Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

A visit to the highly recommended Adelphi Restaurant

A beautiful evening with beautiful people and food

On a very quick visit to Malta, 2 days to be precise, I was invited to go to Adelphi restaurant in Rabat, Malta. I had already heard great things about it, so I was excited to go. Situated in a large passageway in the heart of Rabat’s centre, it is a perfect location for Rabat residents, Maltese coming from outside of Rabat, and tourists alike, to go and enjoy some mouthwatering dishes.

Upon entering, I got a sense of comfort, friendliness and very family oriented, which suited me well as I was there with my immediate family, ready to enjoy what Adelphi had to offer. After ordering a bottle of wine and talking to some of the waitresses, I was told that it was family run; from the owners of the restaurants, to the chefs and the waiters. That’s why I got such a homely feeling within seconds of being there!

Talking to KellyMarie, a joint owner of Adelphi along with her husband, she explained how everyone’s involvement is so important and so special to the huge success of Adelphi. Everyone working with detail and with a smile on their face, and I even got to go and meet 2 of the family chefs.

Adelphi offers several dishes from pasta, meat, pizza, fish, kids menu and so much more. I settled for the pizza since I hadn’t had pizza for quite a while, but I could also smell the meat and fish dishes on my table. With a huge apetite, I started eating my pizza and continuing to slowly sip on my red wine, while enjoying the company of my family, the ambiance and the friendliness of our waitress.

Upon more talking, I was informed that years ago (not years of my existence), it uded to be a cinema. Wow. This must be a treat for those that used to go there to watch a movie back in the day. Chatting away with our waitress, we were also informed that there will also be a boutique hotel, right above the restaurant. It forms part of the Quaint hotels in Gozo and will be the first one in Malta. As soon as this opens later this year, Adelphi will also be serving Breakfast and Lunch too.

What a great evening it was! I will definitely go back while on the island again. For all those tourists that go to Rabat and Mdina, be sure to go to Adelphi for some serious food and that good old Maltese style, local service with a smile! Bon Apetit!

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Leading by Example

Your Employees are the Result of You

Just like young kids absorbing everything their mother or father does, your new employees, whether they were there before you with another manager, or are new to the company, they will consciously and subconsiously absort the traits of their leader.

I always stress how important it is to lead by example. If you are always shouting at your team when they do something not up to company’s standards, they will start shouting at each ther and at the guests or customers. If you treat them nicely, positively, and take time to guide them through the processes and a step by step explanation, they will take their time with the guests and with each other. Even with you. If you don’t treat them right, they are not going to treat you right eventually either.

You need to create an environment where respect is visible, attention to detail and positivety is apparent. It all starts from you. It starts from the top. Whenever I visit a team on a cruise ship or hotel especially and notice certain traits from the team that are not so good, I always try to see how their manager works, acts and reacts. If a manager for example is not attentive to the team’s questions, requests and so on, they will in time act the same, whether they are getting training by someone, attending a meeting or even with their customers or guests. 

You need to always think as their leader, that they are watching your every move, seeing how you talk, how you deal with escalated issues, your time management, your precision, your work ethic, you positivety, your reaction to certain action, how you respond to difficult questions, how you act in really difficult situations, and so much more. Think. Think for a second. How would you like to see them work? That is exactly how you should work. If you blow up and get visibly upset when dealing with an angry customer, don’t expect your team to deal with the same situation in a different way. Don’t kid yourself and pull them to the side or have a meeting with them to see why they acted that way if you do the same.

Be the better Manager. Be the Better Leader. Show them how the work should be done, and you won’t have too many situations with your team. Always Lead by Example. It is one of the items I always focus on in all of the training that I give with different types of teams and Managers. Leaders and Managers are all different, but leading by example should be the same.

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

There’s no I in Team

.….But there is I in Individual

I have always believed that when you have a tight and united team, whether it is a small team or a large team, the end product, whether a service or a product, is better. As Managers we always tell our employees to work together, to work as a team, to respect each other, compliment each other, work well together, help each other and so much more. It is also true that when a team really cares for each other, the work is done better. 


As a prime example, and one that I have done and witnessed in my teams, is that when 1 employee, 1 team member doesn’t know the answer to the guest’s or customer’s question, when they ask one of their team members, they give them the answer, or they help them assist the guest. Same when an employee has made a mistake, or given the wrong information for some reason, or was having a very bad day. I have seen it many times, were the guest comes back upset that he or she was givent the wrong information, and the other team mate doesn’t make the other one look bad in order to look good themselves. They apologize and let them know that it was a one off and that they are great at their job, and then assist.


