From managing a boutique hotel in Italy to becoming a floor manager of Il Bene Pizzeria, Francesco Schisano is a passionate and experienced employee. Having moved to Australia five years ago to pursue a dream job in hospitality, Francesco also has an educational past, which is both surprising and impressive.
“I have a doctorate degree in natural sciences, specialising in palaeontology,” he said.
Despite a love of fossils, Francesco is focused on a future at The Fraternity Club.
“This kind of job (floor manager) is not at all what I expected to be doing when I was at university,” he said.
“Nonetheless, it is a job that I am well-suited for and enjoy because of my customer service experience, along with my knowledge of wines, beers and spirits.” Francesco, 49, began working at The Frat in November 2015 after immigrating to Australia only months earlier. He previously managed a hotel in Sorrento (Italy).
“My Italian heritage helps me interact with our traditional Italian community and customers,” he said.“Many customers come to speak with me because they know I speak the ‘mother tongue’ and they prefer to have a conversation in their native language.
“I have built a good relationship with many of our regular customers and when I am out with my wife, she is constantly surprised by the number of customers who stop and talk to me.
“She often jokes that I know more people than she does, and she has lived here 20 years longer than me.
“My real strength in the pizzeria is that I know good pizza flavours and combinations, both traditional and modern, and can help with suggestions when people don’t know what to choose. “I originated from an area close Naples where the pizza was born, so I have a deep understanding of what is good and what people like.”
Francesco said he admired Australia’s love of sports. “I enjoyed working at the club when the World Cup (football) was on,” he said. “Even though Italy wasn’t playing, serving people at all hours of the day and night truly gave a sense of the football community here in Australia. “I was also surprised at my very first Melbourne Cup event at The Frat – the support and punting from customers for a horse race was a new experience for me and much bigger that I could imagine.
“It has become apparent to me that Australian culture is very passionate and supportive of all kinds of sporting events, even if they don’t follow it closely.” Francesco said working at The Fraternity continued to be a rewarding experience. “I enjoy working at the club because it is a perfect mix of Italian and Australian culture for me. It’s like having a slice of home in Australia, which is my new home,” he said.
“I love my job. I have a sense of achievement and I am proud of all the people I work with and the quality service and pizza we provide.” As for a passion outside of work, Francesco has brewed a recipe for success. “As a hobby I brew a huge variety of beers and sometimes spirits. I enjoy developing new and interesting flavours that complement different foods and seasons,” he said.