“Full circle” with his career in the tourism and hospitality industry is a unique way to describe how Lancelot Wilson, food and beverage manager at Sandals Royal Plantation (SRP) in Ocho Rios, has been growing within the Sandals chain of resorts. His journey follows his start with the company, migrating, and then making his return to his first love in the department where he first started.
Upon completing his tertiary studies at the College of Hospitality and Vocational Skills in Ocho Rios, Wilson went on to take up a six weeks’ internship opportunity in December 2004 at the then Sandals Dunn’s River in the food and beverage department.
Having received the most robust foundation training in the industry, Wilson was immediately drawn to multiple job offers, which he explored then decided to accept his calling into the food and beverage department. For the next five years, Wilson covered areas in room service, as a dining room server and host in two other all-inclusive resorts locally. Wilson then migrated to Canada in May 2010, a period that he described as a very eye-opening one.
“The working experience in Canada’s hospitality industry is vastly different from the local industry. But having received world-class training at Sandals, I was never fazed, and I applied myself wherever I was placed,” said Wilson.
“I treated this as a further awareness and exposure opportunity and, upon venturing back to Jamaica [in July 2015], I received the most welcome return to the Sandals brand when I was offered a job as restaurant supervisor at Sandals Royal Plantation.”
Within two years, Wilson was promoted to assistant bar manager. Still yearning for more professional development, he applied for and was accepted into the Sandals Management Training Programme (MTP). As he started his two-year-long, dedicated training across all departments within the company, Wilson was initially placed in the cost control department at Sandals Ochi beach resort.
Within six months of starting the programme, he did so well that he was asked by the executive team at Sandals Royal Plantation to take up the role of assistant manager in the food and beverage department.
“All Sandals guests demand the highest level of service and the training I have received at Sandals has allowed me to deliver on that alongside an incredible team dedicated to providing unparalleled service each day,” Wilson explained.
He added, “The resort leadership empowers us to always give more than our guests expect and, in turn, my leadership style has been moulded on a family-oriented approach where I always try to set an example for my team and treat each guest with a personalised touch. This kind of work environment makes you want to give more daily and ensure that one’s personal and professional goals are constantly aligned with what the company has been providing for more than 40 years.”
While growing in the industry, Wilson is always mindful of the dynamic elements involved in the day-to-day operations of a resort and the commitment that it takes to always provide exemplary service. The 17-year veteran attributes his work ethic and consistent growth and diligence within the industry to what he has learnt with the Sandals brand and its leadership values.
“To be given such an awesome leadership role within the organisation is a humbling experience. The mandate that has been placed on me to lead the food and beverage department at times can seem daunting. But, like my mantra, I live daily to believe that the difference between good and great is passion. I have given my fullest commitment to my team to create an atmosphere where everyone is motivated to provide exemplary service to our guests,” Wilson said.
General manager at SRP, Arnold Nugent, has made no secret of his appreciation for the work Wilson has done.
“The dynamism of the food and beverage team is displayed in how the leader, Lancelot, has been able to motivate each member to be exceptional. His leadership qualities are outstanding. He continues to grow as a leader and this augurs well for the resort and the Sandals brand,” said Nugent.