This evening’s episode had a much better focus on the trainees which was good to see – glad that Channel 4 acknowledged my tweets about this!
So far the restaurant had two tables that did not pay and front office had one room that did not pay due to a noisy dog. As expected Food and Beverage are in the lead with regards to the tips being received. It is good to see that the money raised from this venture is going to employment charities The Princes Trust and Springboard.
There was a quick run down of the trainees and their progress, and as predicted (see my previous blog) Gun is shining in the kitchen and this was recognised by Gordon and Emily has clearly demonstrated to Mary her excellent customer service skills. Some of the other trainees were mentioned although not always for the right reasons.
Mary has started to give Emily other opportunities to shine and given her more responsibility so she has more of a manager role on reception and also has her looking after Hilary’s shop – it is obvious Mary has her eye on Emily working for her at the end of the week. Gun clearly demonstrated her leadership skills in the kitchen and was very subtle in the way she managed Jason which was good.
Mary’s briefing with her team focused on personal service – care and attention. Her pet hate for smelly breath was evident once more as her breath freshener spray was let loose on Tom again… however later on Emily pointed out that Mary’s breath was not so fresh after she had eaten some garlic – remember to walk your talk Mary!
With Kim being unwell there was a shortage of staff in housekeeping. So Mary had a pep talk with Tom who is struggling with his customer service skills on reception and challenged him to clean a room in ten minutes. Fifty minutes later and the room was still not clean. From the attitude shown by Tom it is clear that a hospitality role whether it be back or house or front of house where efficiency and attention to detail are required, is not suited to this young man. Perhaps later he will be able to show where his strengths do lie, although he is running out of time.
The kitchen team are beginning to show their teamwork, although the food and beverage staff are still inconsistent with their service, and were a little slow on the uptake of clearing plates causing one table to complain at lunch. Dinner service was more hectic as diners arrive all at once, and joined tables at different times causing a backlog in the kitchen. This was handled well with Gordon sending his chefs out to wait on tables – although the kitchen should not have been put in this situation. As Phil Spencer is not a trained Maitre D these mistakes are bound to happen – although table allocation is part of his role – that’s what happens when you put celebrities in management roles who have no experience of this.
The best advice given in this episode was from Katie Piper who told her trainee – Never let the client know that you are are tired. The intensity of this week is obviously beginning to show on the trainees. Although the old adage still stands as they say “Smile you’re on stage”.
What was really good to see was the guests personally praising the trainees for their hard work – an excellent morale booster for them.
So as the week is coming to a close it is not long to see which two trainees will be luckily enough to secure employment with Gordon and Mary, although what is going to happen to the other trainees? – They are all getting some excellent experience with regards to their employability skills – I do hope they are followed up on and not just left hanging!