José Patricio Moo Poot, Bartender, The Royal Sands

Originally from Kaua in the state of Yucatan, Patricio moved to Cancun eight years ago in search of work after graduating from preparatory school. He says, “My village is near Chichen Itza and my family are craftsmen, selling wooden figurines to the tourists. I helped my parents when I was growing up and decided I wanted to work in the hospitality industry, where I could serve our visitors.

“My first couple of weeks in Cancun were difficult,” Patricio reminisces, “Every job I applied for needed work experience and I didn’t have any. After 15 days here, I was running out of money and was helping my cousin sell pica limon– fresh fruit sprinkled with chili powder and lime juice– outside a shopping center when one of the Royal Resorts staff buses drove past. I saw the seagull logo and thought to myself, one day I’m going to work for that company. Not long after, I applied for a job and was accepted! I have been with Royal Resorts for almost seven years now.

“I started out as a kitchen cleaner or steward at The Royal Sands and then was promoted to garrotero or assistant waiter at La Veranda. I’ve always been very positive, service-oriented and enthusiastic and after only my first month on contract I won the Employee of the Month award. I have won it three more times since then and in 2010, I was named Employee of the Year.”

“I am always striving to improve and every night I look back on the day and say to myself what I did well today I must do even better tomorrow.” Patricio adds, “I set my own goals and one of them was to become a bar tender. After two years as an assistant waiter, I took the opportunity to do some cross training as a bar assistant. I liked it immediately and really enjoyed serving the guests.

“One day, my boss called me in and told me that I was doing very well but that I needed to improve my English skills in order to be outstanding. After having taken the classes available at the resort, I decided to make an investment for my future and I signed up for a course at a local language school. One year later, my English had improved significantly and I felt much more confident about talking to our members and guests. Many of them encouraged me and helped me to practice my conversation skills during that time.

“With the launch of the REFINE All-Inclusive package at The Royal Sands, there was a job opening as a bartender. I decided that I was ready to apply for it and I am very grateful that the company had faith in me and gave me the opportunity to grow. I have been in the job for one year now and my goal is to become head bar tender one day and keep improving. I have another even more powerful motivation now, my wife and five-year-old son. I am working to give them a better future.

“I love my job and waiting on our members and guests with a smile and a friendly word. It seems that guests appreciate this and often mention me in the Guest Satisfaction survey and also on Trip Advisor. I make it my goal to learn their names, what drinks they like and what they don’t like before preparing their favorite drink or recommending a new cocktail. As a result, I have made many friends during my years at the resort and I keep in touch with some of them by email or social media. It’s always a pleasure when they call in to visit me and that they say that I am special for them. It means that I must be doing my job well.

“One of the cocktails I recommend is the Tropicana, it is a blend of refreshing mango and pineapple, coconut cream and liqueur and Blue Curacao and I also serve up the Patricio Special. This creation contains coconut rum, coconut cream, a dash of lime juice, vodka, orange liqueur and Blue Curacao shaken and served on the rocks. It’s the taste of the tropics: coconut, zesty citrus flavors and the blue of the sea.

“I tell my colleagues that there is something new to learn every day and I am always studying. I have just finished a course in Portuguese and now want to learn French. I also speak Maya, which I learned from my grandparents when I was a child. I look at other people and say to myself if they can reach their goals so can I. We all can if we put our minds to it.

“My message to members would be this: thank you for visiting us, we look forward to welcoming you and making you feel at home during your vacation. I hope that you’ll come and see us at The Royal Sands bars. Our goal is to make your stay unforgettable.

“Royal Resorts is like a family for me – my colleagues, the managers and the company itself. It gave me my first opportunity and I’ll always be grateful for that.”