Justin Tang, Director of Operations:
If I was cast as a pirate I would most like to play: Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Captain Hook (Peter Pan) or Cheung Po Tsai (famous HK pirate from Cheung Chau island)
These three are all interesting characters! If I have to make a choice – well, I’d want to play Captain Jack Sparrow. Certainly there’s no way for me to be Johnny Depp, but some of Captain Jack Sparrow’s traits resemble bits and pieces of who I am. Jack Sparrow might not be the most skilful pirate but his leadership skills and traits have given him the benefit of a loyal crew. He’s able to think outside the box, adapt to different situations and not be bound by convention.
You studied acting, but moved into the restaurant industry. What skills served you best in your new career?
Empathy and agility. The experience of being an actor makes it easier for me to put myself into other people's shoes. That’s been a big help in my current role, where you must anticipate guests’ needs and be considerate and empathetic to teammates.
What are the elements of an A+ hospitality experience, and how do you make sure it happens consistently at Pici – or any restaurant?
I don’t think there’s a master playbook of elements or criteria. Hospitality, to me, is pretty straightforward: you’re trying to meet, and then exceed guest’s expectations. To motivate a team to deliver, the key is incubating the right culture. At Pirata Group, we invest time and resources in training so that the mindset of unconditional hospitality becomes second-nature to all our team members.