'IT'S LONG HOURS, and it's hard work,' that's how Randal Linhart, who works in one of Hong Kong's finest hotels, describes his job in the catering industry. As the assistant food and beverage manager at the Island Shangri-la, Hong Kong, he monitors daily catering operations. Today, as usual, he needs to work more than 12 hours. Mr Linhart says: 'Basically, you've got to be very passionate about it [the job].' 9 am: Mr Linhart starts his workday checking incoming mail, including internal mail. It is the first thing he does every morning. Before holding a daily briefing with all the managers of the food and beverage department, he goes to the two restaurants on the 56th floor to make sure all the tables are set properly and everything is running smoothly. Then he goes to the Chinese restaurant to enjoy his breakfast - a nice cup of coffee. After that, he reports to his boss. 10.30 am: Daily briefing at the Lobster Bar. During the half-hour meeting, everyone reports on what they have to do for the day and details and arrangements for banquets and other functions are discussed. Customers' comments are reviewed. 'The meeting is not usually that long,' the 31-year-old manager says. 'Because this is the slow season, we use the time to revise our menus and upgrade our services.' He thinks his job is like a roller coaster ride. 'Each moment has its excitement,' he says. On busy days like today, Mr Linhart rushes from the ballroom to the function room and then to other locations such as Government House to provide catering services. Sometimes he and his staff have to prepare a hall for a wedding banquet for 600 people in 30 minutes. When he has a spare moment, he takes care of details like flower arrangements for banquets. Mr Linhart, who has worked in London, Sydney, Jakarta, Dubai and Singapore, says when he is not very busy, he tries to get all the small things done to provide the quickest and best service for his guests. 11.30 am: A special task for today is to prepare lunch for a special guest at the hotel. Accompanied by two of his staff, Mr Linhart goes to the guest's room to serve lunch. The assistant manager says it is important for those who work in the service industry to bear in mind that 'we are here to serve'. 'You're around glamorous people, you're working in a glamorous environment, but you have to stop thinking that it's glamorous,' the Canadian adds. After a quick 30-minute lunch, Mr Linhart heads for Government House. 3.50 pm: As the hotel is renovating the cafe on the fifth floor, Mr Linhart meets the executive assistant manager and a tailor to discuss new designs for staff uniforms. He also discusses design ideas with a Japanese interior designer. After that, he meets with his boss and the human resources department to discuss details for the cafe's re-opening. His work day goes on till about 10 pm. Mr Linhart has helped his mother, a great cook, organise outdoor functions since he was 10. He worked as a part-time waiter at a restaurant in Vancouver during his high school days. 'I was really fascinated by how organised my mother was and how she made the guests' dreams come true,' he says. He studied tourism administration at university while working part-time at a hotel. Speaking with almost 17 years of experience, Mr Linhart says newcomers in the industry should gain practical experience of how to handle different situations. As for himself, he really enjoys his work and plans to stay in the field for some more years.