 Now, if this employee would have told the guest “Yes I know, he is not good at his job, I’m sorry you had him to help you, but I can surely help you and I will let the manager know that he didn’t help you, or give you the wrong information”, that looks really bad on the team and the management. A team that works together, surely works better for the advantage of the guests or customers.

However, the managers sometimes still make the mistake that they see every team member as the same person. In order for the team to work well together and be successful, it needs different personalities, efforts, expertese, levels and different fortés. You cannot have everyone great at knowing how the system works, or everyone great at talking with the guests, or everyone good at the phone. You need a little bit of everything. Your employees characters and personalities matter a lot. It colors the team and they are all different. 

You might have a person that is always so happy and someone that sometimes needs a little push to regain the smile when shouted at from a guest. You will have someone that is always challenging you and questioning you as a manager and another one that wants to be in your work time all the time. You will have the one that always unites the team and plans nights out, and another one that doesn’t hang out too much. I’m sure you get the point by now. Everyone is an individual that contributes to the team’s success. So when you approach an employee to correct them in something, to praise them, to give them disciplinary action, to promote them , to ask for help, you need to know your employees well enough to know how to approach them. 

Don’t generalize and assume that everyone reacts and acts the same way! See the Individual in each employee and make sure they become a team!

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Who Works for Who?

What Some Managers Get Wrong

I don’t mean to start off with the negative, but it is unfortunate to see so many employees become the manager of the team and suddenly think they are better than the rest. Of course, you are now the manager, or one of the managers, for a reason. You have worked hard, put in your efforts, did more than others and so on. But the moment you feel that because you are the Manager, you have a team to work for you and that your team owes you, is the moment that you are devaluing your team, yourself and what you do.

In any management training workshops that I do for many managers in hotels, firms, companies and cruise ships, I start by asking the same question; ” Who are you here for?” In the case of hotels and cruiseships, the majority of the managers tell me that they are here for the guests. WRONG. Managers that have thier own staff/ team to work directly with guests are not there for the guests. These managers are there for their team and their team is there for the guests. Of course, they are there to make sure the guests are happy, but they need to take care of their tram first. Same goes to firms and companies with clients. These managers don’t deal directly with the clients so, but their employees do. I’m not the first one to say this. 

If you feel that your team owes you and that they are there for you, you are very very wrong my friend! YOU work for them. THEY don’t work for you. If your team is not successful, then you are definitely not successful either. The manager needs to be the one working more than his team, developing them, helping them, supporting and empowering them. And this can only be done when the manager is highly present, attentive to his team, guiding and leading them.

When managers think that they have the team to work for them, the guiding, leading, coaching amd empowering stops, and instead, you get an unhappy, overworked, scared of the boss kind of team. Show them you are there for them to help them be better, to succeed and to develop. Remember that the manager’s success relies on the employees’ success, happiness, advancement, empowerment and so much more.

I have always worked hard for my teams. They didn’t work for me. I WORKED FOR THEM. AND STILL DO.

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Working with Guests and Customers- Continuation from Last week

How to deal with an Irate Guest

Last week on Managing Mondays, we started talking about the steps to take when you are faced with a very upset guest, and most of the time, it is because as a company or product, it failed their expectations. We mentioned the first 4 steps which were to remain calm and poised, to use your best listening skills and let them know you are truly listening to their concerns, remain calm and aknowledge the guest’s right to be angry, and to not take the encounter personally. You are there to help and they are reaching out to you because it is part of your work to assist them when they encounter a problem.


Today, we continue the rest of the steps. After listening to the guests, however long that needs to be, we then need to react and action. The next step is to actively Sympathize. After the customers vent, they want to know that you understand where they are coming from and how they are feeling. Express sympathy for their unpleasant customer experience. Respect and understanding go a long way towards smoothing things over. With sympathy comes in the next step which is to show Empathy. Put yourself in the customer’s or guest’s shoes. Would you be happy with what happened or what was supposed to happen but didn’t? There should be a show of emotion, without giving off your emotion, but your empathy. If this doesn’t happen, the next step of apologizing will not be as effective.

Apologizing grcefully is your next step. Whether the cutomer’s complaint is legitimate or not, is really irrelevant. You need to express an apology for the problem they are having (or perceive to be having). A simple straightforward statement like “I am really sorry that this has happened to you. Let’s see how we can be better for you. Don’t forget the Power of a Name. Addressing them by their name or last name is extremely important. Once you use a name, you are suddendly speaking with a real person, an individual that has a job, family, and a reason behind their frustration. 


