We asked him what was his secret recipe to his outstanding reputation in the industry, and turns out it is very simple: "you have to be hospitable". Believe me, it makes much more sense with some explanations.
Stelios Doussis "fell in love with Newfoundland a long time ago". Born and raised in Montreal, Stelios lived and worked there up until his mid-twenties (that’s why he speaks French!). He had the chance to visit "the Rock" (nickname given to Newfoundland) quite a few times because his better half, as he calls his husband, politician Seamus O’Regan, was born in Newfoundland. "This province means a lot to me", he adds.
After working in Toronto and in Montreal in many well-known restaurants and bars, Stelios made the move to Newfoundland a few years ago, where he eventually worked at two of the most popular places in the province: The Merchant Tavern in St. John’s and the impressive Fogo Island Inn.
At this last place, he learned from Zita Cobb,
Canadian entrepreneur and innkeeper of Fogo Inn, how to use Newfoundland’s resources to be as self-sustainable as possible, as well as to be more conscious of his surroundings and, of course, the warm sense of hospitality of Newfoundlanders. All of this he will now apply at Terre Restaurant and Café… although hospitality is something that comes naturally to Stelios.
"When people come to my home, I treat them exactly the same way I want to be treated at the restaurant, admits Stelios. You do not wait for them to ask for a drink, you offer it right away. The definition of hospitality, to me, is simply taking care of the people that come into the building. If you make them feel like at home in your restaurant, then you have conquered it."
Making his guests at Terre Restaurant and Café at ease will be his primary goal and mission, as well as coaching the staff to be as hospitable as possible. "I want them to learn everything not only about their role, but also about the industry. I want them to be able to develop themselves so that one day, when they leave the restaurant, their reputation for their outstanding hospitality and knowledge of the industry will precede them."
His best tips for the members of staff? "Stay humble, learn what you are doing and be receptive to comments". It is, according to him, the only way to survive in the stressful environment of a busy restaurant.