The people :: Miguel Calero

In Pure C, I had the pleasure of working with Miguel Calero.
Amongst connaisseurs in the industry one of the best restaurant managers in Europe.
He worked long time along side Joachim Wissler in restaurant Vendome ***, Germany and was a hospitality professional pur sang.

Always friendly, with a smile, but most important incredibly knowledgable and professional. He taught me how to see the bigger picture more in detail.
It was several times we just ‘observed’ the service. Sitting on the side lines, watching from the outside in was inspiring and a great learning experience.
He showed me how to analyse every situation to provide the best solution possible.

Every day before lunch and dinner, he would go over the reservations, special guests and specific requests with the complete team to make sure we all knew what to expect.
He was a great communicator and leader. He knew the area’s of opportunity, was able to pinpoint the errors and provided the correct guidance and training to improve the overal operations in the restaurant.

Besides his feel for hospitality, he also knew how to take care of the team.
He encouraged us to have dinner, all together, at the communal table in the restaurant.

But the most remarkable thing about him was without a doubt the pink shirts he’d wear every single Sunday. He didn’t miss a single week.
Sunday morning, Miguel in a pink shirt.
It was his trade mark and put a smile on many of our faces.

Thanks Miguel for sharing your passion!

Xo – Ann

Pure C – Welcome!

When the busy summer was over and most of the guests went back to work, I reached out to Pure C, the more casual concept within the Sergio Herman Hospitality Group.
The position of Hostess became available and had most definitely my interest.

As the hostess, I was in charge of processing the reservations, table setting, contact person for our VIP guests and special requests.
Basically the liaison between every department. And since the restaurant was part of a hotel, I had weekly meetings with the front of house team of the hotel as well to make sure all communication was streamlined.

It was great to see several familiar faces from Oud Sluis but also to meet the group of regular guests of Pure C. I recognized most of them and welcomed them here on the sunny side of the beach!

As a hostess, I was more involved in the administrative part of the industry.
Yet I had the opportunity to help with 2 private events at the restaurant.
The 50th birthday of one of our international guests and the wedding of a lovely couple from the media industry in Belgium.

Seeing the bigger picture in restaurant operations will always help you grow to the next step!

Xo – Ann


Oud Sluis (2) – Service in full force!

The best days were definitely the ones where the whole team was all on the same page.
From the beginning till the end.
Only 1 way to make that possible: BE PREPARED!

Besides being prepared, communication was another important part of the equation.
That’s why we had somebody ‘running the passe’.
This person was in charge of conducting the service, communicating specialties to every department in the kitchen, checking in with Lotte, the sommelier if guests had their wines and instructing the servers to deliver the right plates to the right guests.

It was a very stressful position but having somebody capable in charge of the flow made it so much easier for everybody.
I learned running the passe from LJ, he was incredibly good at it, knew what was going every single minute of the day and could intervene when he saw a glitch in the system.
Some days were more fun then others, some days I wished I didn’t have to do it, somedays I felt defeated when I had made a wrong decision and guests had to wait 25 more minutes for their food.

But those times made me stronger and I grew to love this position.
Running the passe became my drug, my addiction. Everyday I tried to improve something. I pushed the team to their limits, in return they allowed me to make calculated risks in asking out the next course without all plates being cleared.
We were on a constant race, had death lines to beat.
One of the reasons my nick name became The Iron Lady.
I was ruthless but knew the team was on my side. I’m telling you, the pressure is high when there is an amazing DJ playing at La Rocca on Sunday night! All main courses had to out by 10:15pm!

We created series of tables that came in together, would get their starter together, main course, desserts and eventually coffee and sweets.
I communicated the series in numbers with their exceptions, if there were special requests or VIP’s to the kitchen.
I translated those numbers to tables for the servers and seat number per guest.

That was our little system, how the ants would run in the kitchen, how we brought Sergio’s vision to live in the restaurant.

Thinking about those days makes me realize how much I love the hospitality industry.
It makes me happy to make other people happy.
To make their day a little brighter, a little bit easier or relaxed.
Both guests and teams alike.

Xo – Ann