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Hospitality ON Event - Awards

Worldwide Hospitality Awards

Tuesday 30 November 2021 à 18:00

Lauréat - Best Iconic Employee

Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris

Campaign - Werner KUCHLER - Plaza Athénée Paris

Cette candidature n'est disponible qu'en anglais / This application is only available in English.

“Is it time to go? What, already?”… “OK, then. But let’s book for next month. It was such fun!” “Yes, do come again. It’s the last Wednesday of the month!” That’s what you can hear in the restaurant room, when Werner Küchler stops to sing and puts down his microphone a Wednesday Night of Swing and Jazz.

Werner Küchler’s expertise and spontaneity have indeed been delighting clients at the Relais Plaza for over forty years, giving them the feeling that they belong to one great family. Known to stars and to less famous clients alike, he provides a sincere, warm welcome but his impeccable manners ensure that he never intrudes on a client’s personal space

In 1969, Werner arrived in Paris. He was eighteen years old and his main ambition was to learn French and explore the City of Light’s treasures. To achieve this, he decided to work in restaurants, where he would come into contact with clients. That was what he knew how to do. It was what he enjoyed. He started as waiter at the Hôtel Intercontinental. From there, he moved to the Prince de Galles, the Maison d’Allemagne and, finally, in 1972, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée where he was employed as head waiter in room service. 

Werner did not stop there. When, in October 1980, he joined the staff of the Relais Plaza and was later appointed Director of the Relais Plaza, Werner, who originally came from Bavaria, quickly won over his clients thanks to his wonderful personality and his charisma.

In addition to his popularity with the clients, Werner has made subtle changes to the Relais Plaza, but “slowly – our clients don’t like being rushed”. He did so by listening to them and providing what they wanted before they had even asked for it. In 1980, despite Management’s doubts, he organised the Relais Plaza’s first musical New Year’s Eve. It was a huge success. “Thank You” letters began pouring in the next day. He repeated the experiment for the Russian New Year on 13 January and, again, clients came to dance and have fun. They loved it and thanked him for it. That set the rhythm. Now, since 20 years already, the Relais Plaza hosts a jazz evening every month and the “Swing’in Relais” evenings are an event not to be missed. Accompanied by the piano or a jazz band, Werner offers a répertoire of jazz that may be exuberant or velvety smooth. It all depends on his mood or the time of night. The program includes classics made famous by Ray Charles, Yves Montand or Charles Aznavour. Guests discreetly tap their feet or get up for a dance. Some of them may even hope, secretly, that Werner will ask them to come and accompany him at the microphone. The success of his Swinging Nights is such that kings and queens from all over the world ask to play private concerts.

 

Do you want to learn more about Werner? Did you know that:

- he was the first one who introduces apprentice in the restaurant room of a palace thirty years ago

- Marilyn Dietrich once cooked a Boeuf Bourguignon for Werner

- at the age of 50 years, has crossed the US by bike, from Chicago to L.A, passing through three deserts (Nevada, Mojave and the valley of death)  

- he has organised a unique concert at Hôtel Plaza Athénée with an ensemble of the prestigious Viennese Philharmonic Orchester

- he is jury member for the title of “Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Maître d’Hôtel”

 

 “I feel good here. I’m delighted to work with the team and I’m fortunate enough to have a Management that listens to what I have to say and understands what I’m getting at,” says Werner. “Clients are aware of that and, at a time when great use is made of smoke and mirrors, they appreciate our straightforward approach”

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