Michael Stamboulidis – QT Hotel Director of Food & Beverage
Posted February 7, 2018, by Jenny Sakr
From being a deckhand on super yachts to working in one of the world's greatest snow towns in Japan and managing venues for one of the biggest hospitality heavyweights, Merivale, Michael has had many standout adventures in his hospitality career.
He's now the director of food and beverage at the stunning five-star boutique hotel, QT Melbourne. Read about his exciting career journey here.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
I am the Director of Food & Beverage at the QT Hotel in Melbourne. My role involves:
- Recruitment and Development
- Business strategies and planning
- Menu design – Costing dishes and alcoholic beverages and packages
- Formulating marketing strategies
- Creating events and designing promotions
What did you study to get into this field?
I studied at The Hotel School and graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
What was your first job and what do you think it taught you?
I began my working at one of Sydney’s most prestigious fish retailers, Di Costi Seafoods at the ripe age of 14 years. Here, I learned how to speak to customers, upsell items, stock rotation, compliance, and cash handling. These were all fundamental learnings which drafted the foundation for my career today.
Name a career highlight
Working as a deckhand and dive instructor on super yachts in Airlie Beach, sailing the Whitsundays, diving into some of the most beautiful reefs. It's not every day you get to wake up in a sail bag, on a 100 foot Maxi Yacht (which won the Sydney to Hobart three years running), and look out to only see one of the most renowned beaches in the world.
Additionally – working at Merivale for eight years, being part of a revolutionary and inspirational company who always pushed the boundaries as to what was possible. As a junior manager at one of their outlets, I was able to learn and hone in on my leadership skills as I darted my way up the company.
Talk us through your career journey and how you came to work at QT Melbourne
After seeing out what seemed like a lifetime at Merivale, I took a year off to travel to travel and explore a country which holds sentimental value, Japan.
My partner and I landed a dream job in Niseko, arguably one of the best snow towns in the world for some of the largest powder falls. Working with the Japanese people, and learning about their history and culture, was a huge turning point for me both personally and professionally. I have only the utmost respect for the people of Japan and their humble, polite ways of life.
After returning from Japan, unsettled and unsure of the next move, we decided to move to Melbourne as a job opportunity came about, working for Event Entertainment, at QT Hotel.
What’s the most important career tip someone has given you
It’s okay to make mistakes – it's the fastest way you learn
What career advice do you wish someone had given you when you finished high school?
Continue on with a postgraduate degree sooner rather than postponing it.
Name somewhere on your travel bucket list
Antarctica – I always wanted to go and surf down amongst the icebergs.
What qualities and skills should people have if they want to become a manager?
They need to be a lot of things and wear a lot of hats. To be successful it's important to be driven, approachable, honest, analytical and have good market knowledge.
What steps do people have to take to get into hotel management and what is the standard salary?
It is always beneficial to have a degree or some form of postgraduate study – if you apply yourself correctly in an academic and practical work environment, this will only excel you further and faster in your career. The standard management salary, depending on hotel and operation size, could be anywhere between 60k – 75k.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully take over a QT Hotel, as GM.
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The Hotel School Alumni
Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.