It is important to speak soflty, especially if the guest is raising his or her voice or screaming back at you. If this is happening, you might want to take them inside an office or to a side, so that the other customers or guests are not being affected. The softer and quiter you speak, the more the guests need to listen to what you will be doing for them. If you try to shout over them, it becomes a verbal battle. The customer will eventually lower his or her voice to hear what you have to say for them. After all, they approached you for a resolution and you are letting them know what you will be doing. The next steps are finding a suitable solution and owning responsibility of the situation. The worst thing you can do to a guest or customer is to give their concern to someone else and they have to repeat, making them work during their vacation, or visit or experience. Don’t pass the buck as that makes you look incompetent or that you don’t feel like helping them. Make their problem yours and work towards fixing and providing a resolution for them.


Remember, this doesn’t come immediately, it takes practise, and patience with yourself to learn more of how better you can be to your customers or guests. If you missed last week’s Managing Mondays post, go to Captin Falzon on facebook or add Captain Falzon on wordpress blogs to be able to read it. Remember, the happier your guests, the easier your work will be! Happy Monday!

Fit Fridays

Fit Fridays

Not all Sweet Treats are Bad for You

Fit For You Cupcakes

I really wanted to have a few cupcakes made for a Halloween Party but wanted to keep it extremely healthy. I found Fit For you Cupcakes advertised online and contacted renowned dietician Jessica Borg ghigo. I was immediatey given so many choices; Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free and the list went on. All of them were sugar free by the way. I was invited to see her making them after I told her about my interest and my blog, and was advised of certain ingredients that she was using that had the same effects and result as other unhealthier ingredients.

Behold, the Halloween Cupcakes- Vegan and Gluten Free!

I got to know about how the water in the chickpea or broadbeans cans can solidify the same way as eggs, for example. We used vegan protein powder and coconut flour. All the other ingredients were as healthy and as effective, but I will let you ask her to make you some and then you will relaize.

She was making other cupcake orders in the meantime and it was fascinating to see the vast amount of different ingredients and requests. As she put some in the oven, the smell was so inviting, I couldn’t wait to try one! They all looked and smelled delicious.

We all get the urge for something sweet whether once in a while or many times a day. Truth is, that’s fine, as long as you choose your food well. There are always several parties to attend to or host every week, so why not enjoy a treat that will not affect your health and your waistline in a negative way! You can simply find Jessica Borg Ghigo on Facebook and tell her you want to order some delicious cupcakes and exchange numbers. Easy peasy!

Excuse me! But my 24 cupakes are ready, but I’m only taking 23 of them to my party…because one of them has just been devoured!! Mmmmhmmm yummylicious!!

Have a great and healthy weekend! x

Wine Wednesdays

Wine Wednesdays

How Long does it Take to Make Wine?

A little look at the time spent to produce that bottle of wine that you love so much

Wine making is not a simple “I want to make some wine and drink it” type of thing. It can take up to between 3 to 5 years to produce the bottle the wine for you to enjoy. As an example, if you have recently bought a field to fill it with vines, you are not going to be able to profit from it until 3 to 5 years time after you start. Same as when unfortunately vineyards get wrecked from fires or even an infestation of pestes and disease. The winemakers need to start from scratch.

Winemaking is a very creative process and unique to many factors like the winemakers themselves, terroir, climate, grapes and so much more.

The first process is Planting and assessing the soil, climate and also planting smaller amounts of other grape for blending purposes. The vineyard manager needs to decide how to form the rows of vines and their spacing. After that, the winery needs to patiently wait for the first harvest, however during thoses years, the young vines need a lot of attention like protecting them agains pests and pruning.

After about 3 years, comes the dormacy stage. At this time, the vineyard will produce full bunches of grapes. In the winter the vines are dormant and without foliage, but as the roots would have gone deep down into the soil, the vines are feeding on the nutrients needed. As the vines are dormant, it is time to prune. Pruning is highly important in ensuring to produce good quality wine.

As the vines emerge from dormacy, around March, the first buds start to appear. This is called Bud break. Most grapevines self-pollinate and after that fruit set occurs. Diring this time, the workers need to control the amount of sunlight and air that the fruit clusters receive. Some vines will pollinate and some will not. Fruit clusters are also inspected at this time, as well as canopy management.

After that, the green looking grapes turn ino plump juicy grape clusters. This is called Veraison. And after all that comes the Harvest. The warmer the temperatures, the faster the ripening. It is the flavor profile of the grape that determines the pick date. Harvesting normally starts very early in the morning as the air is cooler. We still don’t have the wine by now. What happenes after the grapes are picked? The winemaking process begins; crushing, pressing and primary fermantation are the next steps. After primary fermantation, the wine is taken from the fermantation tank to another one for aging. There are so many differet practises and ways how to do this dependig on the winemaker and the winery. 

