Socorro’s hospitality overshadowed by a wolf in manager’s attire

by Shura Guseva

Hospitality, in its truest form, is an embodiment of grace, warmth, and respect. It’s an industry that doesn’t just serve food or offer rooms but builds memories and creates experiences. When executed with perfection, it leaves an indelible mark on the patron’s heart. However, every so often, a shadow is cast upon this noble profession, tainting its reputation. At Socorro, the flagship restaurant at Crowne Plaza Jaipur, that shadow has a name: Dinesh Dasani. He serves as a classic cautionary tale for every aspiring hotel employee.

My first interaction with Dasani was unsettling, to say the least. The customary greetings that one expects in a setting such as Socorro were shockingly absent. Instead of a “Good morning” or a “How do you do?”, he approached me with an oddly presumptuous inquiry, “Sir, are you a Sindhi?” My polite response, affirming my Indian identity, failed to deter his relentless cultural insensitivity. He showcased a disregard that bordered on disdain, further emphasizing his inability to listen or value customer feedback. Disregarding my expressed disinterest, the following morning saw a plate of ‘daal pakwan’ (a sindhi dish) presented to me – a testament to his inability to actively listen, understand or respect customer preferences.

If one wishes to observe Mr. Dasani’s operational ‘style’ at Socorro, identifying his location isn’t particularly challenging. Seek out tables adorned with female patrons – from Indigo crew members to families with pretty girls or young couples – and you’ll spot him attempting to play the role of the charming host. His pattern becomes disturbingly clear. One can’t help but notice his calculated approach – awaiting moments when male companions momentarily leave to get their refill at the buffet, only to swoop in with rehearsed charm. His predictability is almost comical, were it not for the underlying implications of such behavior. Beneath that veneer of charm lies something far more sinister, something that can’t be ignored.

Evading direct eye contact is one of the subtle tactics he employs. Psychological studies indicate that such behavior often suggests deception or, at times, an intention to dominate. Mr. Dasani’s inability to maintain eye contact, particularly with male guests, isn’t just unprofessional; it’s deeply alarming. Such actions breed discomfort. Consistent avoidance of eye contact, especially while conversing with men, as seen in Mr. Dasani, can imply a lack of confidence, honesty, or even fear of exposure. It’s no secret in the world of psychology that shifty eyes often betray a person’s true intentions. While not a direct indicator, it does raise questions about trustworthiness and sincerity.

The breaks he takes from his duties further add to the mounting list of his professional inadequacies. Rather than focusing on enhancing the guest experience, he’s frequently seen indulging in smoking breaks. And not just any breaks, but ones centered around inhaling secondary smoke, exclusively when in the company of female guests. One can’t help but wonder if this is what the esteemed Crowne Plaza envisaged as ‘exceptional guest service’. More so that the property is currently undergoing refurbishment and is on its way to become an Intercontinental Hotel.

Beyond his clear disregard for effective interpersonal interaction, Mr. Dasani’s managerial style is far from commendable. An effective manager leads by example and inspires loyalty and respect in his team. Unanimous feedback from within Socorro’s team including kitchen staff and service staff suggests that his reign is one of intimidation, not inspiration. A manager who rules by fear creates an environment that’s not just toxic but potentially dangerous. Such an atmosphere is toxic for any establishment, let alone one as reputed as Socorro. This isn’t leadership; it’s a severe malfunction in the machinery of management.

Socorro's hospitality overshadowed by a wolf in manager's attire

Another incident that further exposes Mr. Dasani’s underhanded tactics occurred one morning when the ambient melodies of a flutist elevated the atmosphere at Socorro. As the flutist rendered a trendy romantic tune, I couldn’t help but express my admiration. Almost instantly, Mr. Dasani leaped into the conversation, eager to claim credit. He hastily mentioned how it was upon his recommendation that the romantic tune from one of the famous movies was chosen. As I surveyed the room, it didn’t take too long to piece together the real motivation. The song seemed to be an orchestrated effort to serenade the young women from the Indigo crew, strategically seated near the entrance. His need to flaunt influence and pander to specific audiences was glaringly transparent, further diminishing his already tenuous credibility.

Harassment or annoyance, call it what you will, the overwhelming sentiment is that Dasani’s presence at Socorro is more than just an operational mismatch — it challenges the very credibility of the restaurant’s favorable TripAdvisor ranking. For a venue that so proudly boasts of exceptional guest experiences and has garnered such public acclaim, having a figure like Dasani, who seems oblivious to the true spirit of hospitality, actively disrupts its core values. In the illustrious backdrop of Soccoro, Dasani emerges as a cold, jarring anomaly.

