Matt Neal tells Indonesia Expat about his background, his role in HMSHost Indonesia, and their success in the airport food & beverage industry.
Can you tell us about your background?
I’ve been in hospitality for 15 years, mainly in franchising but also have owned/operated hotels/bars and organic cafes. Prior to this, I was a police officer for 13 years.
What is your experience in the airport food & beverage industry?
Now I have over five years of experience in the airport food & beverage industry with HMSHost Indonesia.
When did you start working with HMSHost Indonesia?
I came to the paradise island of Bali in 2014 for a long holiday to escape some stress in Australia after a hard couple of years in business. There I was introduced to HMSHost through a mutual connection and then the opportunity for my role was offered to me in September 2014. I was happy to accept and haven’t looked back!
What are your responsibilities as the general manager?
The role requires me to work with many stakeholders and ‘juggle’ different situations and personalities to reach a clear goal and vision for the company. I’m honoured to be appointed as the general manager to lead such an amazing team of more than 450 colleagues on both Bali and Jakarta operations, also looking into other areas for expansion. I truly believe we have the best people on the island with the passion, innovation and experience to set the bar even higher for the emerging airport food & beverage industry.
What are HMSHost Indonesia’s strengths?
One of the key differentiation elements to our success is down to the quality of our team members with the ability to raise our service standards.
And as a group, HMSHost Indonesia brings a wealth of industry knowledge, experience and commitment as part of the global restaurateur, Autogrill Group | HMSHost International, the world’s leading provider of food and beverage services for people on the move in more than 120 airports around the globe.
What are the special innovation efforts of HMSHost Indonesia?
We are thrilled that our innovative brand portfolio that enhances value and excitement has been the proven success of our efforts to bring worldwide culinary experiences to the expansion and renovation of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in 2013 with nine food & beverage concepts. Three years later, we were given the opportunity to operate nine food & beverage concepts at the new terminal project, Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta.
We are proud to deliver the best in-class brands to provide popular choices for travellers looking for familiarity such as the first branch of the UK’s favourite coffee shop, Costa Coffee Indonesia at Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport and first on the island, The Coffee Club, known as Australia’s largest home-grown café group. HMSHost Indonesia also partnered with outstanding national or local brands to capture the taste and character of specific regions such as Djournal Coffee by Ismaya that was recently recognised as the Best Airport Coffee Shop in Asia Pacific or our own proprietary brands that serve authentic Indonesian and Asian cuisine.
What are the plans for expansion in the future?
Indonesia is becoming a more popular destination for tourists and the airport sector in Indonesia is developing at a rapid pace for further development to accommodate the market demand.
There is still plenty of room for us on future growth and we look forward to contributing to Indonesia’s airport sector growth in the coming years.