Sailing Club Nha Trang – Outstanding Service 23 years in the making!
When you wish to get a feel for how an establishment has evolved and grown over time, it is best to pick the brains of a long term staff member. At Sailing Club Nha Trang, there is nobody more qualified to ask than Dao Thi Tinh. The ever-present Restaurant Manager is now entering her 23rd year with the company and she has seen it grow from a tiny beach shack into the city’s premier beachside entertainment venue.
“When I first came here in 1995, Sailing Club was just a bar with a few tables on a very quiet beach. There were very few tourists in Nha Trang, and the main street had no hotels or even street lights” she mused. “We had a couple of tables at the restaurant and a small bar for expats and backpackers who were passing through. I began as a cashier and the only foreigner working here was the owner, Peter Vidotto. Back then, I had to perform many roles at once including cashier, waitress and working at the bar, as we had very few staff”.
The city started to become a more popular tourist destination around 2002, and Sailing Club expanded roughly every four years. In 2005, the pace of development increased rapidly, “the city sprang up like a mushroom” notes Tinh, and a large influx of visitors from Europe, Australia, and the USA frequented the beach, where Sailing Club was still the only restaurant.
Tinh rose through the ranks and became a supervisor to around forty staff members, and the company began to offer an expanded international menu while re-positioning itself as both a daytime restaurant and night-time party venue. The beach parties on the shore of Nha Trang Beach became legendary across Vietnam, and Sailing Club itself played a crucial role in promoting the city to foreign visitors.
Today, Sailing Club is a sprawling, multi-area venue with a huge restaurant serving Vietnamese, Western and Indian cuisine from three different kitchens. “We now have a huge menu that caters to every type of visitor,” explains Tinh. “Dealing with guests from across the world, we have made sure that there is something for everyone’s tastes.” When pressed as to her recommendations from the menu, she suggested, “I would start with our Chicken Caesar Salad or Tom Yum Soup, followed by the delicious Beef Tenderloin or Braised Lamb Shank.” If seafood is your preference, then you must try the seared tuna or teriyaki salmon, while the Nha Trang Seafood Platter is very popular for groups as it gives you a great taste of the best seafood in the city”.
A far cry from her days as a cashier, Tinh is now Sailing Club’s Restaurant Manager, and spends her days controlling the restaurant, overseeing staff and ensuring the food is always served to her very demanding standards. “My name in English means ‘quiet,’ but ironically, I am the most talkative person in the company, and my favorite part of the job is communicating with the customers to give them the best experience,” she says.
One would think that after two decades working at the same place, the work could become monotonous and mundane. However, Tinh states that she never feels bored. “Each day, I get to meet new people from all over the world and spend time getting to know our guests. This is why I have been here so long. Sailing Club is always changing and growing, and I am always learning while dealing with the challenges of overseeing such a busy place.
When strolling down the main thoroughfare of Tran Phu, Sailing Club looms in the center, serving a host of dishes for a relaxed morning breakfast, lunchtime snack or romantic evening dinner. Upon being seated, you will undoubtedly be greeted by Tinh as she effortlessly moves from table to table, offering advice on the vast menu or simply asking how your day is going. It is the personal touches that define the quality of a restaurant as much as its food, and with Ms. Tinh at the helm, you will be in good hands!