Five minutes with: Massimo Fonte, manager Armani/Ristorante

The manager of the restaurant at Armani/Hotel Dubai talks training, trends and new launches

Massimo Fonte
Massimo Fonte

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in the F&B industry?

Ever since I started in Soho, London in 2003, I knew this was my world, and I haven’t regretted it since.

How would you describe the concept of Armani/Ristorante?

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Armani/Ristorante has a simple, but winning concept. Traditional Italian cuisine and the finest ingredients meet in a sleek, stylish setting. The experience is made unforgettable by impeccable service and true Armani hospitality.

What would you say are three key things that any successful restaurant manager should have in mind?

First and foremost, empathy: creating a genuine connection with the guest and the staff is key. Then I would say understanding and representing the ethos of a brand, becoming the embodiment of it. Finally, never stopping at a success. Savour it and move on, go that extra mile to reach the next success.

What is your approach to training? Is it continuous or do you set aside specific times during the year to train staff?

It is definitely continuous in my case. I believe in spotlight training during line-ups, continuously monitoring your staff on a daily basis. This is what ultimately makes you notice if a more in-depth training is necessary and act on it swiftly.

Are customers in this region more demanding in terms of service standards?

I believe they are, in this region the choices are limitless and customers are spoiled by the high quality of services and product available in the market.

What are some trends that you see emerging in the F&B industry?

A focus on dietary restrictions solutions is something I see emerging across the industry. Accommodating these restrictions and at the same time making the customer feel welcome and appreciated.

Do you have any news you’d like to share?

At Armani/Ristorante we are launching new menus at the end of September, while still keeping on our customers’ favourites. We will be also start again our Bollicine Aperitivo on the terrace, where you can enjoy the fountains show.

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