Kedar Pandey: A Career Journey in Food & Beverage Management

12, May 2024 |

he gained extensive knowledge in F&B service, leading to his selection for a supervisor skill development program

Kedar Pandey, currently serving as Director of Food & Beverage at Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu, his journey in the hospitality industry spans over thirty-four years. He commenced his career at The Soaltee Oberoi, Kathmandu, in 1989 as a food & beverage service trainee staff. At that time, the Oberoi chain enjoyed global renown, particularly in Southeast Asia. Under Oberoi management, he gained extensive knowledge in F&B service, leading to his selection for a supervisor skill development program for one year, propelling him to the role of supervisor.

With the transition of Soaltee management to the International Hotel Group (IHG), his dedication and skills garnered management's recognition, resulting in his promotion to Senior Supervisor. Over time, he ascended to Executive, Assistant Manager, Manager Banquet Operation, and eventually Head of department within the same company. Throughout his tenure, He embraced various leadership training opportunities, enriching his skills and knowledge. He honed expertise in customer service, event planning, problem-solving, and leadership, collaborating closely with colleagues to ensure seamless operations. His  focus on investing in staff training aimed to yield significant returns in revenue and profitability. A well-trained and knowledgeable team is pivotal in providing superior customer service and attention to detail, crucial for ensuring guest satisfaction and loyalty, thus contributing to the establishment's success.

He spearheaded the planning, implementation, tracking, and controlling of various strategies for the food and beverage department, monitoring all F&B sales and costs to ensure maximum departmental profit. This included preparing the annual F&B budget and organizing food and beverage promotions and festivals. He supervised and managed numerous prestigious events and functions, including SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Universal Peace Conference, and VIP state banquets, with the participation of heads of state and dignitaries from various countries, including visits by the Indian PR minister and Chinese President.

His exemplary leadership, service, and dedication led to him being awarded twice as the best Manager of the quarter. Additionally, He received appreciation letters from the Ministry of General Administration, Government of Nepal, for outstanding contributions to event success from the hotel side, as well as recognition from the hotel for providing outstanding service during the 11th and 18th SAARC Summits.

How do you see your current role in contributing to yourorganization and hospitality in Nepal?

As a Food & Beverage Director, my role holds significant potential to contribute to both my organization and the broader hospitality industry in the country. My position allows me to provide strategic direction to the food and beverage department, aligning its goals with the overall objectives of the organization. By implementing innovative strategies and initiatives, enhance the dining experience for guests, thereby contributing to the organization’s reputation and profitability.

 With my expertise in monitoring sales and costs, identify opportunities to optimize revenue and maximize departmental profit. This involves carefully analyzing market trends, pricing strategies, and customer preferences to develop effective revenue generation plans. Given my experience in managing prestigious events and functions, I can continue to elevate the standard of event management within my organization. Whether it’s hosting international summits or VIP state banquets, my attention to detail and impeccable service delivery can enhance the reputation of my organization and the hospitality industry in Nepal.

 As a leader in the food and beverage department, I have the opportunity to mentor and develop talent within my team. By providing ongoing training and support, I can cultivate a skilled workforce that upholds the highest standards of hospitality, thereby contributing to the overall professionalism of the industry in Nepal. Nepal boasts a rich culinary heritage, and as a Food & Beverage Director, I can play a pivotal role in promoting Nepali cuisine both domestically and internationally. By showcasing traditional dishes and flavors can attract tourists and celebrate the country’s cultural diversity through its food.

Overall, my role as a food & beverage director involved a diverse range of responsibilities, all aimed at maximizing departmental profitability, enhancing the dining experience for guests, and delivering exceptional hospitality during high-profile events. My leadership, expertise, and dedication to excellence set a high standard for the industry as a whole.


Could you recount a particularly memorable event or experience from your career? 

Certainly! As a Food & Beverage Director, one particularly memorable event from my career was organizing the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit, BIMSTEC Universal Peace Conference, Indian PM and The Chinese President visited the event & banquet.

Months of meticulous planning and coordination went into preparing for this high- profile event, which brought together heads of state and dignitaries from across South Asia. The pressure was palpable, as the banquet was not only a showcase of culinary excellence but also an opportunity to demonstrate our country’s hospitality on an international stage.

From designing a menu that highlighted the various flavors of cuisine to ensuring seamless execution on the day of the event, every detail was carefully thought out. We collaborated closely with our culinary team to create dishes that celebrated the  culinary traditions of each, offering guests a culinary journey through the region. 

Receiving appreciation from the delegates and organizers for our efforts was truly gratifying and served as a reminder of the impact that exceptional hospitality can have diplomatic relations and international perceptions of our country. 

