Running a brewpub isn’t easy- it’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat and the occasional tears.
There are a lot of good, earnest people working behind the scenes, who put in a great deal of effort, round-the-clock, to ensure that everything you love about Toit stays that way.
And these people are none other than our never-tiring, ever-inspiring staff.
Our very own Toit Army- a battalion dedicated to the cause of good beer!
She’s tiny but don’t let that fool you. She’s got all the skills to handle every customer that walks into Toit, and then some.
Say hello to Shradha, our Front Desk Manager.
How long have you been working at Toit?
It has been more than three years since I joined here.
Where are you originally from?
I’m from Darjeeling and my sister was working here, so I also moved here.
I was really interested to work in this industry.
Have you always wanted to work in the hospitality industry?
Ya! I have done my Hotel Management and I moved here after that.
I was really interested to work in this industry. When I first joined, I was like “Oh why did I join this industry”, but over time I got to meet so many people, and so many new people almost everyday. And working at Toit, I get to enjoy a lot. So I don’t feel any regret.
How did you first hear about Toit?
One of my close friends, Angela, used to work here and she used to tell me a lot about Toit. And whatever she told me sounded really interesting, and I had heard a lot about it from other people also, so I asked her if they wanted anyone here and that I’d really like to join.
She asked me to come and give an interview here. I came, gave an interview, it went well and that’s why I’m here.
Initially it was very difficult for me, because in the other places I had worked at, I just had to give customers their table. I came here and learned a lot. I started to enjoy my work. And over the years I changed a lot, and as I came to know about Toit, I also came to know many things about myself.
You’re the Front Desk Manager. Can you describe a typical workday? What all does it involve?
I think I spend most of my time in Toit.
I’m very lazy ok, so I don’t up early in the morning. I get up usually by 11 am. *laughs* But that’s because I sleep very late, like 2 am or even 4 am on some days. I can’t get up early in the morning.
Initially it was very difficult for me…
So I get up, I freshen up, sit for a bit quietly, wear my uniform, eat a quick meal and I come here.
I’m supposed to report at 1 pm but I always report fifteen minutes before that.
I go straight to my computer and start checking reservations and mails. And then I’ll start cribbing about the number of reservations, all that at the starting of the day itself. The tension comes automatically. After that, phone calls will come.
Usually, I finish by 10 pm and leave. Maybe 10:30 on weekends. Sometimes when it is really crowded, I go later. I don’t like to leave things messy. I am in charge of the front desk and I love my job, so I make sure everything is alright before I leave.
So your job is really hectic right?
Pretty much, yes. Very hectic.
Toit is always a busy place, regardless of whether it is a weekday or weekend.
I’m telling you, we don’t have a weekday. It’s always like it is a weekend. Come on Monday, or Tuesday, or anytime and it’s always crowded. And sometimes I feel bad to keep telling customers to wait. They must be thinking I have a habit of asking people to wait, like even if there’s a table I’m not giving it or something. Because I have to keep asking them to wait.
Can’t wait for the renovated first floor to open!
In all the years, any particularly stressful event happen that you had to handle?
Sometimes, there are guests who are the type that if they want a table, they want it right now.
I usually manage though. It’s very rare to get those kind of aggressive customers, but when that happens what I do is I’m very polite.
I might be losing my patience but I will never show it. They are my guests so I have to keep them happy.
And I will try to accommodate them as soon as possible. This usually only happens when they miss a call, or they don’t show up at the reservation time.
It’s very rare to get those kind of aggressive customers, but when that happens what I do is I’m very polite.
At Toit, we follow a very strict script, and everyone follows the same approach. So even if they say someone else told them something, we usually know that it can’t be outside the guidelines we follow.
Are you a patient person by nature?
Now I’m a senior in the front desk, and if I show my anger or impatience towards a customers, what will my juniors think?
I always pray to God before I start my job saying, “God my day should go well and I should be very patient and happy. I’m trying my best and I should be calm.”
Otherwise, trust me, I am very short tempered!
You have to remember, that it is because of the customers only that we are getting paid and doing what we do. They will stand at the front desk for a maximum of two minutes, so we should be good.
I want to become even more patient and calm, and they should feel good after interacting with me.
I always pray to God before I start my job saying, “God my day should go well and I should be very patient and happy.
When is your off-day?
I usually take off on a Wednesday. I don’t know why, but from the time I started working, I have always wanted my off to be on a Wednesday. Not just at Toit.
I sleep during my off day, but when it’s my off, I end up getting up early. I clean my room and do all my work. In the evening, I go hang out with my friends or I’ll stay at home.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love to shop! First I used to collect only bags, I have about 15 bags right now. More than that. And some of them even have their tags on them. Recently, I gave away three to my sisters. Every month, believe me, half of my salary goes to my bags. But also dresses and other stuff.
I love to shop!
You can ask them here, half of the couriers they get here are mine. I usually don’t go out and shop, I order online. Mainly because I don’t have the time to go out and shop and all.
I get one off during the week and I’m usually very tired, so that day I just want to spend time at home.
It’s been about 4 years of moving from a junior to the Manager of the front desk—how has the entire experience been?
See, when I joined, it was very tough for me. In other places, it’s usually a very simple job. But once I came here, doing calls and knowing that it’s being recorded, I had to learn to speak properly and say all the right things. Even the waiting list here, when I first came here I was shocked to see so many people on a waiting list. But I didn’t give up on myself.
My HR Manager, Kevin, he guided me very well. Trust me, that time I used to think why is this guy always behind me and maybe I should resign and go, but now I realise how much good he did for me. Because of him, I’m here today. He made sure I learned something every week, and it has been a very good experience. And I have a great relationship with the guests now.
It is still very hectic, but now I know what I need to do. It’s all a part of the job and a learning experience.