For this month’s edition of Your People, I had the chance to chat with Jassiel Garcia, the manager of BocaDos STK at Garza Blanca. Jassiel is mild mannered, looks younger than his age, and seemed a little shy at first, but once I started talking to him, I could feel his passion for and dedication to keeping things running smoothly in all the restaurants at Garza Blanca during his 8 year tenure, and specifically now at BocaDos.
Jassiel, tell me about your background.
I was born here in Puerto Vallarta, and I went to grade school, middle school and high school here. Before starting university I went to the United States for work for a couple years. Then, I decided to come back to Vallarta to study marketing. I was working as a waiter and studying at the same time.
I like sports, I like finance, and I like nutrition. My wife is a nutritionist. We met here in Vallarta. We actually met in the hotel. She was a cashier at the time. She is no longer working here but I’m still here.
I love wines, especially red wine.
I have worked in all the restaurants at Garza Blanca. I started at Blanca Blue, which was the only restaurant on the property 8 years ago when I began working here. Then, I moved to the pool restaurant, room service and then eventually BocaDos. About 6 or 7 years ago BocaDos was a lone ranger in the mountains on the property, and no one wanted to come here because it was so far away from the other buildings on the property. Now, as you can see, Garza Blanca has continued building in this area, and now BocaDos is right in the middle of the property, and now we serve approximately 100 guests for dinner every night.
Working at Garza Blanca is my first experience working in a hotel. Before I came here I was working in restaurants. When I worked in the room service side of the Food & Beverage department here, I learned about hotel service.
I have learned everything I know about working in Food & Beverage and Hospitality through my 15 years in the business, and 8 of those years at Garza Blanca.
The company gave me the opportunity to grow up here from waiter to floor manager to restaurant manager.
I studied marketing in college, and I realized that marketing and Food & Beverage are a little bit similar. In both fields you need to understand sales, you need to be knowledgeable for the client or guest, and you need to understand how different people think in order to offer better ways to attend to them.
Tell me about your family.
I’m 35 years old. I’m the oldest child in my family. I have 1 brother and 2 sisters. I got married last November. No kids yet, but soon.
Tell me about BocaDos.
BocaDos is in a magical place, situated in the perfect spot at Garza Blanca. It’s incomparable. At BocaDos we like to hear the requests from the members. For example, members asked for seafood in the restaurant, and this year we changed the menu. We added some new plates, some seafood, and people enjoy it a lot. The staff here at BocaDos are very engaged with the vision of the company. We combine great service with great food and a great view. That’s the reason why people like to come to eat at BocaDos.
The restaurant is beautiful. We have more members every year and we have great reviews and lots of recommendations, so BocaDos is busy and growing.
We are open for breakfast and dinner. We close for lunch. The restaurant is to the public, but we give preference to the people staying at the resort. We ask guests and members to make reservations if possible to make sure we have space, especially for dinner.
What’s the difference between BocaDos and Blanca Blue?
Some people prefer BocaDos because the view is totally different. Blanca Blue is on the beach, but we are a bit higher up on the property. BocaDos is smaller, more cozy. We are more informal place, while Blanca Blue has a more formal dress code. The food is also a very strong factor why guests come to BocaDos. A lot of people from Canada and the United States like meat. BocaDos is a steakhouse, while Blanca Blue is contemporary Mexican cuisine. BocaDos is smaller and more intimate; guests can get more intimate attention from the staff.
What’s coming next at BocaDos?
We will redesign the kitchen to make it more functional for the staff, and this will also allow us to offer more, different, high quality products on the menu in the future.
What kind of interaction do you personally have with the members?
We have a program where I am the padrino to some members, which means “godfather,” but it’s a way to say that I personally take care of them. If they have any requests or any issues, I help them. We have members who have been coming for 5 years, and I remember them. I like to hear from those people because they come very often, sometimes twice a year, and their comments are very important to us. If they say we are doing well, I feel good about my work.
What would you like to share with our members?
Puerto Vallarta is a magnificent place to work and live. I really enjoy when people come to Vallarta, and they come to my restaurant, and I see the happiness in those people. I really like that. That’s why I’m still in this business. When I see somebody happy, when somebody says thank you very much, I’m really happy for your service, for your knowledge, it’s very rewarding for me.
I feel that the members made a very good decision when they decided to become members. This is a beautiful company that wants better things for the members in the future. When I see members coming back year after year, I think they feel at ease because they see the same staff working here. I think it’s relaxing for them to see that we are still here. If you come every year and you see the same people, you know the company is running well.