Overall, organizing as mentioned above very prestigious banquet was not only a highlight of my career as a person of the Food & Beverage but also a reminder of the power of food and hospitality to bring people together across cultures and borders. 

What in your opinion needs to be done to help Nepal’s hospitality industry flourish?

To help Nepal’s hospitality industry flourish, several key initiatives can be considered:

1. Promotion of Nepali Cuisine: Emphasize the unique flavors and culinary traditions of Nepal by incorporating local ingredients and dishes into menus. Promoting Nepali cuisine not only enhances the dining experience for guests but also fosters cultural appreciation and support for local producers and suppliers.

2. Training and Development: Invest in training programs to develop the skills of hospitality staff, including chefs, servers, and bartenders. By providing ongoing education and professional development opportunities, the industry can elevate its standards of service and professionalism, enhancing the overall guest experience.

3. Collaboration with Tourism Authorities: Forge partnerships with tourism authorities to promote Nepal as a culinary destination. Collaborative efforts to showcase the country’s diverse culinary offerings through marketing campaigns, food festivals, and culinary tours can attract tourists and drive economic growth in the hospitality sector.

4. Sustainability Practices: Implement sustainable practices in food and beverage operations, such as reducing food waste, sourcing local and organic ingredients, and minimizing single-use plastics. Embracing sustainability not only aligns with global trends but also appeals to environmentally-conscious consumers, enhancing the industry’s reputation and appeal.

5. Regional Development: Regional development is another very important aspect of impact of tourism. The more the region or area is visited by that tourist (both domestic and international) the more the area or region needs to be developed and thus development has to be in all fields and sector, be it historical places, hotels, picnic spots, roads or airports and environment, etc.

6. Infrastructure Development: Advocate for infrastructure development that supports the growth of the hospitality industry, including improved transportation networks, hospitality training facilities, and regulatory frameworks that facilitate business growth and investment

7. Networking and Collaboration: Foster collaboration and networking opportunities among industry stakeholders, including hoteliers, restaurateurs, suppliers, and government agencies. By sharing best practices, exchanging ideas, and collectively addressing challenges, the industry can drive innovation and growth.

8. Customer Experience Enhancement: Continuously strive to enhance the overall guest experience by offering personalized service, innovative dining concepts, and memorable culinary experiences. Investing in customer feedback mechanisms andn leveraging technology to streamline guest interactions can help ensure satisfaction and loyalty.

By focusing on these initiatives and working collaboratively across the industry, Food & Beverage and hospitality professionals can play a pivotal role in helping Nepal’s hospitality Industry thrives, contributing to economic development and cultural enrichment in the country.

What are you passionate about or what keeps you entertained, motivated, refreshed?

Travelling & spending time in nature is incredibly refreshing for me. Biking through off-road or hilly areas can be both frightening and challenging, offering a chance to test the skills while immersing in the beauty of the landscape. And there’s nothing quite like the feeling of camaraderie that comes from sharing these experiences with friends or family. I love outdoor adventures and nature with my family, it reflects a deep-seated desire to connect with nature and find moments of joy.

What is the best thing to do in Nepal that you would suggest to a tourist or visitor? 

One of the most iconic and rewarding experiences for tourists visiting Nepal is trekking in the Himalayas. Nepal is renowned for its stunning mountain landscapes, including eight of the world’s fourteen highest peaks, making it a paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers like. The Himalayas offer some of the most breath-taking scenery on the planet, with snow- capped peaks, lush valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Trekking in Nepal is not just about the mountains; it’s also an opportunity to immerse in the rich cultural heritage of the region. Along the trails, visitors enjoy and encounter with traditional villages, ancient monasteries, and friendly locals who will welcome them with warmth and hospitality. Encouraging the tourist for trekking through national parks and conservation areas provides opportunities to spot these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.

Nepal is one of the most vibrant and culturally rich country and celebrating many festivals like Dashain, Tihar, Holi (colour festival), Indrajatra, Bisket Jatra, Maghi, ChhatLosar etc. I would highly recommend to tourists and visitors to participate and attend these cultural events and gain  unforgettable cultural experience, hospitality, and spiritual richness of Nepali society.

As a Food & Beverage Director, I would highly recommend tourists and visitors to indulge in the diverse and flavourful cuisine of the country. Encourage them to sample traditional Nepali dishes such as momos (dumplings), dal bhat (rice and lentil soup), and sel roti (sweet rice doughnuts). These dishes offer a delicious glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of Nepal and are sure to tantalize the taste buds.

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