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Blog Article

A Day in the Life of Donna Phillipson

Aug 16, 2023

I can tell you now that having worked at the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort since mid-1986, no two days are the same in the Banquets & Catering Department! In particular, the last two years have been really, really busy and I have enjoyed every single day working here.

Just recently, there was a day that was a real standout. I came into work like every other day, first stop to see my Manager to check-in and then to the back office to collect the Event Orders for the day. I know I have a breakfast for a tour group at 8:30 am so I go and set up the room for that, polish the cutlery and glass ware and ensure the custom menus are crisp and fresh. Once I do that, I swing by the Director of Events office because it is going to be a pretty busy day. We go through the event orders and I realize that we have an exciting day ahead of us. We have a breakfast, staff appreciation luncheon, a wedding ceremony, and a local birthday dinner party that I need to set up for the evening shift.

Breakfast – The table is set on the Moa Moa Lanai for 32 pax. It looks amazing with the ocean in the background and everything is impeccable. I really enjoy making things special for our clients. Because it is so windy sometimes, I worked out that if I put the centerpieces in clear taller glasses, they don’t blow over. It works a great. Mike, the Tour Director comes and inspects the set up and loves it. The guests start to arrive, and I begin to offer juice and coffee. I take their orders and we expedite the service. They are off to the Nā Pali Coast for the day and I am off to set up for the wedding ceremony this afternoon. I am going to use the same breakfast setup on Moa Moa Lanai for the staff appreciation lunch.

Lunch – We have a really large appreciation luncheon today. We normally set for 12 but we have over 20 of my work friends being recognized today with one of them going to be named as Team Member of the Month. I want to make sure that they feel special. There are a few from my department so I am super proud. I make sure the table is well set and start setting up the wedding ceremony on the grass in front of the ocean.

Wedding Ceremony – The bride and groom live in Miami, Florida but are originally from Cuba. This is really strange because most of our guests come from the West Coast. They really wanted to experience the Aloha Spirit in Kauai. The day is gorgeous. Beautiful blue sea and skies, clouds and rainbows in the sky, it is the most ideal Kauai day. Four hours until the ceremony and we are ready. The arch is set up with native Hawaiian florals and the chairs are wrapped and bowed with pink ribbon. Time to set for the dinner.

Dinner – Dinner is for 32 people so not too large, but it is a cash bar and we want to make sure that we have a full bar that can make us the most revenue possible and satisfy the customer that their guests are getting value for money. As I am setting up the back bar for the dinner, I notice the bride’s mother and father for the ceremony going over to the wedding location. I want to get their feedback on my setup so walk over to greet them. They are dressed up in Island chic and look wonderful. The mother confided in me that the groom’s mother suggested she get her hair done that was expensive, but she did it for her new extended family. I am almost to them when the heaven’s open and rain pours down. I run over to them and direct them to a dry location. The rain stops as fast as it starts so I grab them towels to dry themselves. I grab a few for myself so that I can dry the tiffany chairs on the grass for the ceremony about to take place. My Director of Events, Corinne and General Manager, Julian, come out to help and in less that ten minutes, we were ready to host a wedding ceremony. I go back to setting for dinner and make sure the room and the set up looks good and that the night shift has everything it needs. My colleague, Brian, comes in for the night shift and I hand over to him ensuring he has all the correct information for the evening. I introduce him to the client for the evening and say good night.

It has been a great day and I really enjoy making a difference in so many people’s lives. I look forward to what tomorrow will bring.

A day in the life of Donna ?