Q&A with Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, Doorman Kevin Moriarty

What makes someone a good doorman?
A good doorman sees everything and speaks about nothing, whether it is an A-lister’s drunk liaisons or a guest’s financial matters.

How long have you worked in this capacity?
I started as a doorman at this property when it opened in December 2007. Before that, I had been a door captain at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich in Connecticut.

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What do you think makes you so well suited to your line of work?
At Ardsley High School, I was voted both ‘class partier’ and ‘class psychiatrist,’ and those are the exact skill sets I need in this line of work—an ability to help people enjoy themselves while exercising the utmost discretion.
Do you have to stand on your feet for your entire eight-hour shift?
With the exception of a half-hour break, I am on my feet for my entire shift, but it’s never bothered me. I do wear Dr. Scholl’s Maximum Cushion Gel Inserts in my shoes.  

Are you allowed to listen to an iPod or use a cellphone?
Absolutely not.

What’s been the most X-rated request a visitor has made of you?
A group of ladies having a bachelorette party asked if I could come perform a dance for them.  

What’s the most common misconception about being a doorman?
That I am a servant. Yes, I work in service, but I am not a servant. Rather, I’m a gentleman serving gentlemen and ladies. If someone is particularly condescending, I might try to engage him or her in a way that lets the person know my earning power is off the charts.

Have you ever been able to inject a bit of your own personality into your position?
I grew up listening to Michael Jackson and am a huge fan, so, after he passed, I removed my right white glove and proceeded to moonwalk—in a respectful way, of course—up the front drive as my personal tribute to him. I really had the crowds going.

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What’s a frequent request guests make of you?
To tell them where they can grab the best meal, other than in the hotel. I might suggest Mulino’s for Italian, Haiku for Japanese, or Hudson Grille if they’re looking for a high-end pub.

Other than the weather, what’s the most common topic of conversation you chat about with guests?
‘Who’s famous that’s
staying here right now?’ Of course, I can’t name names.

How are doormen compensated?
Doormen typically make ten to twelve dollars per hour plus tips ranging anywhere from a dollar for opening the door to several hundred for taking in a lot of luggage or sending off a group in a limousine.

What’s the single biggest tip you’ve ever received and for what?
A thousand dollars from a wealthy playboy having a rendezvous with some dancers from a local gentleman’s club in the Presidential Suite at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich. While he entertained them, he gave me his Porsche and several ATM cards and asked me to withdraw a thousand dollars from each of five different local banks. When I returned with the cash, the festivities were well underway, and he asked if I’d like to stay and enjoy myself. I told him that, while it seemed interesting, I valued my job and, as a hotel employee, I was not permitted to enter guestrooms to party.

Other than money, how else have guests shown you their appreciation?
Some of the hugs and handmade cards with choppy little crayon drawings I get from kids really make me tear up. And I can pretty much go to any restaurant or sporting event in Westchester that I want to.

Photo by John Rizzo

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