An interview with Daiva Step – Best Young Talent, Front of House Award Winner 2017/18

Daiva Step is the Restaurant Manager at award winning, La Rock Restaurant in Sandiacre. Daiva entered the Best Young Talent, Front of House Award 2017/18, sponsored by Eden Public Relations, last year and won. NRBA caught up with Daiva to get her thoughts on the Awards, the industry and, more importantly, a career in hospitality.

Do you feel that front of house should feature in the Awards and in being so, does it help drive better standards of service?

“Absolutely.  I feel that chefs have stolen the spotlight and dominated perceptions of the hospitality industry for quite a long time now.”

“Things have started to change, and we are now entering an age where people are starting to understand that restaurants need to be about an experience rather than just being about the food and chefs. Restaurants have to offer the whole package and front of house is an essential part of this. Quality of service can make or break a hospitality business and therefore it’s important to show appreciation to front of house employees and the importance of them and, in doing so, showcase hospitality as a viable career choice.”

“Appreciation and recognition demonstrates how staff are valued by others which in turn makes for better motivation and, ultimately, productivity.  Personal satisfaction in the workplace reflects on the service provided. Happy employees equals happy customers.”

How did you get into the industry?

“It all started with a summer time job to earn some money to support myself through university and before I knew it I got drawn into it, loving every day. Personally, I find hospitality very rewarding – it makes me super happy and proud of myself when I know I have made a difference to someone’s day by providing that personal, excellent customer service. Another aspect of what I love about being in hospitality is the dynamics and energy within the industry. There’s always something new happening; something new being created or discovered. You never stop learning.”

If you could pass on any advice, what would it be?

“Always better to under promise and over deliver rather than the other way around.”

What, in your opinion, makes for outstanding service?

“It’s all about being able to understand what people expect and want, as well as what makes them happy. It is about being socially aware and having an understanding of human nature and human psychology. It’s all about being one step ahead and having a commitment to please and deliver excellence.”

 You must have been pleased to have won the award last year?

 “Absolutely – it was my one and only chance as I don’t fit the age criteria now, and I am very proud to have won it.”

What are your thoughts on service careers within the restaurant industry as a whole?

“It’s more of a lifestyle than just a career – and it can be a rather rewarding one. The restaurant industry isn’t an easy one to crack, it takes a lot of effort and time, however, passion makes it possible.”

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