German citizen Alexander Bez has been working in the Davos hotel industry for almost 16 years. Currently at Hotel Dischma, he looks after employees of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). (Kristian Kapp, swissinfo.ch)
“I came here to go skiing,” says Alexander Bez. That was in 2001, and the man from Stuttgart has been here ever since. Always employed by Davos hotels, the German worked as a chef or sous-chef. He quickly realised that the WEF is a special week when working in a hotel in the restricted security area near the conference.
“The food deliveries are controlled by the police. There’s only one entrance, and no stranger can enter the hotel.”
Bez has never had a problem with it. “I always thought it was funny. It’s really like a movie.” As a kitchen chef, he regularly received special requests. “The president of Tanzania, for example, brought his own cook, who showed us what to do.” He’s always been able to fulfil every wish – except for one. “Somebody wanted a blueberry yoghurt muffin, and right away. That wasn’t possible.”
In general, Bez does not change his menus during the WEF, with two exceptions. “There’s nothing with pork, and we don’t cook anything with alcohol. That ensures a much calmer time. To be certain, we don’t have any pork on hand during that week.”
For almost two years, Bez has been running the Dischma as hotelier. The security precautions are no longer as intense, since the Dischma is outside the tightest security zone and houses “only” the Swiss public television staff rather than prominent politicians. But the work during the WEF is no less time-consuming for Bez.
“For me, WEF means five 16- to 18-hour days.” But he isn’t complaining. “The hotels are full, the restaurant is well-visited and the advertising for Davos is good. It’s fun.” The WEF week is as profitable as the one between Christmas and New Year.
But “fantasy” prices aren’t allowed – despite the high demand. Bez declares: “We hoteliers all sign an agreement that the rooms cannot be more expensive than they are between Christmas and New Year.”