and I’ve continued to learn about the world of hospitality so that I can deliver luxury experiences to guests of my restaurants. I may not have learned about a particular top-tier Scotch and why it would be perfect for my Hawaiian bar menu while at Niagara College. Instead, I learned about how to understand customer demands, proper pricing associated with high-end products, and how to interpret menu sales to determine revenue-maximizing opportunities. Niagara College gave me the groundwork to be successful in these situations; my passion and drive to learn about hospitality filled in the rest.