A Due Torri Hotel waitress’s recipe for a perfect welcome
Attention to detail, an impeccable welcome, and a smile. These are just some of the “secrets” confided to us by Tana Shqepa, a waitress at our hotel, in the breakfast room, the Due Torri Lounge & Restaurant, and on the Panoramic Terrace.
Do you remember your first day at the Due Torri Hotel?
Of course I do, and I remember that I was immediately taken by the place. Ten years have gone by since I first stepped into the Due Torri, after being recruited as a commis waitress. As soon as I set foot in the hall, I was struck by the building, so imposing and so full of history, and overwhelmed with emotion. I certainly set off on the right foot. My respect for such a special place made me want to give of my all every day to meet the its high standards. And I’m still working with the selfsame spirit today.
The management of a restaurant’s dining room and its staff has very precise rules, especially in a prestigious hotel. Which, in your view, are the most important?
I’m convinced that first impressions are fundamental. A perfect welcome is a matter of details, such as the warmth of a gesture, a smile, kindness and discretion. The whole staff is involved as we are, all of us, the face of the hotel and assume the role of “masters of the house”. We know that every client is different: there are coeliacs, vegans, international guests and so on. This is why we are always careful to meet their every need, anticipating and dealing with all their requests. It’s a position of responsibility: the table has the power to draw people in, and experiences that later become indelible memories are born around food.
When you’re travelling or when you eat out, what are the first things you note about the service?
It’s natural for me, out of professional bias, to note every detail, from overall organisation to small tricks of the trade. Since I work in the sector I can pick up on the minor things. I may find myself on the other side of the fence as a client, but I know the hard work involved in the dining room and what happens behind the scenes. So I appreciate all the more the people who do their best to offer me a pleasant experience.
What are the first three things you check to see if a table is perfectly set?
The dining room has to be complete, immaculately clean and coherent: meaning that the tables have to be set the same way with the same standard of care and refinement. The general atmosphere also has to be up to par: welcoming and elegant, a mirror of the hotel it represents. These principles should be applied to all the different areas: the terrace, the bar and the restaurant.
What’s your favourite memory of your career at the Due Torri Hotel?
Every day is different at the hotel, where one event follows another and important guests, many of them celebrities, gather. But what is stamped in my memory the most is my own experience. I think with gratitude of the colleagues and the people who have been at my side and supported me, teaching me the importance of behaving correctly and wearing a smile, and spurring me on to give of my all. It’s not a single moment that comes to mind but a whole series of experiences that have left a mark on me and transformed me.