Training, Coaching & Advice

Good customer service is rare.

Exceeding customer expectations is rarer still.

That’s because customer service does not come naturally to most people.

But it can be taught. You know that – and it’s why you are on this website, reading this.  

Whatever your situation, I have a training and coaching package that is absolutely right for you. Business or personal.


My culinary arts, film & theatre, real estate, productivity coaching and management work, has given me strong fundamentals for delivering the fundamentals you are going to need.

You will never be bored. You will learn with a smile. I guarantee it.

I will show you how to create highly regarded and unique moments and take great pleasure and delight in achieving it.

Plus of course, financially benefiting from it as a result – either as a business, or as an individual.

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Training & Coaching

When I train individuals and teams, I make it very clear the importance of the position. How prestigious it really is.

The impact customer-facing staff can have on people’s lives. How great service can make the food taste better. It’s all about respect.

How to serve specific guests, stars – like normal people – and treat normal people like stars.

This way you satisfy the needs of both of them.

In my time, I’ve served them all.

From Beyonce to Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, Scarlett Johansson, Sally Field, Brooke Shields, Sarah Jessica Parker, Meg Ryan and many more.

From Jon Bon to Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Paul McCartney, John McEnroe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jerry Seinfeld, Robert De niro, Calvin Klein and many more.

One thing you should know. I have never once asked for a picture with a celebrity. You might get the picture, but the star will never come back to the restaurant.

I’ve served those a-listers mentioned above and many, many more, literally hundreds of times. They come back to see me.

Why? The reason is simple.

Stars want to be treated like everyone else – and regular people love to be treated like stars.

Everyone wants to visit a restaurant, hotel or bar that does this.

When delivered correctly, people come back. And they tell other people. And, the guest list grows and continues to grow.

(Just an aside here, but it’s relevant. Many, many customers have told me that they spent more time watching me work, than eating their food).

Remember this: A-listers and everyday Joes are like hearts.

They like to go where they are appreciated.

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Restaurants a speciality

Most restaurants I know, handle training in-house using in-house servers.

“Yeah, this is how we do it here… study the food and the wine.”

Training can be from 2 days to 2 weeks, generally revolving around the standard memorizing of food, beverage and ingredients. Very little, if any, training is done about customers and how to give them a 5-star experience – every time.

Sometimes there’s a test at the end. After that, the owners throw the trainee out on the floor and hope everything works out.

Most of the time, it doesn’t.

No surprise there. Because, there’s no mission and no passion.

And no essential education about what they are going to face.

Nothing about customer retention.

Connection. Relationships. Theatre.

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All hotels – whether large or small, part of a group or an independent, luxury or budget – could do well to recognize and adopt this Sanskrit saying:

Atithi Devo Bhavah

This means – “the Guest is God”.

Which, of course is true.

The guest IS God. And should be treated like it.

But, despite many hotels claiming that they DO treat guests like Gods, very few actually treat their guests this way.

Most hotels, in fact, only play lip service to it.

Top and senior management are committed, but it’s the staff that regularly let a property down.

Mainly because they have not been trained correctly and therefore don’t understand what is required.

In my personal experience, I have found that a guest connects with a hotel brand when the inside reality and outside perception of a hotel reflect one another.

From the moment an individual decides on staying in a particular hotel, any individual should expect a warm welcome, a friendly face and attentive service – from the moment he or she embraces the brand.

And this means from the ordering process, to the stay and the communications that must take place after that guest has left.

A good hotel would like to be thought of by guests as a ‘home from home’. 

To deliver this, members of staff must show their commitment to the brand – delivering a genuinely personal touch that goes the extra mile. 

This is a CORE requirement. 

Front of house employees – front desk, bellman, doorman – are the first impressions of any hotel. And, as we know in all aspects of life, first impressions count.

Do they smile? Do they exude warmth? Are the words they utter, genuine, or are they just going through the motions? Because, trust me, most ARE just going through the motions. Only a small percentage really care.

This is not just hotels. It’s all businesses. Employees just do enough and no more.

They don’t see the bigger picture.

Because, they have never been trained correctly.


Jonathan Tisch

CEO Loews Hotels & Co-Owner of the New York Giants

“Over the last few years, my family and I have had the pleasure to watch and enjoy, as Eric Valdivieso, nightly deliver a dining experience that is truly enjoyable. From the moment that we are welcomed by Eric at the door, to sitting at the bar and enjoying the suggestions and company to an amazing dinner, it is always one of our favorite nights. And Eric graciously and seamlessly choreographs this entire experience, without breaking a sweat. Eric truly understands hospitality, and what makes a great restaurant so great.”