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#ADayInTheLife: Ever wondered what it’s like to be a Food & Beverage Category Manager for Onboard Retail?

If you’re new to the series, here’s what you need to know: we’re asking employees from various departments to tell us more about how they approach their work day, from managing their time, to work-life balance, to their hobbies. After all, what better way to showcase our workplace diversity than to get them to walk us through an average day?

Check out the interviews here:

 

Today, we’d like you to meet Viola Hara, Category Manager Food & Beverage Onboard Retail at Retail inMotion.

Name: Viola Hara

Position: Category Manager Food & Beverage Onboard Retail

Location: Cologne, Germany

Team Size: 7

Years of Experience: 4

 

Viola tells us that whenever she talks to people about her job, the usual reactions are “Wow, your job sounds super fun!” or “That is my dream job, are you hiring?”

Her surname is Japanese, she loves to do sports, she plays the piano and is passionate about health, wellness, and fitness. And, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she discovered that she enjoys urban gardening.

Without further ado, let’s allow her to tell us more about herself and her typical work day.

Describe your typical work day

My job is to streamline the food & beverage projects of our F&B customers. I am usually the first point of contact for suppliers and responsible for advising and distributing information to my category management colleagues.

Researching, menu presentations and networking (contacting suppliers, visiting food fairs etc.) are a big part of my job, too.

I can’t say I have a typical work day because every day is unique and somewhat unpredictable as I work with many customers simultaneously. This might sound cheesy, but the only constant is the atmosphere in the office, which is great because my colleagues and I are almost the same age, we have similar interests and laugh at the same jokes so you could say we’re in tune with one another. We trust and respect each other and this, for us, is the foundation of effective teamwork. 

What makes your job exciting?

Right now, sustainability and figuring out how to make the buy-on-board offering more sustainable. What’s interesting about sustainability is that it is very diverse; offering sustainable products (which donate to social cause, are biodegradable, plastic-free etc.) is what we are really focusing on at the moment.

We look at various ways to be sustainable, like reducing waste on board by adjusting loading techniques or using various synergies between our airline customers.

Furthermore, it’s incredibly rewarding to hold the printed menu in your hands after you’ve spent months working on it. Also, it’s a great feeling when you know that passengers are ordering the products that you carefully selected. I have to admit that I feel attached to each product because I know very well how much hard work and real teamwork is behind them.

Of course, there are also challenges to this job. Since I’m the contact person for suppliers, various departments and almost all other food and beverage (F&B) requests, prioritizing becomes challenging during the busy seasons. However, once you get to see and enjoy the fruits of your labor, it is all worth it!

 

If you’re interested in how Retail inMotion turns food & beverage trends into onboard retail reality, check out this article.