Category Archives: hospitality

When Did We All Forget About the Environment?

Well shitballs! Hasn’t the new show War on Waste got us all talking about our environment?

I’m a bit bothered about this. Why? Because I thought we knew a lot of this stuff. I do, and I do my best to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Recently I made a comment on the book of faces regarding how much I despise the Woolworths Marvel collector series. Not because I am mean. Not because I don’t wont my kids to have fun. It’s because I can see the land being filled with more and more plastic the more these types of promotions occur. I get pissed off with the packaging which I often have to gently remind (yell at) them to pick up from the floor and put in the landfill bin. I wonder what I will do with this collection when the novelty wears off. After all, every kid has them, they are of no value, I can’t sell them. There is the possibility of passing them down to a younger child who probably wont want them because the hype is over. 

You might be thinking don’t let them get them Shauna, you are the parent. Well clearly I suck at parenting. But that’s for another post.

The chatter this week is the takeaway coffee cup. Boy has this raised some conversation. Did you know technically we can recycle those cups, except, we can’t. The sippy lid, you go for it. Throw it in the recycle. The cup looks like paper, feels like paper but it has a fine coating of polymer to stop the liquid seeping through. There is no processing plant for these, perhaps we could create some jobs by building a recycling plant.

My Morning Coffee

I knew this. I separate my lid from my cup when I toss it. I make this choice. I am a shit human, or am I?

Many cafe’s have offered the option of filling your environmentally friendly reusable cup for years. Not many people take them up.

Why? Because we are lazy or busy?

I’m not sure about anyone else, but for me it feels like it’s going to take some effort to pull off. I need to change my habits, or maybe the cafe’s do.

I wonder if this would work? A reusable takeaway coffee cup system.

Firstly the cafe need to purchase a stock of reusable cups, probably two sizes.

  1. When we purchase our coffee in a reusable cup from our local cafe the first time we get our first coffee for free.
  2. When we return with our cup the Cafe give us a fresh one and put yesterday’s through their dishwasher (I teach Hygiene for Food Handlers, I have some concerns the consumer will not thoroughly wash their own cup) we get a small discount.
  3. The cycle continues.
  4. Eventually the cafe owners wont need to offer a discount as there will no longer be paper cups.

Does anyone else have any ideas to help the war on waste?

Also, does anyone have number 18 so my kid can complete his Marvel set?

chrismas-bonbonsThere have been years when the thought of Christmas looming just made me grumpy and anxious.
Working in hospitality meant that by the time Christmas finally got here, the carols, the cleaning up after the bonbons and the people who are not the best behaved under the influence of alcohol had worn on my nerves to the extent that they were like the little popper in the bonbon, just waiting for someone to tug on them before they cracked.

Then there was the pressure of finding pleasure in shopping! I fucking hate dislike shopping.  That is all!

This year we have got it sorted. We have taken the stress out of the day. Instead of shopping for shit that will remain in the packaging for years to come, we have opted for a $10 Secret Santa for all the people over the age of High School. Shopping for the small kids was easy as pie. I scheduled a whole day and made a list. It wasn’t fun, but it did not see me sitting in my hot car somewhere breathing into a brown paper bag.

our-actual-christmas-tree

Our Tree

The food is organised. I never stress about cooking as this is the part I love. Our kids are the perfect age for building some excitement in the lead up. I let them decorate the tree by themselves. I did not move one of the baubles to a more appropriate place. It is theirs and it is beautiful xx

Today I finish work for the break and have a couple of days to casually wrap those few gifts we have bought for the little people. I can slowly tidy the house and prepare it for the influx we are expecting on the day. I will collect the food I have ordered and make those last minute purchases of fresh good.

Three more sleeps until a relaxing celebration of family and food.

Merry Christmas my friends xx

 Edit: Parent Log: 23/12/16, 8:49pm. My Children are behaving beyond expectation. I am unsure whether to be afraid or proud. For now I choose proud. I have taken them both shopping separately for their sibling and they are both old enough to understand how important it is to keep a secret if it will make the surprise better. 

