Following permission from the Cambodian authorities, the Sala Baï staff and students were delighted to see the Sala Baï restaurant, hotel and spa reopen in December 2021. These long-awaited reopenings took place in 3 stages.
The restaurant and the training hotel reopened first of all for the students and teachers to work and prepare themselves to welcome the customers in the best conditions. The students in the service and cooking classes worked with their teachers on different menus: an Asian menu, a Western menu and a vegetarian menu. December 20th, 2021 was a big day: after 9 months of closure, the Sala Baï training restaurant opened to the public. It is now possible to go there from Monday to Friday from 7am to 9am (and weekends on order) for breakfast and from 12pm to 2pm for lunch. On the same day, the Sala Baï application hotel also proved its worth. It is now possible to stay there and take advantage of all its services (beauty centre, bicycle rental, excursions…). Finally, the spa was able to reopen on the 10th of January 2022 and welcome customers between 3pm and 5pm for massages.
Whatever their specialty, the students couldn’t wait to meet customers and put everything they had learned into practice. Lach SOVY, in charge of the hotel operations in the Front Office department, says: “The staff and students are very happy and satisfied with the reopening of the hotel. As a trainer, this will help me a lot. Indeed, by observing the students in real situations with customers, I can know what goes well and what doesn’t and adapt my teaching accordingly. Practice is very important and with the closure of the hotel, the students have not been able to practice.”
Moreover, Sokhy CHEA in charge of a restaurant training program, insists on all that has been done to prepare for this big day. “Before the school reopened, we did online training for about two months. The practical distance learning was facilitated by having the mentors, all former students, at the boarding schools to help the students. As soon as the school was open, we focused on practical training so that we could take on clients very quickly.”
The curriculum consists of 30% academic courses and workshops and 70% professional practical teaching. The combination of theory and practice is essential for the students to get real benefits from their training. Through the latter they acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need for their professional activity. This practical training offers them the opportunity to develop themselves personally and to increase their level of qualification and their employability. It is by offering such vocational training that APLC fights poverty, human trafficking and can support the most disadvantaged families.
Sala Baï was pleased to welcome dozens of customers in December 2021, as well as in January 2022. These bookings were unexpected because since February 2020, due to the pandemic, customers had been scarce.