In Conversation with… Fabian Amici
The Restaurant General Manager of Roberto’s Doha talks transmitting his passion and people-oriented leadership.
What first attracted you to the hospitality and food and beverage sector?
I always had a drive to be with people and make them feel good around me in whatever situation. I would describe myself as a highenergy guy. After school, I didn’t see myself working in a closed space. I read an article about a famous GM from Kempinski Hotels and that was it. I wanted to achieve the same goals: travel, run restaurants, be involved with entertainment, to feel that pressure and thrill at the same time, live within different cultures and lead people to success. Food and beverage (F&B) was an easy choice for me. Being Italian, we have always had a close relationship with food and drinks. I needed a dynamic, fast-paced environment that differs every day, depending on the guests or the situation. This is what, for me, is the thrilling part of the F&B industry.
You have come to Qatar as the opening GM for Roberto’s Doha. What were the challenges in the pre-opening period and how have you dealt with these?
Challenges are found everywhere, no matter what your new assignment is. However, this pre-opening was special. The World Cup around the corner, the restaurant yet to be completed, the unknown impact the biggest event in the world would have on the restaurant. I had to adapt very fast to learn how things are dealt with here in Qatar, especially when you are moving from a hotel career to a stand-alone concept. Everything, all my tasks were multiplied by double in terms of planning, executing and finding the right solutions or alternatives. Empowering and trusting people around me as much as possible was how I overcame the pre-opening stage – with stress but very proud to have opened such a beautiful venue as Roberto’s. Finally, I have the luck to be surrounded by people working within the brand that always supported me and believed in me.
How have you gone about building your team and what do you think is the most important message/training that you can impart to them?
People are the most important asset for any business. They are the stars of the show and without them you cannot run it. Considering myself as a very people-oriented leader, I like to be with them in the daily operations, giving feedback and transmitting my passion to them. I think the most important thing is to keep them motivated and try to unleash their knowledge. Also, sharing my knowledge with the team and actively listening to their thoughts and feedback is the key to having a well synchronised and powerful team.
What would you say makes Roberto’s unique in the truly diverse Qatar dining scene?
Roberto’s is a unique and breathtaking venue, in terms of interior design and diversity of experiences that we can offer to our guests. Each area of the venue has been custom made. From a classic setting for a fine-dining environment to our lounge and bar area with a décor style reminiscent of the roaring ‘20s, yet with a modern touch.
For any type of occasion, Roberto’s has the answer. When you pair our mixologist programme with our quality of products chosen with care for our traditional, yet contemporary Italian cuisine, you are in the right place. Roberto’s represents a unique lifestyle venue, guaranteeing exceptional cuisine, tunes, drinks and unmatched attention to detail. This place gives me goosebumps and at the same time it also gives me lots of energy.
As a fairly recent arrival in the country, what are three things you have discovered about Qatar that you would share with visitors?
In the first place, Doha is a vibrant capital, with the Souq Waqif where you discover tradition. Doha by night reveals its beauty and the stunning architecture, such as the National Museum, shows that architecture does not know any boundaries. The whole city is breath-taking, it captures you. I like the overall concept in terms of architecture and facilities. Second, you have the sea, which is always a great asset for a city and a country. You can explore the coastline on a dhow, take trips or choose a nice place for snorkelling, diving, swimming and fishing. The third thing to share with visitors is the great nature, for example the reserve Khor Al-Adaid which is on UNESCO’s world heritage list. The desert with the dunes is always something special. Watching the sunset on a camel’s back, taking part in a dune walk, these are things I have put on my list to do and I’d like to share them with as many visitors possible. ✤