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Catching up with Romain Nicoli !  - Vatel

Catching up with Romain Nicoli !

This week we had the chance to go to Marseille in France and visit Vatel Switzerland alumni, Romain Nicoli. He has become the Deputy Director of Marketing Strategies at Chef Gerald Passedat’s 3* Michelin group.


We asked Romain why he oriented himself towards the hotel industry and why in particular did he choose to pursue studies at Vatel Switzerland ?

He states, “After a year of Business School in Paris, I realized that I wanted to get into the working world as soon as possible and pursue a degree that encompassed a work-study program to further my future career objectives. When I was very young, I had a strong interest in this industry and it was then that I had the idea to pursue a Hotel Management School.”

Why Vatel? I not only looked for a well reputable school, but I was also in search of a well-established network and above all, a program which encompasses a mix between practical and theoretical application as well as internship experience. This is what enticed me to pursue this school!

Why choose to study in Switzerland? The choice is obvious, it’s known worldwide for its renowned prestige in the hotel industry!

How did your experiences lead you to becoming Deputy Director and the Head of Business Strategies ?

I had a focused goal, to quickly become efficient in areas that I like the most: catering and management. 

The trainings offered by Vatel as well as the opportunity to reach the professional world quickly allowed me to acquire the skills and competencies I needed fast. What I learned was a sense of relationship, analyzing the customer experience, meticulousness, and how to work in a professional environment.

After having 4 years of Operational F&B experience, I had the chance and the opportunity to go into more of a sales and marketing direction for Gérald Passedat’s establishments.

As an outcome of my performance and results, my professional life really took off once I was offered the position as Marketing and Events Manager. A year later I was offered the position as Deputy Director; in charge of Marketing strategies.

You work in a group with Michelin star chefs for Gerald Passedat, what’s the inner scoop for working for such a prestigious group?

We always have our pre-set ideas on what it can be like within a company, people talk a lot and rumors are often made on big names… There are friends, enemies, and journalists. We never know what we are getting into, and who to believe.

The challenge in working in a business that grew rapidly is what excited me. The Petit Nice ( a 3* in the Michelin guide) celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017 but since 2013 the group has now expanded into 5 restaurants, a take away store, and will soon open a new establishment in Paris.

With all these opportunities for expansion in view, it was therefore necessary to grow very quickly whilst maintain the foundation. The goal is to develop concepts that respect Gérald Passedat’s brand image, maintain growth in our establishments, improve profitability and satisfy more and more customers.

When you have an objective, you have to follow it, you have to believe in its potential and use your know-how from past experiences. There is always something to learn, something positive to take with you.

At the end, we must prevail, through trial and error, we learn from our mistakes and keep growing!

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