21/07/2022 Elton Muço shares with us his roles & responsibilities at 67 Pall Mall, his career highlights, and how he equally charms his staff and guests with his professional expertise.
Elton Muço, a certified sommelier at 67 Pall Mall, began his professional life as a waiter and ventured as a sommelier in 2018. In a few years, he emerged as one of the recognized professionals in the wine industry.
What sources do you follow to stay on top of industry trends and new launches worldwide?
Keeping up with industry trends is critical, so I always keep my ear to the ground.
I read books like "The South America Wine Guide "by Amanda Barnes, "Inside Burgundy "By Jasper Morris MW, and International organizations like Guildsomm. I also listen to podcasts- they are easy and enjoyable to keep up with. I read trade journals, Decanter Magazine, browse social media, and word of mouth. These all help, but nothing can replace the expertise of my guests - I always listen to them! Especially working in a private member's club like 67 Pall Mall, where high knowledgeable members come in every day and share their experiences with you about the vintages, new releases, and so on. I feel very lucky to work in such an environment. It is a non-stop learning experience.
Questions you would ask a customer who doesn't know anything about wine? What kind of fruit do you like?
The aim is to identify a wine with the same characteristics and satisfy the customer's wishes.
What are some of the most important skills for a sommelier?
Confidence in their knowledge, understanding of the guest, positive attitude, curiosity, and great communication skills are essential qualities for a sommelier to deliver an outstanding service. It is a hard job that requires a lot of studying, so one should have a passion for this profession to go ahead.
How would you train new staff members in their first seven days of joining?
With a slow and very gentle start, we introduce them to company values, our vision, and our goals for the future by showing the structure of the team and rules and introducing them to each.
What methods do you use to grow wine sales? Please explain with examples.
Staff Training and proper training will increase wine revenue and customer satisfaction. Offering Options, a wider selection of wines by the bottle & by the glass on the list so the guests can choose according to their taste buds and pocket. Food and Wine matching offers options like sommelier selection (basic matching), prestige selection (good wine matching), wine of the day, or wine of the week.
What methods do you use to grow profits?
Positive upselling by communicating more with our guests, creating incentives for staff, and having clear, well-defined goals.
How do you self-learn and improve your skills?
Self-Disciplined (very important), and I stick to my goals. I spend more time practicing things I find difficult until it becomes a part of my behavior. The ability to accept constructive feedback is another way to push yourself to do better.
Give us one good story that you remember of a customer and you.
In my current role as Senior Sommelier at 67 Pall Mall, I’ve had several opportunities to provide our guests with excellent service.
Situation: One day, I was responsible for looking after one of our three private dining rooms booked for 11 guests, dinner service with preselected wines.
Task: 7 flights with six wines per flight and different glassware each, all in coordination with food timing.
Action: Preparing myself with a good studying of all the wines, vintages, producers, regions, grapes, and good glassware set-up is crucial—the right temperature of the wines and ready for the big night.
Result: An exceptional communication between myself, the waiter, and the chef make everything goes smoothly. Great customer service and happy guests.
Image: An interview with Ronan Sayburn MS
Continue reading more on 67 Pall Mall: Ronan Sayburn MS sits down with Sid Patel, CEO of London Competitions and Beverage Trade Network for an interview.