The winemakers will taste the wine frequently to ensure the right flavor, and finally, after all those steps, comes the bottling and the drinking!
Cheers! I raise a glass to you!

Managing Mondays

Managing Mondays

Working with Guests and Customers- An Introduction

How to Deal with an extremely Irate Guest

If your work consists mostly of dealing and talking with guests and customers, then you have for sure at some point come across someone very upset, rude, or both. Most of the time it is because they are not happy with a service or product. After years of this experience, I will tell you now, that 98% of the time they are right to be upset and angry. But not directly at you (unless you really have done someting personal to the guests that affects them personally). And most of the time, they are genuine. It took me a few years to really have this embeded in me, until I had figured it out, mainly because of experience and different training sessions. And during that time, I would say, I pissed off a few guests with becoming angry because they were angry, didn’t beleive them, or made the situation worse. It didn’t happen a lot,  but I am not afraid to say it happened a few times in those few years. For me, now, that is unacceptable.

Today we will look at some of the many steps that the manager and the employee need to have run through theit thoughts whenever they are faced with a really upset guest or customer. We will go much more in depth in the blog sessions to come, but I wanted to briefly highlight a few of them today. Remember, how you respond can make the difference between a customer or guest that feels satisfied with the resolution and one who vows to never patronize your business again.

Steps:

The 1st step you need to take is to remain calm and poised. If this doesn’t happen or you loose it very fast, what follows is in vain. Believe me when I say this. It happened to me. As soon as you loose your cool, you are done. The next steps are very hard to achieve. If a guest is yelling, being loud, or otherwiese rude, nothing can be gained by responding in a similar manner. The customer’s tirade might make you ffel like yelling yourself, but don’t. Control yourself. Remember, it is not personal. They just need to let someone know and that someone is you, in your position. 

The 2nd step is to use your best lisening skills  and let them know you are truly listening. The first thign an angry customer or guest wants to do is vent, and to do so, you are there to listen. Listening patiently can diffuse a situation as long as they feel acknowledged. Body language is also very important. Miantain eye contact and a strong straight posture. This shows how closely you are paying attention to their problem. Take notes and don’t talk, let them talk. After they finish, repeat and summarize what they have said and ask if the information you gathered is correct. Be patient and aknowledge the guest’s right to be angry. 

The next big step, even though I have already mentioned it, is to NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Listen to their emotions without any of your emotions. It’s a very fine line and this is sometimes quite hard for many customer service agents to do and to realize, but if you work on it continuously, by time this becomes very easy for you. It’s a very fine line and this is sometimes quite hard for many customer service agents to do and to realize, but if you work on it continuously, by time this becomes very easy for you.

After these 4 steps, it is time for you to action.  There are a few more steps you need to take. Now that they have vented, you listened, you need to assist them, apologize and mean what you say and what you do.
Next Monday we will cover the next few steps, like sympathizing, empathizing, apologizing,  speaking softly, voicing your solution to the customer, owning it and taking responsibility. Stat tunes for thr continuation next week! Have a great and productive week.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

A Nice Cup of Coffee at Jacob’s Brew- Pay it Forward

A great time with Jacob and his family, two and a half months after its successful opening

On a short visit to my home country, Malta, I wanted to visit Jacob and his Pay It Forward Coffee Shop. It was a beautiful October Day in Marsaskala. It is hard to imagine something happening to you or a dear person close to you, out of the blues. The strength that one needs from their loved ones is tremedous, and that was exactly what Jacob’s parents did. After months and months battling in hospital, his family started the road to recovery and ensuring that Jacob keeps on living his life as normal as possible. Fast Forward to a really successful support group, started by his mom Sarah, called Survivors Malta, and an also successful Coffee shop, sipping a hot Cappucino and talking to Jacob was really nice. He’s a really cool dude by the way 🙂

The coffee shop is located in a prime location in Marsaskala, Malta, overlooking the sea, has complimentary wifi and is also dog friendly. Talking with him and with Sarah, his mom, she showed how much love and care she possesses for Jacob, the coffee shop and other families that might be passing through a similar thing. When you buy your coffee, your receipt is stamped and you have a chance to give that stamped receipt to families that are facing certain traumas. They will in turn get a pot of tea or coffe complimentary, however, the most important thing about it is that they can connect with Jacob and his parents, and they will help them find other families that have survived what they were or still going through and give them the needed support.

If you have done something, as small or big as it is, to help someone in need, you know the satisfaction you feel when you help them or even the achievement of making them happy or to forget for a little while. This is exactly what paying it forward means. The more good you do, the more good that goes around. If you don’t have anything particularly happening in your life, it doesn’t mean that others don’t have something happening to them, or that it doesn’t happen to you at some point. Helping and remaining positive, spreads the same thing, and the feeling in Jacob’s brew is 100% positive.