The hospitality industry is where impeccable service, sensitivity, and respect for patrons are paramount, Dasani’s conduct serves as a cautionary example of what to avoid. His actions risk tarnishing the reputation of both Socorro and Crowne Plaza, establishments otherwise known for their excellence. The integrity of these establishments hangs in the balance, underscoring the urgent need for corrective measures to safeguard their legacy and patron experience.

He adorns a mask in the presence of authority. However, it’s rare to witness such a dramatic transformation as seen in Dasani when senior management graces the restaurant. Like clockwork, his usual brazen demeanor morphs into a picture of humility and subservience. Gone is the lurking presence by selected tables, replaced with a rehearsed charm that echoes fake camaraderie. Watching this chameleon-like transformation, it becomes increasingly evident that Dasani’s true personality is carefully concealed beneath layers of feigned professionalism when it’s convenient for him. This extreme volte-face not only exposes his true character but questions the authenticity of any interaction he undertakes.

Socorro's hospitality overshadowed by a wolf in manager's attire

There’s an unwritten rule in the hospitality sector – never give your patrons reason to mock you, as the industry thrives on reputation. And yet, by the end of my stay, an unofficial nickname for Mr. Dasani was whispered with a mix of amusement and disdain amongst the staff: “Daal Pakwan.” The very dish he presumptuously served me had now become a metaphorical reference to his professional approach – superficially appealing, but lacking depth or genuine warmth. This moniker is not just a playful jab but a testament to how even his own team views him. “Daal Pakwan” is more than just a name; it’s an enduring symbol of how Mr. Dasani’s stint at Socorro will be remembered for times to come.

The very essence of hospitality lies in the inherent care and concern for guests. It’s not just about providing comfort and convenience but creating a bond of mutual respect and understanding. During my three-month stay at the Crowne Plaza Jaipur, the cause of my extended visit was not one of leisure, but of distress. My mother was undergoing two surgeries for GI cancer at a nearby hospital. The emotional weight of such an ordeal is immense, and a simple inquiry about a loved one’s well-being can make a world of difference. Yet, throughout my stay, not once did Mr. Dasani express any genuine empathy or inquire about my mother’s health. This stark omission not only speaks volumes about his lack of emotional intelligence but also his apparent disinterest in understanding or empathizing with a guest’s personal journey.

Operational excellence in the hospitality sector isn’t just about smooth sailing during calm periods, but also about demonstrating competency during times of high demand. In the three months that I lodged at the hotel, the property experienced 100% occupancy for around 20 days. It was during these peak times that Mr. Dasani’s managerial inefficiencies were glaringly exposed. The restaurant, Socorro, became a tableau of chaos and disorder. Despite having the resources of a dedicated team of chefs and service staff, he seemed lost, showing no foresight to plan for the rush. Whether it was adding extra tables, placing more chairs, or simply enforcing the breakfast cut-off time of 10.30 AM – Mr. Dasani faltered. Latecomers breezily walked in as late as 11.15 AM, welcomed by his hesitant smile, as he lacked the conviction to uphold hotel policy. Such lapses in judgment and an apparent lack of preparedness were not just unbecoming of a manager at a prestigious property like Crowne Plaza, but also disrupted the overall dining experience for many guests.

Dinesh Dasani’s presence at Socorro isn’t just a professional misstep; it’s a potential minefield. In the vast landscape of hospitality, respect and understanding stand paramount. Those who fail to recognize this not only harm the establishment but pose a broader risk to society. In the end, the story of Dinesh Dasani is a sobering one. It serves as a reminder that in the realm of hospitality, genuine respect, active listening, and a keen understanding of cultural sensitivities are not mere ‘add-ons’ but essential cornerstones. Anything less is not only a disservice to the patrons but to the establishment itself.

Ajay Rajguru, Co-Founder of BIZ COM, seamlessly blends marketing with next-gen tech. His vision powers MENA Newswire, intertwining content distribution with artificial intelligence. With ventures like Newszy, he’s reshaping how content gets generated and viewed. As a part of the Middle East & Africa Private Market Place (MEAPMP), he’s innovating the digital ad narrative. A tech maven, he’s leading a digital-forward future. Off the tech grid, Ajay sharpens his financial acumen, investing astutely in equities, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, real estate, commodities, Sukuks and treasury securities. In his free moments, he puts pen to paper as the mood strikes.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are the author’s own, based on a three-month stay at Crowne Plaza Jaipur and dining at Socorro. This news portal does not endorse these views.

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