The Peabody hotel launched its Duckmaster Blog this week, narrating the escapades of the world-renown Peabody ducks and their duckmasters in Memphis, Little Rock and Orlando.
The Peabody Memphis hired new duckmaster Anthony Petrina in February, continuing the tradition of daily duck marches the 464-room hotel has embraced for more than 70 years.
The duckmaster’s job is no walk in the park. He leads two marches a day, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., each of which attract a wide range of spectators, from 250 to 1,000. He’s also responsible for the care and well-being of the ducks, visits more than 30 schools per year and regularly appears on television shows and at other special events.
That’s why 25-year-old Petrina was a great fit for the fifth duckmaster in the hotel’s history, The Peabody’s general manager Doug Browne told The Daily News recently during its interview for its ‘Room Service’ story.
“We try to choose somebody who is dignified,” Browne said. “It’s not a circus act, it’s something that we treat very carefully and respectfully, so we want the duckmaster to be well-spoken. He’s really an ambassador for the hotel as a whole, not just the ducks.”
And an ambassador, he is. Petrina not only has a theater background, but he had worked at the hotel’s Capriccio Grill since 2010.
“We had an extended interview time with him, you might say,” Browne said. “There are advantages to hiring from within – it’s an associate that already knows our Peabody service standards, already knows the history of the hotel, is very familiar with the hotel and familiar with Downtown, and those are all important things for the role.
Anthony actually was a student of mine at Kemmons Wilson at the University of Memphis when I taught there. We then hired him in the restaurant, where he worked as a server, then he became a supervisor in the restaurant, and then he showed an interest for duckmaster. He’s comfortable speaking, so we got to watch him for a couple of years as well. He wanted it.”
Check out Petrina’s latest blog post on why duck’s don’t appear on Chez Phillppe’s menu here.