Samy Sass - host to the rich and famous
June 24, 2014
I was born and raised in Monaco, where my father and I have been running our restaurant Sass Café for 20 years. Being in Monaco, it is very popular with big-name celebrities, and you will always find either me or my father there – it’s very much a family business. Now, with the opening of our first franchise in Dubai, the challenge is to adapt the same experience over here.
We chose Dubai because the crowd is similar to the one in Monaco. It’s a case of during the winter the people who live in Monaco come to Dubai, while in the summer people in Dubai go to the South of France. There is a synergy between the two.
Spread the word
A lot of guests hear about us through word of mouth. A few years ago U2 singer, Bono, had his birthday at Sass, where he invited a few important people – including Brad Pitt. We tend to take care of all our guests, and Brad told me that it had been a long time since he’d come to a bar and not seen a single camera flash.
The day after I had about 100 different magazines and newspapers calling me up asking me questions about him: Who was he with? What did he eat? How many times did he go to the toilet? I told them it was none of their business.
The secret to running a good restaurant is consistency. Yes, the food has to be good, but it has to be consistently good. That also applies to service, so we try to remember what each customer drinks, what food they had last time etc. It’s important that people feel at home.
A people person
I love to host and for people to be happy – and that’s not just at work either. If I’m on vacation, I want people to be happy. If there are 10 of us and one isn’t having fun, then neither am I! It’s something that you can’t go to school and learn, you have to have it inside you.
In a restaurant, you can have a smart and organised man at the door, but if he is really shy, then he won’t be able to host people or do his job properly. It’s important in business to understand people’s personalities so that you can use people’s personalities as their strengths.
Mind your manners
The first thing I teach my three children is to have respect for others. You can be dressed with a Gucci shirt and Brunello Cucinelli jeans, but if you are not respectful of others, then you have nothing. Good manners are where you really see what a man is worth.
A great example of this was when I was last in South America, where a friend of mine introduced me to David Beckham. I’d never met him before and he was such a great person – he was calm, gentle, kind and respectful. I was so impressed. You would never have believed that he was a superstar by the way he behaved – and that is why he is as successful as he is today.
[caption id="attachment_4037" align="alignnone" width="954"] Sass Cafe Dubai recently collaborated with Opera Gallery, so this Kate Moss piece, along with several other local artworks, now adorn the walls. Read about it here.
Details: visit Sasscafe-dubai.ae