Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It started so well

It started so well

I lament the lack of good OLD fashioned Italian restaurants in Perth… in the style of Harry Ferrante and Umberto Tinnelli… and John Salotti from La Casetta in Wembley, where you could get great antipasto and risotto that “sticks to the inside of your stomach.” La Casetta sadly doesn't open for lunch any more.

When you are hungry you eat MOST of it!!
We have tried Three Coins in Beaufort Street Mount Lawley but it wasn’t up to scratch. So, today we tried Maurizio’s at Italian Club in Fitzgerald Street, North Perth.

It started well with a 2 hour parking place immediately beside the front door… but we never imagined that we would need the 2 hours for lunch… but that is another story.

The restaurant has ambiance… very nicely set up with great table settings and a general feeling of “class.” But it was downhill from there.

The “Lunch Menu” was two courses for $45 but each dish on the menu required the server to explain what it was. Although I should recognise an Italian accent being married to an Italian for the last 40years, I struggled to understand anything our young server said. Thinking $45 was a bit steep for one dish I would have preferred [ my risotto ] 

I asked to see the Ala Carte Menu… which went from $25 a entrée BOLDLY STATING ENTRÉE’s were ENTRÉE SIZE and main courses were $45 to $70 a pop.

So I reverted to the 2 course set menu and chose a tasting plate and a Crisp pork belly. The food was average at best and the service was non-existence… and I worried that the 2 hours wasn’t enough to be served and eat my meal. Brilliant Italian bread saved me from starvation but required 4 servings as the meal took so long.

My dining partner had the fish which was dry and his vegetables, although well cooked, were COLD. And in a cost conscious lunch environment, with the addition of a couple of local reds and a bottle of sparkling water, the meal cost $140 which was about a 2 out 5 for value.

So, the search must go on for a decent old style Italian restaurant because since Harry has retired they are as scarce as hens teeth.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

when to rob a bank

"when to rob a bank" the new book by Levitt and Dubner is a MUST read.

Taken from 8000 blog posts, the book is full of previously shared ideas... and Dubner worries about charging for stuff that we readers had access to for free. That is until they drive passed a water bottling plant... where FREE water is bottled and we pay more per litre than we pay for petrol... and he agrees that a curated collection is probably worth reading.

And I agree... "when to rob a bank" is a must read.

Kindle or paperback [ me!! this time ]

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Hilton Fail Customer Service basics

I wonder if anyone has had the experience of being treated as a second class guest... right from checking in??

I booked a night [ Tuesday May 5th 2015 ] through the Qantas site... an offer that came with the confirmation of my flight booking.

On arriving at the reception I was asked for photo ID... and the young check in person disappeared behind the wall. When she returned she disguised the fact she had photocopied my drivers licence.

I challenged her about it and she said because Qantas was a 4th party booking agent - apparently they use Expedia - it was company policy to photocopy the Drivers Licence... I complained again saying that didn't happen on my previous visit and that I was a Hilton Honors member and they had all my details on file... "Please get me a manager" was my request.

Stewart arrived and he was less than pleasant.... I asked to talk to the manager of the hotel and he informed me he was as far as I could get.

Asked for an appointment to personally chat with the General Manager so I could record my displeasure... after asking for the booking to be cancelled and being gleefully informed that it was a non refundable booking!!

I said I would continue with my booking, reluctantly, but I would like to talk with the general manager... he assured me that when the GM's PA returned he would arrange this.

Well a Morgan rang. I presumed she was the GM's PA but no she was someone else... telling me that I had agreed to the terms of them photocopying my ID in case of card fraud. However if I booked direct they would not have that requirement. "Oh you aren't the GM's PA then"  Morgan told me " He is VERY busy and I can't get to talk to his PA and I can't get you a meeting the the GM."

And in the Press announcement of his appointment to GM of Hilton Sydney it says: Ronald Van Weezel said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to work with a dynamic team and represent a market leading hotel in such a vibrant city. I am looking forward to continuing to enhance this flagship hotel and consistently delighting our guests.”

Well it isn't going so well mate!! I will have left before anyone actually here about my side of the story... that is someone in a position that isn't "covering their arse"

Ronald van Weezel

Saturday, May 02, 2015

1000 Raving Fans

The Start of your 1000 Raving Fans
1000 Raving Fans

There are many articles and thoughts about the value for 1000 raving fans.

