Can you introduce yourself?
I have been working as a Project Leader on the Research & Development team of the Food & Beverage division for more than two years now. At Disneyland Paris, my role consists of managing all of the changes that are made to the Food & Beverage offerings that our guests get to enjoy throughout the resort. In other words, I am in charge of coordinating the various teams that leverage their expertise to turn our ideas into a reality from the moment projects are initiated to the moment products are brought to life by our chefs and made available for purchase.
Can you tell us about your professional journey at Disneyland Paris?
I joined Disneyland Paris in September 2019 to participate in a two-year work-study program as part of my Master’s studies in Consulting and International Strategic Management. I served as an “Assistant Project Leader” within the Research and Development department of the Food & Beverage division until 2021. Afterward, I was hired as an R&D Project Leader within the same division. I have been holding this position for two years.
Why and how did you join Disneyland Paris?
I wanted to complete a work-study program at Disneyland Paris because of the international nature of the company which is reflected both through its global reputation and cultural diversity, offering me a work environment that corresponded to my field of study. I also wanted to manage projects that have a direct impact on people, which is the case in our company, as our products touch the hearts of all of our guests. Each change that is made to our menus or concepts plays a part in creating the magic of Disneyland Paris. We immerse our guests into their favorite Disney stories through the dishes we serve. Finally, in this company, I get to work on a wide variety of projects that allow me to always stay passionate about what I do, which is something that is very important to me.
What did you gain from this work-study experience?
This two-year work-study program enabled me to discover various professions along with a wide variety of inspiring backgrounds. More broadly speaking, this experience served as an introduction to the professional world and the food and beverage realm, which were thus far unknown to me.
Completing a work-study program also allowed me to grow professionally on all fronts. I got to develop project management and interpersonal skills, along with a sense of responsibility. Those two years were filled with challenges that helped me spread my wings! At the end of those two years, I was given the opportunity to continue to overcome these challenges as I became a project leader.
Can you tell us about the specific nature of the line of business in which you work?
The Food & Beverage industry evolves at a rapid pace. As Research & Development specialists, we always have to adapt our products based on our guests’ consumption trends and the F&B trends that stem from social media posts, the opening of new restaurants and the launch of new concepts. We need to follow these trends to always exceed all of our guests’ expectations and surprise them. The dining experience is an integral part of their journey.
What are your missions?
My main mission consists of coordinating the numerous steps that lead to the development of Food & Beverage products, starting with the search for F&B trends and the development of new concepts in collaboration with our chefs. I also serve as a liaison with Franchise teams that ensure that we are moving in the right direction and that our ideas and sketches reflect the atmospheres of Disney movies.
Once this first step is complete, we organize food tasting sessions. Thereafter, we simultaneously define the product name and develop an associated storytelling approach with the assistance of creative teams and agencies. We also work closely with the teams in charge of quality check, signage, and table decoration. Proper coordination is essential and required for any type of project, whether it comes to a simple menu change or the transformation of a hotel!
Can you describe the work you have performed in collaboration with chefs as part of Disney Enchanted Christmas?
As part of the holiday season, I had the opportunity to work closely with our chefs to develop new products. In addition to taking account of the feedback that we had received from our guests the previous years, we drew our inspiration from Food & Beverage trends and from the offerings that guests get to enjoy in the various Disney Parks across the world. I also served as a liaison between our chefs and Marketing teams to create themed products that perfectly match the season.
For instance, we believed that the shareable cake featured on the Victoria Home Style Restaurant’s menu for the Christmas season should evoke the joy of spending the holidays with loved ones. We made sure to incorporate the traditional holiday flavors into the cake recipe to bring our guests on a culinary journey that reflects the spirit of the season.
If you had to describe your profession in three words, what would they be? Why?
The three words that best describe my profession are ORGANIZATION, ADAPTATION and VARIETY.
First, I need to be well organized to successfully manage all of the steps included in projects’ life cycles, especially since some of these phases sometimes overlap and we are often required to handle multiple projects at a time. As such, having strong organizational and coordination skills is essential to bring products to life within given time frames.
Also, I always have to adapt my approach based on the person I work with and the project requirements, which may sometimes change over the course of project implementation.
Finally, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to handle a significant number of diversified projects every year. Each of them has specific requirements and brings its share of magic, especially when the project revolves around one of our franchises. I never get bored! My job is far from being repetitive.
What are your motivations? What are you proud of?
I am highly motivated by the fact that I get to be directly involved – together with our chefs and the Food & Beverage team – in the development of our Food & Beverage offerings, and that we get to deliver new experiences to our guests throughout the year. Every day, I challenge all of our chefs and teams to always outdo themselves. At Disneyland Paris, the magic even exists on our guests’ plates, and I want them to have wonderful memories of their dining experiences within the resort.
I am proud to see that our menus regularly undergo changes and that many products are constantly developed for our seasons. For instance, we outdid ourselves for the 30thAnniversary celebration of Disneyland Paris, as we developed around sixty products, including products that had never been seen before in our resort. Finally, I am also proud of the food & beverage offerings that have been developed by our chefs for the iconic Disneyland Hotel. I can’t wait for our guests to discover them!