Horesca in Luxembourg: from yesterday to today.

Posted on April 13th, 2023

The history of the hotel and restaurant industry is a vast, fascinating and complex subject. The sector is a driving force of the economy in all countries, accounting for an average of 8% of direct and indirect jobs, which shows the importance of the sector in Europe and throughout the world.

The hotel, restaurant and tourism (HRT) sector is the one that has experienced the strongest global growth in the early 2000s, thanks in particular to international tourism flows. In 2020 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Horesca in Luxembourg.

The Horesca Magazine is an official monthly publication of the hotel, restaurant and cafe owners of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for all the catering trades.

Just before the Covid-19 epidemic, Luxembourg had 3,000 companies and 20,000 employees, representing 6% of gross domestic product (GDP)

Although we cannot list all the hotels and restaurants because they are so numerous, the model of the Hotel Le Royal, inaugurated in 1984, deserves to be mentioned: it is the only hotel in Luxembourg that is part of “The Leading Hotels of the World”, which includes 375 luxury hotels in 75 countries around the world. Also worth mentioning is the association “Les Clefs d’Or Luxembourgeoises” whose President, Mr. Simon Delcomminette, is also Chief Concierge of the hotel Le Royal with a motto “What the customer wants, Concierge can”.

  1. Delcomminette is thus the Ambassador of the country’s hotels with the Magazine – Concierge Les Clefs d’Or – which presents the most meticulous services and the most gourmet restaurants in Luxembourg, including the famous Luxembourgish Chef, Léa Linster.

Léa Linster is a restaurant owner in Frisange, 1 star in the Michelin Guide since 1987. She is the only woman in the world to date to have won the prestigious gastronomic competition “Bocuse d’OR” in 1989, a pride for our country.

In spite of this excellence, the Horesca sector in Luxembourg is currently lacking in qualified manpower. The fast pace of the workload, split shifts, on-call duty on weekends and holidays may explain this shortage.

This is an obstacle to the development and success of the Horesca sector in Luxembourg.

Despite these constraints, I was passionate about this sector and my activities for 15 years at the Palace Le Ritz, Place Vendôme in Paris and 35 years in Luxembourg.

This area has a rich history with famous names that have inspired me throughout my career. I will mention only two,

  • The very first chef to hold the title of chef de cuisine and pastry chef, Antonin Carème (1783-1833), nicknamed the king of chefs and the chef of kings
  • Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), the father of modern cuisine, revolutionized the organization of the kitchens of exceptional restaurants by creating brigades and organizing activities to smooth out the “fireworks”. His meeting with the Swiss hotelier César Ritz in 1884 gave birth to the rules of luxury hotels and palaces that are still valid today.

The art of management in the Horesca sector or some tips to share

Mobilize to win, that was my motto from my first responsibilities.

Here are my 5 golden rules for this job.

Rule 1: Good personnel management

This is the key to a successful business. It is necessary to obtain the adhesion of the collaborators whose first objective is the satisfaction of the customer. Attention to detail in the restaurant business is paramount and the passion for the customer is a driving force for the entire kitchen and dining room team. It is the customer who decides the success of the company. If he works alone, a business leader in the Horesca sector will never manage to do everything by the book and in a timely manner, especially in the restaurant business.


Rule 2: The 4 C’s rule

This is the rule that sums up luxury hotels and gastronomy: the Contact (the welcome of the Customer), the Care and Continuation (the perfect service) and finally the Leave (the departure of the Customer as important as the welcome).


Rule #3: attitude

Your attitude has an impact on your employees and your company: control of how you speak, behave and lead your team. Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you would like it to be. Be upfront with everyone, lead the way. Be prepared to accept the most unexpected points of view and especially to integrate them into your management style.


Rule #4: Anticipate and prepare

It is well known in our profession that a good set-up, both in the kitchen and in the dining room, is half the job. Quality is the fight of all which calls upon the best of each one and the solidarity of all the team to satisfy the customer in all circumstances. Oenology is intimately linked to Gastronomy, the art of serving wines at the right temperature with a perfect match with the dishes. The sommeliers’ mission is to coordinate with the maître d’hôtel, the kitchen, the service of the dishes and to take into account the tastes of the customer and his budget. Receiving a client means taking care of his happiness.


Rule #5: Enthusiasm

Your enthusiasm is to make people want to!

Excellence in the restaurant business is to share your experience with the enthusiasm of conviction, to work hard, to act with courage and to persevere in your attitude.

A customer is the main person of our company, he does not depend on us, we depend on him, he gives meaning and purpose to our work, our mission is to fulfill his wishes to never disappoint him.

I invite and encourage young people who wish to enter a profession in the Horesca sector to think carefully before choosing their profession. I am referring in particular to the Chinese philosopher Confucius who based his doctrine and recommendations 25 centuries ago with, in particular, this quote well known to all and still valid today:

Choose a job you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life


Michel Boufassa – Mentor sector Horesca BML asbl.