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Veteran sees huge opportunities in hospitality sector for locals

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Well-travelled hospitality veteran Cassius Fevriere is seeking to inspire young Bermudians to consider a career in the sector.

The extensive hospitality career of the 53-year-old general manager of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club includes stops at hotels and resorts in his native St Lucia, St Maarten, United States, Scotland and England.

Mr Fevriere’s focus has been primarily within the food and beverage discipline.

He and his Bermudian wife, Georgia, have made their home on the island — and now he wants to inspire others to follow his lead into the hospitality industry.

Mr Fevriere said: “If people decide to make it a career, there are definitely huge prospects for growth and development.”

The dinghy club and Bermuda College are working to develop a programme that gives hospitality students an opportunity to work in the food and beverage area of the club.

Gideon Wheddon, who is training to be a chef, started at the club on the weekend, and is scheduled to spend every Saturday working in the kitchen.

Mr Fevriere arrived in Bermuda in 1996 to work at the former Marriott Castle Harbour hotel.

He has also worked at the Hamilton Princess (twice) and Elbow Beach hotels in food and beverage management and sales and conference manager roles.

Between 2011 and 2018, Mr Fevriere worked first at four hotels and resorts in Scotland before travelling south to England.

There, in Bath, beginning in 2016, he helped to open a new hotel with the Apex Hotel Group as food and beverage operations manager, a role he says “gave me rounding”.

Of his time overseas, he said: “I needed to go out, learn, reinvent myself and then come back to Bermuda and impart my knowledge on the industry here.

“Working internationally for me was about learning the culture of places I worked and lived in, and the styles of service they offered and provided.”

He added: “In the US, there is evolution on a daily basis with new foods and drinks.

“The UK is adventurous, pushing the limits of food and drink.

“I am bringing some of that back to Bermuda because in Bermuda it takes a little longer to develop the trends.”

Mr Fevriere returned home in January 2019 as food and beverage manager at the dinghy club, and spent six months as interim general manager before being appointed to the top job two years ago last month.

Four months later, Covid-19 began to impact the island.

Mr Fevriere said: “It was a test and trial of faith, and a baptism by fire.”

He said that the club was able to keep all of its staff, despite two lockdowns and the resulting reopenings and restrictions.

Mr Fevriere added: “One of the positives that came out of the first lockdown is that we were able to launch a takeout food app for the club.

“After the first reopening, we began kerbside takeout. It was very successful at the time and continues to be.”

Mr Fevriere manages a club having 30 staff, including part-time employees.

He said: “My biggest thing is to try to grow the membership.”

When Mr Fevriere started, the club had 485 members but now, he says, it has “500-plus”.

He said that the recent increase in membership has included a younger demographic, ranging in age from 25 to 35.

Approximately 40 per cent of the 38 new members have recently relocated to Bermuda for work purposes, including digital nomads, Mr Fevriere added.

On the food and beverage side, head chef Luca Tomasi joined the dinghy club nine months before Mr Fevriere arrived, while sous chef Delroy Fred is newly appointed.

Mr Fevriere said: “Food and beverage is a big element of the club on a daily basis.

“I wanted to get food and beverage where I wanted it to be so that people would come to the club on a more regular basis, which we are seeing now.

“We are seeing some great reviews from members and their guests, and we are seeing the membership grow from that.”

After spending his career working in hotels and resorts, Mr Fevriere said that a members’ club role “differs a lot — in a members’ club you get to build more of a relationship with the members because you see them on a daily basis.

“In a hotel you may see someone once and never see them again.

“From a members’ standpoint, you get to understand their likes and dislikes and preferences, and cater to that to make their experience better.”

Although Mr Fevriere has devoted his career to hospitality, there is one anomaly in his biography.

In 2003 he fulfilled a lifelong ambition of serving as a police officer when he joined the Bermuda Police Service.

He said: “I was a cadet with the St Lucia police but never got the chance to do it in St Lucia before I left at 24.”

But Mr Fevriere returned to the hospitality trade after three years, accepting a position as banquet manager at the Hamilton Princess, where he stayed for five years before beginning his British sojourn.

Of his return to the sector, Mr Fevriere said: “Hospitality is in my blood.

“It still is – it kept calling.”

Cassius Fevriere, general manager at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club
Cassius Fevriere, general manager at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club

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Published December 07, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated December 07, 2021 at 2:33 pm)

Veteran sees huge opportunities in hospitality sector for locals

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