The logic is that with this fan base, any idea or business will be a success. The proposition is that any idea you have will have enough support from your 1000 raving fans that it will become viral because your “1000 raving fans” will share it with 3 or 4 people and they will share it with 3 or 4 more… and before long, 10's of 1,000's of people know and support what you are trying to do.

Where could you start and build a “1000 Raving Fan Base?”

The best place to start would be any "entrepreneurial" group of you are associated with like Paul Dunn’s B1G1, Roger Hamilton’s Wealth Dynamics, or a local Chamber of Commerce. If you have started travelling then your fellow travelers to exotic places.

And another good source would be your client base from any business you are involved with or had a previous association.

And now some practical advice!! From my own experience but more importantly from recently becoming a fan of all things Amanda Palmer, you must start building an email database of your 1000 raving fans and also start sharing with them. You need to involve your raving fans in everything you do and have them champion your cause.

So, who are your first 100 Raving fans... start today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Getting Wealthy - Know the Rules according to Buffett

The truth according to Homer 
When the Old Age Pension was introduced, the government boffins picked an age for you to reach, 65 years old, that was after most people would have died. In this cunning ploy, they promised the masses a life after work that in reality was after nearly everyone had died. I am less than 18 months from that mythical age and I can see myself lasting to 90!!

So, I am looking at advice to help me earn more, keep more, and gain from my investments. Our number one investment, the family home is fully paid for and is appreciating nicely because we live in Perth... one of the worlds most expensive cities... I just heard the Real Estate Institutes Vice President say Perth's median house prices is $550,000 and our humble abode is worth considerably more than that. Perth has grown my 750,000 people in the last 10 years and new house continue to be built at an amazing pace... each seemingly smaller than our house and certainly further from the central business district.

It is said that if you life in Perth and own your own home you are by definition a millionaire.

Today's' rule on investment comes from the book "The Tao of Warren Buffett" written by the ex wife of a Buffett son, Mary Buffett.

Aphorism number 1:

"Rule 1: Never lose money.
Rule 2: Never forget rule No 1"

[An aphorism is a short, pithy statement containing a truth of general importor a statement of self-evident truth.]

Sunday, April 26, 2015

LinkedIn change takes fun out of building networks!!

Every month I search for the stats that show how big my internet network is and for years LinkedIn's network size has been an important part of that. Probably more for my ego than anything else!!

My network stretched, by LinkedIn's calculations to over 25 million.

Tonight that statistic is nowhere to be found. The LinkedIn blog says they no longer provide it... so BS about it being replaced with a more meaningful item...

I am devastated... but I imagine it is much like the famous Facebook changes... they know best and unless the change effects ad revenue, they won't change back... pity I say!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Come back Harry

Come back Harry!!

One of my favourite things to do is to lunch. And back 15 years ago Perth had a number of amazing Italian families as torchbearers for fine Italian food [ and good wholesome foods ] There was the Silver Dollar in Aberdeen, Simons for Seafood in Lake and Muma Marias. The doyen was Harry Ferrante… and his show piece was Harrys Bar and Grill.

Oh how I miss that scene. Great food, good fine and fantastic people.

A friend from my first days in Perth was the Sunday Times food writer and now writes for the PerthNow website. Gail Williams is considered a great judge of what is good in the food and hospitality scene in Perth.

I heard Gail on Peter Bell’s afternoon 6PR Radio show giving a review of the Three Coins Italian Trattoria. She was scathing about the service BUT said the food was so good that it made up for it.

So, I thought I should try the Three Coins for lunch… it sits at 776 Beaufort Street Mount Lawley, and is close by to where I work so it was with anticipation of a fine Italian meal that I visited recently.

Well I was underwhelmed. The actual restaurant presented well but it was all downhill from there. I ordered spatchcock and was immediately told the wait would be 30 to 40 minutes because “everything was cooked individually” as if that was an acceptable reason to make lunch in an hour a near impossibility. Prices by Perth standards were reasonable but portions sizes were small. My dinner guest had gnocchi in a serving that would better suit a 7 year old… and the bill was close to $100 when a glass of red and a sparkling mineral water were added in.

But what really annoyed me was the chef, leaving the open kitchen area, and going outside the door and having a cigarette in a clearly no smoking area. And to really rub salt into the wound, he dropped the cigarette to the ground, but picked it up again, and then took a couple more puffs before again tossing the but away. He returned to the kitchen and continued with food preparation without either washing his hands or putting on latex gloves…

So, I won’t be back anytime soon, and I long for those long gone days of Harry Ferrante and his band of many, and their passion and commitment to making food and service a pleasure. Where are you Harry.