Meet Darmendra Prayag - Waiter at La Pirogue
June 26 2019
June 26 2019
An excellent hotel is really nothing without extraordinary staff. They are the heart and soul of any good hotel and they can make a huge difference when it comes to your stay. And for those of you interested in La Pirogue along the gorgeous shores of Mauritius’ west coast, you can rest assured that the highly-skilled, friendly staff there are the cream of the crop.
The tropical four-star La Pirogue, designed with an authentic Mauritian flair, is an absolutely stunning hotel for any kind of traveller, with sublime restaurants, gorgeous rooms and a plethora of activities for all guests. It’s certainly one of the finest establishments on the island and makes for the quintessential tropical background for a special holiday with your loved ones. And here, it’s people like waiter Prayag Darmendra, who has been working in the industry for a whopping 33 years, who will ensure your holiday is unforgettable.
We chatted to about him about his important role at La Pirogue. This is what he had to say:
Why did you choose to work as a waiter?
I was always drawn to the hospitality industry because you get the chance to meet a whole lot of people from all different backgrounds. I love meeting new people every day so this is what motivated me to find a job in the hospitality industry. I got a job as a waiter and have loved it ever since.
What about your hotel makes you excited about working there?
There are so many wonderful things about La Pirogue that makes me excited. The atmosphere is amazing, everyone who works here is like family, everyone is always willing to help each other out at any time, the management is superb, there is no undue pressure from top management, we are able to work efficiently but at our own pace and they really give us the freedom to do what we need to do in the best way we know how. I find this freedom and the fact that the management is very supportive really important.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
I start work every day at 7 am and my shift lasts until about 3 pm. As soon as I get to work, I have my breakfast and start service at Wolmar Restaurant at 7:30 am which goes until 10:30 am. Then I do any after service work such as cleaning the tables. Lunch for us is from 11:45 till 12:25 and the guest lunch service starts at 12:30 and runs till 3 pm. That’s a typical day for me unless there is a special event or programme on.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I’d like to be in a higher position. I have worked hard and been recognised with awards such as ‘Best Waiter’ so I hope it will lead to a promotion at some point.
What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I take care of my family and spend quality time with them.
How do you manage your personal life based on your work schedule?
I think this is difficult for many people and it’s definitely been difficult for me, but I have tried my best to find the balance between these two. My family understands that I work in the hospitality industry and that I have to work extra hours sometimes, but I really do my best to give both my family and my work the same amount of time.
What does it take to be a good waiter? (Apart from being well groomed, friendly and having good people and communication skills).
I think to be a good waiter, it’s important to have a good personality and a positive attitude and to be disciplined and punctual. I think it’s also important to never take things for granted and really put your heart into your job.
To be a good waiter, you should be able to put yourself in the customer’s shoes to better understand them and meet their needs. This will help you to know how to exceed their expectations which is really vital as a waiter.
How do you handle an angry or dissatisfied customer?
I do my best to make them feel at ease and to understand the situation. I also try my best to resolve the issue as quickly as I can and meet, or if possible, exceed their expectations. Repeat customers can be a little more complicated to handle than a new customer because they often search for experiences or things they had on a previous visit and this can be hard to match in some cases.
How do you apply the ‘Timeless Memories’ concept in your work?
As far as we can we use this concept to meet the customer’s expectations. We make sure that they are able to make the best of our offerings and we encourage them to embrace all of our incredible Timeless Memories offerings.
What is your favourite thing or aspect of La Pirogue?
I love that the hotel is 43 years old (but recently renovated) and is not only still running, but as popular as ever.
Where do you see the tourism industry 10 years from now?
The tourism industry is performing well. I guess the concern, however, is that many highly-skilled hotel industry personnel are starting to work on the cruise ships, and the worry is that it could lead to a shortage of well-trained employees long term, but hopefully more people will enter the industry as well.
How would you encourage someone to join the industry?
By letting them in on just how much you can learn in the tourism industry. In fact, it’s the only place certain things can be learned, it’s also a great place to meet new people and you can get promoted quickly if you work hard. Quite honestly, the industry offers a brilliant future.
If you would like to spend an indulgent holiday along Mauritius’ west coast at the extraordinary La Pirogue, with people like Prayag Darmendra making your stay all the more exceptional, then book your next holiday with us today. With us, you are sure to have a holiday that you will be speaking about for years to come.