I’ve recently returned from ten days on the Greek island of Rhodes, now I know you’re expecting me to witter on about the taverns I visited, the cafes in Rhodes Old Town serving aromatic coffees, the amazing restaurants in Lindos and St. Paul’s Bay offering the freshest fish dishes, and let’s not forget the honey drenched Baklava which became a daily delight I’m ashamed to say.
Don’t get me wrong it was all amazing but what struck me the most was the front-of-house service at our hotel, the Atrium Platinum Resort, Ixia.
The team took a huge amount of pride in their work; every morning and evening we were greeted by the Maître d’ who always had a few moments to ask us about our day. Picking up on the fact we preferred to dine at a window table she went out of her way to ensure we had just that for breakfast and dinner. The waiting team always remembered I preferred my milk served separately when it comes to coffee (yes I know I’m fussy!), the chef that managed the egg station – officially the hardest working man during breakfast service who could fry 20 eggs, boil ten and make eight omelettes all at the same time , and most impressively noted that a certain elderly gentleman always had “two eggs, boiled, four minutes!”
The bar staff took pride in knowing my room number and ‘special drink’ requests (I prefer lime with my G&T don’t you know) – despite serving hundreds of guests – without prompting, and even on departure the Maître d’ during dinner service made a special effort to say good bye and wish us well for the journey home.
By the end of the holiday I felt I was saying goodbye to friends and it was the staff that had gone the extra mile that made the Atrium Platinum what it was – not the facilities or the food which were of the highest standard. For a country that relies heavily on tourism, the Rhodean hotel had instilled its team to be proud of what they do and inspired them to strive for the best and as a guest I really felt it.
During the flight home it got me thinking about Fred Sireix’s campaign ‘National Waiters Day’ which launched earlier this year to celebrate all front-of-house staff in the UK and instil that same pride which was so clear in Rhodes. It’s such a shame that Joe Publics’ perception of working in British hospitality as an unskilled job, when to do it successfully takes a huge amount of dedication, hard work and discipline. Let’s start recognising and celebrating them!
For more information about National Waiters Day visit www.nationalwaitersday.com
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