Afiqah Ahmad Zakuan

Afiqah Ahmad Zakuan – Assistant Bar Manager

Afiqah Ahmad Zakuan

In this interview, Afiqah Ahmad Zakuan describes her role as assistant bar manager at Eastern & Oriental Penang.

What do you do?

On a day-to-day basis, I oversee bar operations at Farquhar’s Bar —everything from setting up for opening to inventory control and mixing drinks for guests. Additionally, I train my staff on product knowledge to ensure they can make suitable recommendations.

How did you get into the industry?

I majored in tourism and hospitality, wanting to enter the hospitality industry from a young age. While studying, I worked part-time at a bar, starting in the back before eventually landing a job here at Farquhar’s Bar. I worked my way up to my current position. I never envisioned this role but grew fond of it after experiencing it.

What fond memory from your travels stands out?

Definitely travelling to the Philippines. I vividly remember waking up to music pouring from my neighbours’ karaoke session. The food, drinks, people, and the entire country had so much to offer. I loved it so much I keep returning. It’s an incredibly exciting travel destination.

What’s the best part of your job?

Being able to meet people from all over the world, listen to their stories, and gain new knowledge is definitely the highlight.

What’s one of Afiqah Ahmad Zakuan’s favourite food and beverage pairings?

Beer and steak—a classic, always reliable.

What’s one of the funniest incidents you’ve witnessed behind the scenes?

The funniest thing I’ve seen is a group of intoxicated ladies fighting over balloons.

The perfect day off would be…

Something simple, like chilling by the beach.

What does Afiqah Ahmad Zakuan do for fun?

I play Frisbee and people-watch for fun.

What would you like guests to know about the Eastern & Oriental Hotel?

There’s a cool bar with amazing drinks called Farquhar’s Bar!

How have you grown in your profession? What are your key learnings from your start in the industry until now?

I started in the back of the bar, gradually moving to the front as a bartender, and finally reaching my current position as assistant bar manager. It’s a source of immense pride.

I’ve learned that passion for your work and a willingness to learn are crucial to success. Don’t fear making mistakes; learn from them. Additionally, observe others—I’ve gleaned a lot just by watching. Every day brings a new learning opportunity.

What do you want people to know about being an Assistant Bar Manager?

It might seem like a relatively simple and fun job, but there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes. Constant learning and studying are required to refine our skills and knowledge.

What practices do you currently implement or hope to implement to work towards social responsibility and sustainability in the future?

Our top priorities are using organic, locally sourced ingredients to reduce our environmental impact and support the community, aligning with our commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. We also emphasize reducing food and beverage waste through composting and portion control.

What can guests look forward to in the upcoming months?

Guests can anticipate more guest shifts with renowned bartenders alongside some new menu items currently in development.

Read more interviews like this one with Afiqah Ahmad Zakuan here, and stay updated with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations here and here.

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