Salthouse | Duty Calls
28 year-old Shane Smith has just celebrated his 9 year anniversary with Gough Hotels. Starting out as a waiter, Shane’s customer service skills shone through and following a move through the concierge team, General Manager Diogo then promoted Shane to Restaurant Supervisor, before handing an initial Junior Duty Manager role over to the engaging young man. Here, our editor Richard Stewart chats to the now fully fledged Duty Manager:
Openly inspired by his boss Diogo, Shane starts our chat in a sun soaked room overlooking the marina, enthusing about teamwork. Shane is 1 of 6 Duty Managers or DM’s and is mainly responsible for food & beverage, although “DM’s get involved in most aspects of the running of the hotel”. Fitting in the inevitable, unsociable shifts with helping at home to look after 4 month-old Charlie, doesn’t seem to faze Shane one bit and teamwork shines through with the afternoon sun, as Shane talks about “everyone being close enough to answer any call for help 24/7”.
Wanting to leave guests with the best possible impression guides Shane through his working day; breakfast & lunch service, afternoon tea and on to pre-dinner drinks and evening dining. “Keeping the kitchen informed and ahead of the game” is key. An electronic diary system is kept up to date throughout the day; noting matters such as dining room bookings, cleaning & maintenance. The diary then becoming the go-to source of information for the next DM on shift.
Trained the ‘Salthouse’ way from a detailed training pack, all front of house staff can easily move from hotplate to order taking to bar and back through the chain again, although each service will see the DM specify each colleague’s role for that particular shift. Shane confirms that 20 new wines will appear on the hotel’s wine list in the coming weeks, along with some “fruity cocktails”, so continuing to train staff to pair drink with food will ensure that “servers can impart as much knowledge as possible”; something that has become a Salthouse trademark.
The biggest compliment? “Guests that don’t want to go home”. I press for more…? “Guests will still be in the hotel in the late afternoon of the day of their checkout and that is a great feeling” explains Shane. If the ‘Duty’ in the title DM is that of absolute guest satisfaction, then Shane certainly seems to take his duty very seriously.