Chef Ranjith Morugama and Chef Chaminda Liyanage with decades of experience as hoteliers have initiated a novel concept by the name of Okura Hotel Services. With the aim of aiding the leisure industry, the company focuses on providing advice and total solutions in the food and beverage sector of Sri Lanka.
Words Krishani Peiris
“There are many new hotels and restaurants opening in Sri Lanka. However, most are not professionally or well planned according to concepts. So we thought this is the best time to start Okura Hotel Services to support the new entrepreneurs as well as the present owners to make their business more efficient,” said Chef Morugama, Managing Director of Okura Hotel Services revealing the purpose behind the latest venture.
Chef Morugama’s experience in the hospitality industry spans nearly three decades in which he has worked as Executive Chef and later as the Director of Catering of Cinnamon Grand. He has also won many accolades such as a Gold Medal of Excellence for Sri Lankan Cooking, a Silver Medal for Cold Food Preparations and a Bronze Medal for Gastronomic Cooking. Chef Liyanage, with an experience that expands over two decades in the hospitality sector has worked as an Executive Chef in Cinnamon Grand. Thus, bringing all their expertise and know-how to Okura Hotel Services, they are planning to fulfil the lack of proper guidance in the culinary field of Sri Lanka.
The services and products provided by Okura Hotel Services include presenting solutions on menu designing, initiating standards and maintaining consistency, imparting knowledge about how to design a perfect service kitchen/kitchen area focusing on cost effectiveness and efficiency, aiding in the process of selecting and ordering the latest crockery and cutlery designs and training on HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and OHAS (Occupational Health and Safety) standards to name a few.
“For most of the hotels or restaurants there are no proper procedures, policies or control systems to maximise productivity and minimise wastage,” asserted Chef Morugama. “So taking these factors into consideration we developed concepts, kitchen designs, food and beverage designs, operational manuals and procedures – basically we are trying to provide total solutions for food and beverage related businesses in the form of instructions, guidance and ideas.”
With a vision and a mission of sharing their knowledge and experience with the new entrepreneurs in order to aid the development of the tourism industry of the country, Okura Hotel Services will focus on providing the much needed consultancy to carry on a successful food and beverage related business. Also, the company strives to stay in touch with the ever changing world of culinary as they attempt to introduce the latest eating habits, state-of-the-art cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery to Sri Lanka.
“We only initiated this service last year,” said Chef Liyanage, Director of Okura Hotel Services. “However, the response from the culinary world has been very good. Many investors are really happy because we have shown them how to do better in many areas and their profit has increased remarkably.”
Located at Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Okura Hotel Services hopes to open up a showroom to showcase the latest developments in the culinary arena in the heart of Colombo closer to all the hotels and new ventures that are opening up. Thus armed with many new objectives for the future to better expand their services Chef Morugama and Chef Liyanage assert that “food operation, is an ongoing process and there should be a good infrastructure for receiving, storing, processing, selling and dealing with balanced items. However, above all, a restaurant or hotel should be aware of how to satisfy the customers while taking care of their health.”