Meet the Team! Barman Gio Divirgilio
In the second instalment of our ‘Meet the Team’ articles, we sit down with Bartender Gio Divirgiolio. As the longest serving member of the Stirrups Team we learn more about what makes him tick and his best memories from 33 years (and counting) of service!
What was your first job?
My first role was in Forestry Work.
When did you begin working in hotels?
I started working in hotels back in January 1974, so 46 years ago now!
And how long have you been here at Stirrups?
It’s been 33 years since I started working here. A large bulk of my career and certainly my roles within hospitality has been spent here at Stirrups.
What is the best advice you can give someone starting out in their Hospitality career?
I think the best advice I can give is simply this ‘Learn the trade’. Working in this industry provides a wonderful opportunity to work throughout the world, with a variety of people.
Who is the most famous person you’ve served?
Working here, I have met many interesting and famous people from diverse walks of life. Some notable names would include Freddie Starr, Alan Ball, Anne Widecombe and Nicholas Parsons who sadly passed last week.
What is the best memories of your time at Stirrups?
It would have to be New Years Eve when Freddie Starr came and did a gig, that was something you don't see everyday!
What are your plans for the future?
Once I retire, I plan to go on holiday as often as I can!
What makes you most proud of your job here?
When you work in a front of house position like this, the thing that makes you most proud is simply pleasing the customers. If they have had a great experience, then you have done your job properly.
If you weren’t a bar tender, what career would you have chosen?
I would likely have remained in Forestry. Ideally, I would have built and run my own forestry company.
What is your favourite drink?
Wine of course!
What is the best thing you have overheard whilst behind the bar?
As I mentioned before, the customer experience is paramount. So for me, the best thing I hear is customers commenting about how lovely Stirrups is. That makes me very proud to be a part of what we do here.
What is your ideal holiday destination?
I have always wanted to visit and explore Australia.
What is the best time of year to be at work?
It would have to be the Summer. We always have lots of guests enjoying our grounds, the weather and drinks on the lawn so it’s a wonderful time to be part of the buzz.
What is your favourite meal on the hotel menu?
We are very lucky to have many great dishes on the menu that tempt me, but I have to say my favourite from the Classics section is the Chicken Kiev.
Who inspires you the most?
That’s an easy one! For me, it is my family.
What significant changes have happened during your time at Stirrups?
The main changes have been an increase in the number of bedrooms and the size of the restaurant which has been great to enhance our guest offering. As well as this, the development of our gardens has been a joy to watch.
What is the most commonly asked for drink?
Currently, it is contemporary gins.
Gin sales have exploded in recent years but what trends do you see on the up?
I have noticed increasing requests for non alcoholic options and organic wines so these are trends I would expect to see increasing in the coming years.
As a 33 year veteran, are you optimistic for the future of hospitality and indeed for Stirrups?
I feel very optimistic for the future of hospitality offered here at Stirrups, because as a family run business it continues to maintain essential core values for meeting the needs of both our clients and crucially the staff too. Furthermore, the management successfully adapts to the constant changes affecting the catering and hospitality industries. I would like to think that Stirrups is only ever going to get even better!