They are open all week between 8am and 6pm, serving coffees, teas, cakes, positive vibes, smiles, and from the morning until 4pm, even sandwiches and so much more. Jacob is an inspiring person, extremely friendly and has a cool sense of humor. He is positive and caring. I was lucky enough to meet his mom and dad also, who help him tremendously in all of his journeys, especially this one. Sometimes, we need other people to help us make it through and in certain times, to bond together even more. True pillars for this young Jacob to succeed and inspire others. It was very nice meeting you, and I will surely come again when I am on the island next!

Go on, go have a coffee, and Pay it Forward! Visit Jacob’s Brew, and connect families facing certain traumas to the group Survivors Malta.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

The Magnificent Boutique Hotel of The Saint John in the Heart of Valletta, Malta

Exploring all the Historic and Modern Wonders coming together



On a very quick stay in Malta, I wanted to be in the heart of Valletta, the island’s Capital. I wanted to sleep and wake up in that city, and that is why I chose to stay at the beautiful and elegant, freshly inuagurated The Saint John Boutique Hotel. I wanted a place were it was calm and quiet, had space to work, relax, feel pampered, create moments with my partner, and most of all, not need to get a car to go around Valletta. This place had them all checked!

After I took a moment to capture its beauty and history from the outside, all the way to the inside of the hotel, I went to check in at the reception, given the details and my RFID room key. I had some work to do first and wanted to have it ready fast so I could explore the beautiful hotel and then Valletta. As I entered the room, I had to take in a deep breath as this was the most amazing, welcoming, sophisticated yet with a home feeling kind of room. I also had to take a moment to test the mesmerizing technology that the room has. Don’t think that a historic building would not accomodate today’s modern technology, as this far exceeded many hotels that I had to stay in for work.

After a few minutes of letting this all sink in, I sat at the beautifully decorated and inviting desk. Working away, I had never felt happier doing my work, knowing that I had so much in store after that. I happily closed my laptop to start getting ready for the evening. The spacious and modern bathroom was so beautiful to see, that I didn’t even want to use it. But hey, a girl needs a nice warm shower and a few minutes to get dressed and prepare for the evening. Well.. maybe more than a few minutes. 

After I got dressed, I wanted to go round The Saint John and take some time to enjoy the beauty of the building, its construction and its decor. My partner had joined me and we set to roam around the hotel, then Valletta. The hotel experience had already elevated our exitement to the city, because we were staying in a part of it.

The elegant evening mood was set. It was then time to go eat. The Saint John has the Cheecky Monkey Gastropub attached to it, but as we had already tasted the delicious food at one of their locations, and they were pretty full due to its popularity, we decided to go walk around the city and then find a restaurant in the heart of Valletta. That is the beauty of The Saint John. You are right there, in the heart of it all! After a great evening, a great meal, a wonderful long stroll around the vivid and colorful streets of Valletta, we were ready to doze off in the large comfy bed in our elegant room.

We did go to Cheeky Monkey Gastropub in the morning as they serve breakfast there. We were spoilt for choice, and as we woke up a tad later than the rest of the guests occupying the hotel, we decided to have some fun with it. We even had quite a long conversation with the friendly Gastropub staff. The boutique hotel and the Cheecky Monkey Gastropub both make you feel at ease and that time is passing slow, so you can enjoy the moments. When you lead such a busy, hectic and sometimes stressful life like mine and my partner’s, we couldn’t stop wondering what a perfect choice this Boutique Hotel was for us to accomplish our work, enjoy each other’s company, relax and take it easy.

We got another cup of delicious coffee and took it to our room so we can enjoy it from our balcony. You really feel that you are one with the city and can hear and feel the different activities going on in Valletta, yet so quiet and peaceful to enjoy our moments together. We felt so lucky to be sharing the experience of The Saint John Boutique Hotel and Valletta. (We booked the balcony at The Saint John. Not all rooms have a balcony, but they do have large windows to make you feel more part of the building and the city)

We were then ready and energized to take on the city and explore more of what Valletta has to offer. Whether you are there for a short stay or a long stay, The Saint John Boutique Hotel elevates your vacation or getaway experience. Strategically located in the heart of Valletta, it is highly inviting to celebrate moments with your loved ones, to take some time to work, to relax and re-energize, explore and other amazing things. The place were you stay for your vacation or your getaway can make or break it. That’s why I am glad I chose The Saint John Boutique Hotel in Valletta. It totally made it!