Shall we treat this like a blind date for just a moment?
Where we will get to know each other, and get excited from the first meeting – You from my words, Me from the fact that they are now exposed to you?
And You will ask – so what are you going to write about?
Which will make me take a moment and tell you – it’s complicated.
There will not be only one clear topic, because we’re just going to talk about everything.
Because this world I am coming from has no single definition, and no single subject it deals with.
Because this world deals with people, their experiences, their pleasures.
Also, imagine that this is the known part of this world – the part that covers the hours from the moment the door opens, and the evening begins, until the door closes. When you sit down at the table, or at the bar. Thinking about what you would like to drink, meanwhile behind the scenes there is a whole system – hostess, shift manager, floor service, bartenders, bar backs, cooks, and cleaning staff. When You will enjoy the music that is playing, and behind the scenes will be a playlist that we have thought of, or a DJ we cast that will outline the energy but will not take it over. Where the volume will be accurate because it is not too high but also not that low. Meaning – it is exactly the volume that needs to be played, and the space is crowded with human voices.
And the lighting – It will change as the evening progresses, they must.
It will not be too dark, and it will not be too bright, its color will be yellow, like that of smoked whiskey.
It will flatter you, the person in front of you, and the scenery, saying – Now you can sit back, relax and let the place do its magic.
Without you noticing, a service person will fill up your glass with water, without you asking, replace the dirty napkin with a new one, and wait for this small sign from you, saying I’m ready.
Because we are service people, even if from time to time we will put our star quality outside and get the jiggy with it.
After all you came for us too…
And before you know it, next time you come, we will call the name of your regular Drink or Cocktail. Yes, we already know what it is.
While your evening is made up of Drinks, Music, Food and Conversations and Laughter Sounds are rolling. We are all around the little details that shape your experience.
But this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the easiest part of our profession. Let’s call it – The visible part of what the HOSPITALITY WORLD is – a situation and the reaction to it.
Question is what comes prior to opening doors?
How do you get to identify a situation before it occurs, how do you react to it as a Service person?
How, as an Owner / Manager, do you teach your team what your “I BELIEVE” is ; what are your values of humanity and service code ?
How you turn them from a bunch of people meeting for the first time – into an Unbreakable group that trusts each other, that teaches each other, strengthens, and puts in place when needed?
Now, your menu
What does it consist of and what does it want to say, what are the processes you go through until it’s finalized?
Where does it stands in relation to your environment, and in relation to the world of hospitality in this current period?
What does the world in general need right now? Because in many ways you carry Its flag ( Small hint – sustainability, leadership, humanity and tolerance ).
I’ve managed to surprise you, ha – not exactly the topics crossing in your mind, when you think of the world of hospitality. Well, good. I like surprises.
Bars and Coffee houses (much more than restaurants ), are the everyday sanctuaries of today. They define community, they are islands of refuge, they are the human connection. We all understood that in this COVID period. When Bars, Restaurants and Coffee Houses were closed. Yes, while there was a period of time where you could buy a drink from the bar, It wasn’t like sitting on it.
And holding a plastic glass is not like holding a real glass. Suddenly, all this magic of dialogue and spending an evening at the bar were gone. How much we’ve needed that hug, that place that was there all the time, and had to remain closed.
And the truly great happiness of returning to it. To feeling part of something. Alongside this existing fear that maybe restrictions will return, and again this place, which is so important to the soul, will be closed again. Complicated huh…
In almost every city in the world, big or small, advanced, or defined as a third world, you can find a counter, behind it there will be a person who will serve you something to drink. This place is where you in this modern lifetime will consume your culture, your politics, your excitements, and your discourses. You will go to it in pairs, in groups or with a book in hand. It can be your local bar, or located in a different city, in a different country and with a different language.
Your night can end after one drink, or you will find yourself around a table, where there are bottles of wine and different people drinking different cocktails. Where everyone gathers, having conversations, discovering one another for first time.
This world of hospitality ( Restaurant, Bar, Coffee Houses, Hotels ) is a wonderful world, which requires those who operate in it, to be alert at all times. Being humble all the times and learning all the time – learning and curiosity never goes away – they will be the ones that will march you forward.
It is a world built on tempo, on energy. It is built on hours of training. It is built on nuances of lighting, and precise music for that moment (a theme in itself, and yes – we will obviously talk about it ). It is built on service people who do not sin against their profession. It is built on a relationship between our customer and us, the service people. It is built on trust. Trust is an important component – oh yes, definitely going to write about that too.
But it is mostly built on you, our guests. Your excitement about our places. Your organization from the moment you left work and came to us. We definitely get you in the better part of your day, no doubt. Now it is when you give pleasures and night to serve you.
You will spend a lot of time with us, experience great experiences, or small and intimate ones.
You will experience them by yourself, or with people you came with or met at the bar.
New people you will get to know in our places, will become key figures in your life.
We are your psychologist, the clergyman, the lovers, the friends who do not judge you. We are all these, and yet we can also be just passers-by in your life, but better not. Furthermore, we’re pretty cool.
So, I wrote a lot. Full of topics intertwined with each other, because that’s how this world is. It is tangled and branched and has much more than the 18.00 hour when the doors open.
And it will be my pleasure to tell you about it.
And you, as readers, must trust me. Sometimes my perspective will be different, because I come from a different culture, and I was exposed to different and new cultures and values that made me a perfect storyteller for this journey of ours. It will not consist of Italian culture alone, but from what the various cities in which I have lived and moved and worked. From the different people I worked with, and from whom I have learned. In short – a whole world, made up of miraculous differences.
It will be interesting, I promise.
So, shall we meet here next week?
In the meantime, go have a drink, we are waiting for you…