Taking 11 with Robert Marchetti … January 19, 2015
Monday, 15th December 2014
Founder and CEO
I sat down with Robert Marchetti – CEO of Marchettico – a hospitality and lifestyle company – and the creative food genius behind award winning establishments like Gowings Bar and Grill at QT Hotel Sydney, Capitol Bar and Grill at QT Hotel Canberra, and most recently, Double-Six Luxury Hotel in Bali – with his signature restaurant Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill, opening this month.
With so many projects on the go – I wanted to find out what makes him tick – so I ‘took ten – actually eleven’ … and here’s what he had to say…
Why do you love what you do?
It’s all about the people who work with me. Craig my restaurant manager, has been with me for 12 years, and Jamie, my executive chef – 7 years. They are just some of the amazing people who have been working with me for a long time. We are like family. Our dream was to transport people to a place that we envisaged – and it’s now a reality.
What makes a great hotel and restaurant?
Not being a hotel restaurant for starters. We are always thinking outside of the box – there are no bad ideas – just bad decisions. We see our venues as places of entertainment, and it just so happens, we have rooms attached. Our staff don’t wear name badges, instead they engage with our guests personally. They don’t wear a ‘bland corporate uniform’ either … they dress up in costumes. Awesome music is a ‘must’ as well as original, quirky art. It’s the personal touches that matter and add soul. And best of all – guests can sign all this entertainment to their room.
What is the best advice you ever got?
Never ever let people trample on your dreams, and always keep moving and growing both personally and mentally.
And the worst?
It will be easy, and, it’s about the money.
What or who inspires you every day?
Everything – but mostly seeing our people develop into great human beings and great managers and leaders.
You have an amazing team around you … how do you gather, and retain them?
Always debate, and make them challenge you. Be generous with your words and time. Leave them room to grow. And most of all, listen to them and be aware of what’s happening in their lives.
How do you motivate you … and your team?
Exercise, meditation and vision. It takes loads of energy, so I push all my team to be healthy and train regularly – and eat well.
Have you had an ‘ahhhh’ moment (i.e. an epiphany) that changed your life/direction?
Yes. I’ve had partnerships that did not grow or blossom with my dreams. Once you free yourself from these partnerships, the door then opens for better opportunities and people to enter your life. Meditation and exercise is key. Surround yourself by people that are not ‘energy vampires’ but live life to their best. I met my dear friend Dandapani – a monk – and he changed my life forever.
How do you ‘switch off’ after a crazy day?
Swim, read and be kind to my family and friends. Oh … and of course, a great meal!
Do you miss being ‘on the tools’ every day?
I’m still on the tools – just different kinds of tools these days. I haven’t cooked professionally for 12 years now, but I work in the kitchen with all my chefs to development our menus. I’m getting a little too old now to work an 18 hour day in the kitchen – and I’m a little senile.
With projects on the go in each corner of the globe, you must always be on a plane … how do you cope with all that time in the air, jetlag, energy levels and personal ‘time out’?
I have an amazing Executive Assistant that thrives on challenges and organises me.
I love flying as I work and read a bunch – it’s my mobile office!
For further information on Robert, check out the Marchettico website www.marchettico.com.au