September 2012: The devil’s in the detail when you’re organising a successful conference or event, and nobody knows that better than the busy bees at African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa – the second largest conference centre in Cape Town after the CTICC.
Conferencing STAFF at the hotel have been doing the sums for the first 8 months of this year and they’ve come up with some startling statistics about the Meetings, Conferences and Exhibitions that they’ve hosted that’ll make even the most addicted caffeine fiends choke on their Joe.
That’s because the first figure they calculated (while drinking copious amounts of it to work out the sums) was that the 31 501 delegates had so far this year consumed a staggering 126 004 cups of coffee.
But what’s coffee without a pastry when you’re having your elevenses? Tons of those – quite literally – have been dispatched from the kitchen to hungry conference-goers in the 8-month period.
According to the hotel’s bakery, which makes the tasty treats delegates are all too happy to nibble on, the following has gone into conferencing preparation for the period:
- A total of 378 012 canapés have been assembled.
- A total of 47 251 croissants have been baked.
- Nearly 5 tons (4 800kg) of butter was used to make the various types of conferencing pastries.
- Those same pastries used 11 520 eggs (or 960 dozen).
- And they also gobbled up 800kg of sugar.
- For chocoholics, imagine being locked in a room with the 480kg (nearly half a ton) of organic chocolate used to make those pastries extra sweet and delicious.
While sweet nibbles are great for tea breaks, they don’t really hit the spot for lunch after a long morning of concentration. Sushi and lamb are two of the favourites that do, though! In the first 8 months of the year the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa prepared for delegates:
- More than 1.5 tons (1 600kg) of double lamb racks.
- The same amount of sustainably caught salmon (1 600kg) that went into sushi and sashimi.
- And perhaps the most mind-boggling fact of all considering the sheer volume – 134.4kg of lettuce leaves.
There’s more to conference packages than what originates in the kitchen, though. STAFF members in the conferencing department have worked some 2 304 hours each since the beginning of the year to make sure every meeting and conference the hotel hosts turns out absolutely perfect – and that includes replacing some 13 920 pens that have gone walkabout with delegates!
African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa General Manager Gary Koetser is a little blasé about the staggering stats, because he says he has “arguably the best hotel TEAM in South Africa”.
“We have magnificent conferencing facilities and our location in the Century City lifestyle precinct is ideal for delegates staying over, but the hotel is only as successful because we have a consummately professional STAFF from the scullery to the Executive Chef, the Banqueting Manager to the Conference Butlers.
“Putting together a big conference means bringing scores of disparate elements together in the same place at the same time, and you can’t do that unless you have the best TEAM,” Koetser said.
Protea Hospitality Group Director of Sales, Marketing and Revenue, Danny Bryer, said African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa has proven to be a phenomenal success since it opened less than two years ago.
“When we were in the design phase of the hotel we knew that we were creating a property like no other in Cape Town; one that was half deluxe executive hotel and half convention centre. It filled a niche that was clearly void if one looks at the volume of conferencing the hotel has hosted since it opened.
“But perhaps more important is looking at the forward bookings, which shows corporates are still very hungry for the stylish environment and brilliant service culture that African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa provides,” Bryer said. “And on the subject of hunger, at this rate we might have to invest in a couple of chicken, dairy and sheep farms just to keep up with demand!”
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