Opening a new restaurant in Brussels as an intern

Opening a new restaurant in Brussels as an intern


SchoolCésar Ritz Colleges




My name is Duygu Numan, but my friends call me Didi. I am Turkish, but I was born and raised in Bulgaria. Being Turkish and being raised in a vastly different country makes me appreciate the magnificence of social differences. My hospitality education journey has been an exciting exploration, leading me to delve deeper into the complexities of people, culture and the industry.

What really excites me is the joy I have in working with individuals. I experience a profound sense of satisfaction when seeing a happy sparkle in someone's eye after experiencing the service I provide them. Living in the midst of a divergent social environment in Bulgaria has had an important influence on my approach to hospitality. For me, hospitality is not just about providing a service, but rather about creating meaningful moments. This unique perspective, shaped by my Turkish roots and Bulgarian life, gives me a deeper understanding of hospitality.

As I continue to explore this dynamic field, I am happy to contribute to the rich tapestry of the industry while cherishing the connections that I have formed among hospitality professionals.


Take us on a journey – where did you dive into your internship, and what role did you play in the exciting world of hospitality?

My internship at the Marriott Grand Palace in Brussels, centered around the opening of the restaurant Rotisse, was a transformative journey filled with excitement, camaraderie, and deep fulfillment. The sense of anticipation in the air was palpable as we meticulously prepared for the grand unveiling of our new restaurant.

From setting up the dining area to making sure every detail matched Rotisse's unique vision, all the work contributed greatly to creating a unique dining experience. I played a central role in training a team of 12 new members, and we experienced a tremendous level of camaraderie as we shared a commitment to Rotisse’s success.

The opening day was a dynamic whirlwind that required adaptability and multitasking skills. 
Whether managing reservations or taking on various roles within the food and beverage department, we experienced a sense of challenge and accomplishment at every moment. 
But the real essence of the experience centered around the direct interaction with guests. The joy and satisfaction they felt as they tasted the carefully prepared food enriched the entire experience.

Looking back on my time at Rotisse, the shared emotion, teamwork, and dedication of staff to serving our guests made this internship a memorable first chapter in my exploration of the dynamic world of hospitality and culinary arts.


Picture your internship experience as a spice in a recipe. How has this flavorful experience seasoned your perception of the hospitality and culinary industry?

My internship at Marriott Grand Palace, especially the opening of Rotisse, was like an exotic new spice I discovered in an unfamiliar international recipe, one that woke up my taste buds and motivated me to look farther afield for more unique discoveries. Anticipation and careful preparation were the keynotes, with each task adding a specific element to the experience.

This flavorful journey has enriched my understanding with a mixture of passion, adaptability, and the satisfaction of creating unforgettable experiences for our guests.


Every journey has its mountains to climb. What challenges did you face during your internship, and how did you conquer them?

I faced long working hours, stress, and the complexity of banquet management during my internship at Marriott Grand Palace. To overcome these challenges, I prioritized effective communication and collaboration with the team. I adopted a proactive mindset, anticipated possible problems, and made contingency plans. Additionally, self-care and strategic time management were key to remaining calm under pressure. Ultimately, overcoming these challenges was a valuable learning experience that improved my resilience and adaptability, which I’m sure will serve me well in my next steps.


Reflecting on your internship, what particular moment or aspect do you feel has acted as a catalyst for your personal development?

One the key catalysts for my personal growth was being immersed in a French-speaking environment during the opening of Rotisse. The constant interactions with French-speaking teammates played a key role in enhancing my skills. In addition to language improvement, the challenges posed by such a dynamic, multilingual work environment fostered adaptability and cultural intelligence. Managing daily operations, from taking reservations to interacting with guests, was the foundation for honing problem-solving skills and building confidence in a fast-paced environment. Ultimately, communicating in French at Marriott Grand Palace not only enhanced my language abilities but also contributed to the broader development of essential skills I will need in my future career.


What is your recipe for success? What specific skills or qualities do you think are the magic ingredients for thriving in the dynamic world of hospitality?

Success comes from a combination of essential skills and qualities: Adaptability, excellent communications, and a passion for the industry are essential for professionals to respond to changing trends and to exceed guest expectations. Attention to detail, teamwork, and continuous learning further contribute to a thriving and innovative environment, with every element critical to delivering a great experience. Those are the keys to staying competitive in this ever-evolving industry. Additionally, problem-solving skills and cultural sensitivity are essential to ensure smooth operations and create an inclusive atmosphere.

Effective time management and a commitment to continuous learning further enhance the recipe for success and provide hospitality professionals with essential tools to succeed in a dynamic and competitive environment.


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