Miss Florina Paldau
Food and Beverage Manager

The Muscle Help Foundation is thrilled to nominate Miss Florina Paldau, the Food and Beverage Manager at the Village Hotel London Watford (Elstree) for her outstanding customer service in recently managing and looking after a group of six guests at a private dinner as part of a unique Muscle Dream experience. Her direct report is Mr Joel May, Senior General Manager.

Florina, who introduced herself as Flo, excelled in so many ways on what was a very busy evening at the hotel on Saturday 3rd November 2018. Her foresight in realising that the Village Grill, the hotel’s main restaurant, was perhaps not the ideal location for an intimate, celebratory Muscle Warrior dinner, for a little 9r-old girl who had spent the day at Elstree Studios mixing it up with the Strictly Come Dancing stars and watching a very special Children in Need production being filmed live, is to be commended.

Within .20mins of one of the charity’s Muscle Dream team members having a discussion with Flo about perhaps exploring alternative dinner location options on site, a solution was found. Within .15mins, our group moved into the stunning Village Business Club – this is an innovative meeting area offering different seating options including a comfortable lounge area with the biggest TV screens ever, pleasing Hollie’s dad no end as he was able to keep an eye on his beloved Liverpool who sadly drew 1-1 with Arsenal. The Village Business Club was much quieter and once we had been invited by Flo to move from the hotel’s foyer area into this space to relax and unwind, she very efficiently organised refreshments, circulated the menu and even arranged for two of the Chef’s to discuss dietary requirements.

Whilst the main Village Grill was packed with guests watching the football, nothing was too much trouble for Flo who hosted Hollie, our VIP Muscle Dream beneficiary and our group, with such genuine warmth and care. I overheard one member of staff, who approached Flo, breathlessly saying that a barrel (we think of beer or lager) had run out and the keys were required expeditiously to replace said barrel – Flo took it in her stride and calmly sorted the situation.

Over many years, the charity has worked with hotels up and down the country to help support its Muscle Dream activities – rarely have we come across an individual that shines in such a selfless way. From what we observed and experienced, Flo’s attributes are many – from her warm disposition, her ability to put guests at ease and her genuine authentic spirit to her caring, can-do positive attitude in being fully present with our group (not least, remembering everyone’s names) topped off by a beaming smile that brings with it a genuine desire to want to go above and beyond in terms of customer service. It is the hope of the charity that in some small way, this ‘WOW! Award’ not only shines a spotlight but also conveys our gratefulness to Flo.

We felt that she was part of Hollie’s Muscle Dream team, as opposed to a staff member from the hotel – the charity witnessed just how wonderful Flo was with Hollie, making her feel extra special all of the time! What a git! It was therefore a totally inclusive family experience and that in itself was priceless and something that we know Hollie’s parents greatly valued. We only hope that we didn’t embarrass Flo by giving her one of our rousing Muscle Warrior ‘three cheers’ at the end of what was a magical evening.

Flo’s attention to detail and professional demeanour are qualities that many who work in the hospitality industry possess – but going above and beyond the call of duty in giving really outstanding customer service is a rarity and why The Muscle Help Foundation wishes to acknowledge this in Flo by nominating her for this richly deserved WOW! Award.

Nominating someone for a WOW! Award is all about catching people doing the right things – the stand-out memory for the charity was not only how Flo personally hosted our group but also how she interacted with our Muscle Dream beneficiary from beginning to end; the official photos on our dedicated Flickr channel will testify to that – many congratulations Flo!

Nominated by: Michael Mcgrath, 6th Nov 2018