This month’s Member Spotlight features Justin Williams, Head of Amenities (The Americas) at Morgan Stanley. Justin answered several questions for us.
You are a new SHFM member. What do you get out of your involvement?
I will be attending my first SHFM event on 13th April and this will give me the opportunity to build contacts with people in my industry whom I might not encounter otherwise and access to events which can positively impact the way I manage my business. I recently relocated to NYC from Hong Kong, so I am still building my network here.
What is the biggest challenge you face in business (as the Head of Amenities for Morgan Stanley), and how do you manage it?
Amenity Services are both a client service and a staff benefit and the biggest challenge is managing expectations on the cost of the services we provide. Comparing one item out of context is not a true reflection of the cost/benefit of the total service. Sometimes people get too caught up with the minutiae without looking at the larger picture and it becomes our job to explain that.
We welcomed you to the association recently, in March; what triggered your decision to join?
Operating food and hospitality services in an investment bank is a rather niche market but many challenges we face have a common theme in other environments. I feel that SHFM is the perfect place for me to be able to benefit from the collective experience that the members bring and enable me to stay at the forefront of the fast changing pace of food innovation.
How do you keep your customers happy?
In the words of John Lydgate ‘you can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ and that is especially true in our world. Like most businesses, we hear the things that went wrong more than the positive feedback so we try to engage the office managers on a regular basis. These lines of communication help us to nip problems in the bud while maintaining enthusiasm for our next innovation or food program launch.
What and where was the best meal you have ever had?
I have been very fortunate to have travelled extensively, having lived in Asia for more than 20 years. I have several favourites so it is hard to pick just one, but I guess it would have to be PeraMakan at the Keppel Club, Singapore. It is one of my absolute favourites and a must whenever I visit. Peranakan food is a unique blend of Chinese and Malaya ingredients with rich, strong flavours.
I have not fully explored the restaurant scene in the U.S., but my favourites here have been Hank’s Fine Steaks at Green Valley Ranch, NV.