Kevin McSteen has worked at some of the world’s most outstanding restaurants and is now sharing his knowledge with the next generation.
We ask Kevin what it takes to deliver service excellence:
Where did you get your start in the industry?
I first started in hospitality in my hometown in Ireland when I was 15 years old. I worked at a local hotel and a friend got me a job as a kitchen porter. I rocked up in my best clothes with no clue what I was about to encounter – I was completely a fish out of water but knew there was something magical taking place before my eyes. I just loved the team work, the produce and suppliers, the chefs in their full whites and the mangers in their suits, the flash of fire on the grill, and the excitement when those kitchen doors swing open. It was a constant challenge and the learning it provided was enormous. Little did I know that 23 years later I would still be in love with hospitality and still facing the same challenges and learnings but just from a different perspective.
Where has your career taken you since then?
I have had a very rounded career and it has taken me all over the globe. I have been involved in everything from pubs to clubs, small luxury hotels to vast resorts, and family run businesses to large groups. Along that journey I have been lucky enough to manage some of the best restaurants in the world inducing being the General Manager of Dinner by Heston in London; Dining Room Manger of Eleven Madison Park in New York City; and General Manager of Attica in Melbourne.
What is your current role with Morris Group?
I joined Morris Hospitality in 2021 as the Group Training and Service Manager. I jumped at the chance to assist in making a positive impact on the grassroots level of our industry. In 2022 we rolled out our training academy Mise en Place. The platform is a combination of my experiences as well as custom-made content for Morris Hospitality which will help staff achieve certificates and diplomas in hospitality.
What does service excellence mean to you?
The ability to recognise what a guest needs and deliver it before they ask. Reading a guest’s body language, looking at their mannerisms, or listening to their stories. These will let you know everything you need to deliver an extraordinary experience.
What are some of your top tips for delivering exceptional customer service?
It’s a blend of being genuine, professional, and fun. It’s important to be yourself and to forge sincere and long last relationships with your suppliers, staff, and guests.
“Everyone should experience your hospitality, not just the paying guest.”
Kevin McSteen, Group Food & Beverage Manager, CLG