Boosting Tuesdays

Your next Food Hotspot covered

Why Avotaco is the place to be (eat)

Whenever I come to Malta between my work assignements, I always love it. Firstly, because it’s my home country and it’s an awesome place to be in, and secondly, because there are always a lot of new restaurants, hangouts, bars and cafes that open, that I like to go and checkout. I like to taste the variety of foods, new dishes, lovely cool decor, trends and their service and friendliness. Avotaco hit all of these.

I had never been to their Food truck before, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Situated in a great location, I quickly found parking and headed over inside to order. I love salads and opted for that, with a side of guac and chips. Mmmmm yummy! And yummy it was. The food is so fresh, it was as if they had just picked up the veg that very moment. My friend had the burrito and it was spectacular and extremely filling.

I went at a relatively calm time, but because you check the menu and go to order at the counter, its extremely easy and fast. And no cash. Love it. No wasting time finding your cash, waiting for the change… who has time for that nowadays. Only Cards are accepted at Avotaco and it’s genius. More and more restaurants should follow today’s trend, were everything is on card.

The management and the staff were all so welcoming and friendly and genuinely happy that we were eating and enjoying our time there. Even the chef came out to play, and the sombrero came out! yayayaayay!!

Whether you go for lunch and order for your colleagues, just yourself, eat there for dinner or order so that you don’t need to cook, Avotaco sure comes in handy and delicious. If you wanna eat where there are positive vibes, smiles all around, and everyone gulping down their beautiful dish, then Avotaco is the place to be. Well done guys on your initiative to take it to the next level and I will surely visit again when I’m back on the rock!

Have an avotalicious day peeps!

Ciao for now

Captain Falzon

Wine Wednesdays

Wine Wednesdays

An awesome time at the Vineyards of Torres Wines

The Long tradition of wine making from the Torres Family

While in Barcelona for a few days on work, I was invited to go on a wine tasting tour at La Torres Winery. What do you think I responded, when asked if I wanted to go or not? Well of course I said that I would definitely go! Boy was it the most awesome time at their huge and impressive vineyards, vinification center, cellars and wine tasting place!

The train takes you to a few of their vineyards and the wine guide explains in a lot of detail, certain processes, climate, temperature, topography and so much more. Their vineyards have been spanning through a lot of different areas in Spain, which has given them the amazing amount of different flavors and wine textures.

Established in 1870 by Jaime Torres, the 5th generation of the Torres family now takes great care of the huge and successful wine company that they have created. Torres wines are extremely popular around Europe, and wether you are a wine connoiseur or someone that enjoys wine while eating at a restaurant, you have for sure come across wines from Torres.

That was one of the few reasons I was excited to visit them, as Torres wines were a few of my first wines that I had grabbed hold of at home in Malta.

The cellars and the vinification systems were stupendous, and the undergound cellar was spectacular. I wanted to set a desk and a bed right there, so that I could work and sleep in front of that gorgeous view.

However, it was time for our wine tasting, and the venue and the view did not disappoint again. We started with the whites.

There were 3 whites, but the Las Mulas stood out for me with its rich taste. It could fo very well with most fish dishes amd lean white meat. I loved it, just as I loved their rose wine. It was so fresh and had a great berry taste.

Next, was 4 red wines. Yesss!! Red is my favorite, and I could say that they were all my favorite. There uniques taste were all do satisfying to the palatte. The Rioja wines were amazing and Celeste was a team favorite.

It was time to leave this beautiful place, but I wouldn’t think twice to going again and experience it all over again.

Happy Wednesday!

Cheers!

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!

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

Twistees

The Forever Delicious and Popular Twistees

On one of my trips for work, leaving from the airport in Malta, I noticed a slightly bigger packet of twistees and with a different packaging. As I went closer, I noticed 6 different packets with 6 different flavors! I didn’t know what to do! I had to get on the plane fast but decided to buy 1 so I could taste. Heaven is all I could say. Wow, what a flavor! This was the Truffle Cheese, and my favourite from the 6. 

Anyone residing or visiting Malta knows about, or even more so, has had Twistees at some point. You can call them the National snack chips of Malta. In fact, you will also notice that on the new packets, there are new designes and also the advertising of the highly anticipated Valletta Capital of Culture 2018- V18. Yes! What better snack to have represent Valletta, Malta, than its favorite snack.

The 6 flavors are the Buttery Cheese, Caramel Cheese, Roast Beef Cheese, Truffle Cheese, Vanilla Cheese and the Classic Cheese. These are all Gluten Free and seriously tasty. 40 years of Twistees has expanded so much and it is even exported to a few other countries like Norway, France, Australia, U.K and more countries.

The next thing you need to do if you are in Malta right now is to go and buy these extremely satisfying snacks. If you are planning to visit between the rest of this year and next year during Valletta European Capital 2018, is to make sure you get your hands on them. If you don’t want to wait until the next visit, then you can order online through the Twistees website.

