The secret lives of restaurant managers
It’s far from an easy job: Hong Kong’s top hospitality veterans spill the tea on why it takes intense training to serve professionally
Most people could probably name a celebrity chef, whether through media exposure or eating at one of their restaurants; after all, they’re one reason diners seek out restaurants near and far, globetrotting to eat at establishments helmed by chefs fêted in guides and awards such as Michelin or the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Celebrity front-of-house? Not so much. Although restaurant managers and wait staff might be recognised within the industry, they don’t get the same rock star treatment as chefs.
Yet service can make or break a restaurant experience. The best food can be ruined by poor service, while an average meal can be lifted by superb staff. For anyone who assumes waiting tables is child’s play, it may come as a surprise how much study and training can go into the role. Hong Kong’s top restaurants are in fact run by highly qualified and experienced managers who have cut their teeth at some of the finest establishments internationally and locally.
Among them is Mauricio Rodriguez, general manager at Michelin-starred Mono in Central, which won Tatler Dining’s Restaurant of the Year and Best Service awards for 2023. His degree in gastronomy and the culinary arts in Mexico took five years