“I always tell the people who want to do this job: it’s the most beautiful in the world!” Simone Pinoli, the man who found himself in the right place at the right time, says it loud and clear. It was an evening like many others when he ended up in front of Mister Fritz, the Director of the Rome Cavalieri Hotel back then: at the end of that dinner, in two weeks he was in Rome. Simone opened his sliding door: behind that, he found a young Heinz Beck who wanted him in his team at La Pergola. Since then, they have been bound by great respect and sincere friendship. They were together when in 1997 they rejoiced for the first Michelin star, and were together when they celebrated the others too.
How much preparation does a service require?
“I consider the restaurant as a real theatre: before opening the curtain there is great attention to the organization, starting from the reservations management. We try to get all the useful information about the customer for a tailor-made service”.
How do you deal with the future dining room staff?
“I always look for a very young staff, even with very little experience. I believe in the mobility of the room: youngsters need to grow up. I don’t want to be intrusive. I look them in the eyes to understand what fire, what passion they have. Curiosity is fundamental. Ours is not a routine job but there is continuous dynamism”.
Who will be the future restaurant manager?
“The one I want to be too! In step with the times, always curious and able to introduce ideas from other cultures”.
What are the rules of the perfect dining room man?
“Great sensitivity and ability to handle different situations. He must also be a good psychologist: it’s all a matter of looks and gestures”.
Have you ever experienced embarrassing situations?
“Once a customer came to dinner with a lady; after a few minutes, he saw an acquaintance at the entrance. The woman clearly wasn’t his wife, and he asked me urgently to let him leave the room without being noticed. We took them out of the kitchens up to the staff’s private elevator. After a few days he called to thank us “.
A nice story to tell?
“Some time ago, on New Year’s Eve. We had a table for ten people, including a couple we had known for many years. When booking, they add a dog: Fufy. Usually, animals are not allowed in the restaurant, but I agreed in this case, because I guessed, simply from the name, that it would have been a small and gentle breed. Instead, after a few minutes, Fufy appeared, unquestionably a Saint Bernard dog. He behaved well. Sometimes an exception to the rule is fine”.