See ya’all. Time to open a new one! 🙂

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.

Boosting Tuesdays

Boosting Tuesdays

PLAIT- The Fast Growing Extra Successful Company

The Joys of Receiving Plait

 I am away most of the time. And by away I mean in a different place every couple of days or on cruise ships, which is a big part of my career as a manager and coach. But I love Malta and I miss certain products that can only be found there. Sometimes I want that Kinnie, or that litte bit of Twistees or Gallett. Joy ran through me when one day I found out about the Maltese company Plait, and guess what. I ordered the Maltese Plait. I sent it to my partner’s house (not in Malta) which is where I stay in between ship visits for work. Man was I happy to receive my first Plait!

Looking through their website http://www.plait.com.mt, I was impressed by how many box styles and types had come out. I had a chance to be in Malta for 3 weeks, last September and I wanted to try the wine box, since you all know I am a wine fan and student. You can choose either 2, 4 or 6 bottle boxes. This is perfect whether you live on your own or with your partner, or if you are having a little gethering with friends. You simply buy the 6 bottle Plait box and you are set. The variety is awesome too. The person that delivered this box was extremely happy to be delivering this box and even striked a cool conversation with me. 

Receiving this box from me to me was a gift that was well deserved I felt. Why not!? Or should I say wine not!? hahahaha. Ok. Focus Marie! As you can see below, I was enjoyong this wine straight fromthe box after delivery. I wasn’t enjoyng it alone, my friend was over, but I decided to have some fun with photos to commemorate such a great product.

Plait’s CEO, Daniel Fenech has worked extremely hard, and after giving him a call to let him know this idea and these products are amazing, I saw what a big passion he had to make his company succeed. So much so, a few days ago, he won the Entrepreneur of the year at the JC awards. Companies don’t just happen. They are the result of a lot of work, dedication and lots of passion. Daniel along with his team believe in what they are doing and they love doing it. They have introduced the Beauty Plait to join their other Plait boxes like the Beer Plait and the Organic Plait, apart from the ones I have already mentioned; the Wine Plait and the Malta Plait.

Listen, it’s almost  Christmas and a little birdie told me (well, I meant on Plait’s social media), that they are already taking orders  for the Christmas boxes. So don’t be disappointed this Christmas. Whether you want to buy a box for yourself or for a loved one, there are many choices and a huge variety as well as lots of special items and deals. With the high demand that Plait receives, my reccomendation would be to order now. I did! Visit their website http://www.plait.com.mt. It is very nice and user friendly. Happy Plaiting! :p I’ll keep on enjoying my Plait box for now. Cherio! 🙂

Boosting Tuesdays

Eurosport- A Lifestyle

The Succesful Company that is much more than just a Sports Store

Having been open since 1992, anyone that has lived, is living, or visited Malta will know about the name Eurosport. It was dubbed for having the best sportwear, sports shoes and equipment on the island. Now, it is much more than that. Entering one of their complexes and the largest one, In Birkirkara, I was greated by a staff member and even the security guard said hello. Eurosport has evolved so much more than simply a sports store. It has active and lounge wear, kid friendly equipment, so many brands, and most of all, very comfortable clothes. Not just sports clothes. You have to go and see for yourselves. I guarantee you will spend more than an hour marvelling at the things the Birkirkara store has to show and offer you. There are several more stores around the island, that are smaller, however, with a lot of variety, and most importantly, with friendly and helpful staff. 

I wanted to see a couple of comfortable shoes for my morning strolls, and when I want to go walk round places to explore. My feet are quite bad. I have all sorts of things happening to them that makes most shoes uncomfortable or even hurt me within minutes. As I went to see the skechers brand and tried 2 of them, my oh my was I delighted. They were so light and so comfortable, it was amazing. There were so many choices and so many colors, I hadn’t contemplated and took so long to decide! Next, I wanted an everyday shoes were I could also wear it to go out to events and be able to be comfortable but also look cool. Superga also deivered. This is an amazing brand that I hadn’t encountered before. So colorful, beautiful and most of all stylish.

As I was choosing and as I was trying on the different pairs of shoes, I had an opportunity to talk in depth with two of the staff members that were so happy to help me. Eurosport have expanded to so many stores and sponsor so many athletes, dancers, lifestyle persons, bloggers, events, social media personalities and TV personalities. I was also thrilled that Eurosport wanted to collaborate with me, and I have never had such a relaxed and comfortable photoshoot! (If your feet are happy, your body is happy too.)

Looking at the variety they had for a comfortable sweatshirt and a pair of leggings, I immediately found my style. It’s amazing how they have brands that contain style, sleakness, functionality, comfort and so much more.  Eurosport wants you to #bethechange and change your lifestyle into a healthier one with better food and better fitness activity, and brings you everything to help you do this. It only starts once, and you will be attached to having a better you and taking care of yourself. Everyone has a different lifestyle, work, relationship, ambition and determination, but there surely is something for everyone at Eurosport! 

See you there!

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.