Meet the Team: Marta Marin-Lorente
Marta has worked in a number of different roles since starting out in Back of House some ten years ago, progressing to her current position as Food & Beverage Supervisor. She spoke to us about what makes the hotel a special place to work…
What is your role at the hotel?
I’m currently working as Food & Beverage Supervisor. I’ve been here for almost a decade – there was a short time when I left for a few months but then I came back. I couldn’t stay away!
Have you always wanted to work in the hotel industry?
Well, before I came to London, I had planned to go to university but I had no idea what I wanted to study. At that time, in Spain when you finish at school, you go and study at university when you are 18 or 19. But I just didn’t know what I wanted to study and didn’t want to waste more time. So I said “Fine, I’m going to London for a year, then I’ll come back and decide what I want to study and go to university… 10 years later I’m still here!”
Where else have you worked in the hotel?
I started working in Back of House, and then in Banqueting, combining the two roles. I was then given the opportunity to work in Room Service with the possibility of staying longer, so I decided to do that. It’s amazing the way they give you opportunities – if you work hard then you get somewhere. Over the years, it’s been a bit of everywhere!
What’s your favourite thing about the hotel?
I always think of London as the Royal Garden Hotel. In my mind, I attach London to the hotel. The moment you walk in, you feel like it’s one big family. You are so well looked after, you feel that they care about you and give you opportunities. I could never have imagined when starting as a kitchen porter, that I could move into an office. It was an opportunity where I was thinking ‘how will I do this, I have no studies!’. I remember having the discussion with my manager who was so supportive and told me ‘believe in yourself!’. So you know, you’re working but at the same time you feel they care about you. And then there’s the guest side of things as well. It’s sometimes challenging, but it can be so rewarding when the guests show their gratitude for what you do for them. Sometimes they will drop you an email at Christmas. Or on your birthday, they might send you flowers – things like that which are pretty rewarding.
What does a normal day consist of for you?
TBC on the day! At the moment, things are really busy. I’ll generally arrive in the morning, have meetings about what is happening during the day, pass by the restaurant, see how it’s looking and if they need a hand, then go upstairs and see if there is anything that needs to be followed up. I’ll reply to emails, and make some calls also. We deal a lot with Conferencing and Events too which adds an interesting twist to events in the restaurants.
What are the key skills you need to have to do your role?
I think you need to be organised because you need to deal with several things at the same time, like at Christmas for instance, you have many bookings but if you are not organised then it can get difficult. I also think good communication is key, not just in my role but in hospitality in general.
Have you had any memorable requests from guests?
One that always sticks in my mind, we once received a phone call from a lady who wanted to book a table for her and her turtle. She told us her turtle liked Chinese food and would need a seat as well. She never showed up so it may have been a prank call!