 

Are you being served? 6 ways to help me serve you better.

When I go to work as your server, I like to think I know my job. As a matter of fact, I do know my job. I also have good manners and etiquette.  Unfortunately for professional wait staff the world over, some employers are more than happy to employ staff with little to no experience for shitty wages, and then forget to train them to be awesome, thus giving our profession a bad wrap at times.

As I recently pointed out in my post 6 ways to keep me happy if you are my wait person, this could be because customers don’t care about good service or they have just accepted it will not happen. Well I would like to say that I do care about good service and have much pride in providing it if I was your server.

Today I am going to give it to you straight from my perspective as your server…

What pisses me off?

  1. Not listening. I have seated you, introduced myself, provided you with menus (both food and drink), explained the daily specials and of the days, where to read about them on the various blackboards located around the room and offered you a drink. I return with water and the drinks you have ordered and you ask me what the fish of the day is. Because I am a professional, I smile at you and tell you again, you then order the steak.
  2. Lack of etiquette. Your side plate is on your left. Your glass is on your right. Your napkin is for wiping your mouth, not your snotty nose. Because I am professional, and you pay my wages, I will not  ask if your mother would be proud of the way she brought you up. I smile and get your friend a clean side plate or glass.
  3. Taking drinks off my tray. Just don’t do it. Please. My little fingers are buckled under that tray acting like shock absorbers. When I take a glass off the tray, my brain knows how to adjust the weight. When you take a glass from the tray, all the glasses topple over and I spill drinks everywhere and look like a clutz. Because I am professional, I smile. I refrain from throwing the leftover drinks at your white shirt, and I clean up the mess and write of the spillage.
  4. Tilting your glass when I pour your beer. Because I am professional, I know how to pour a beer at the table. No need to help. In fact when you do help I fuck it up. But don’t despair, my smile is there. I will let you ‘fix’ my mistake by taking over, and you will miss out on the awesomeness which is my service.
  5. Piling up plates to help. Sorry helpers, this does not help. You see, we professionals know how to carry plates, deliver plates and clear plates. clearing platesWe do it one at a  time and we do it easily.  When you pile those suckers up, you make them too heavy to lift off the table with one hand. You stack the cutlery randomly and it gives me the shits. Because I am professional, I smile, I move past your pile of plates and continue to clear the table. I then make an extra trip back from the kitchen to use my two hands to pick them up.
  6. Treating me like shit. Hi there. I am a human. I chose a career in hospitality. I love the industry. I am not a servant in a classist society. I choose to give you awesome service as a means of making money. Working in the hospitality industry is so much fun most of the time. I don’t need some dick wad to treat me like shit and fuck up my mood. Because I am professional, I will ignore the way you looked down your nose at me and used simple language. I will refrain from becoming so pissed off with you that I ‘accidentally’ spill soup in your lap. But most of all I will smile.

I will keep the smile on my dial. At least until I get through the kitchen doors.

Happy dining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you being served? 6 ways to keep me happy if you are my wait person.

When I go out and pay others to cook for me and others to wait on me I expect, at a minimum, the kind of table service which reflects good table manners.

It seems of late that people either don’t care about good service or have just accepted it will not happen. Well I would like to say that I do care about good service and have much pride in providing it if I was your server.

So, I expect you are waiting for it….

What pisses me off?

  1. Not talking to me. At the very least when I enter a premises I would like to be acknowledged. Eye contact and a nod of the head will do. Just please don’t pretend I am not there. I am. I have cash. I will spend it. I will bring friends if you are nice. I pay some of your wages which equals your bills.
  2. Talking to me, but not asking me if you can help. You have walked to the table. It is a place of table service. You drop a menu in front of me. I know I would like a drink, I love drinks, but you have gone before I can order one. The more drinks I drink, the better equipped you will be to pay your bills.
  3. Serving our table one plate at a time. The art of sending all meals out together is taught to chefs and wait staff universal. The food is prepared so as it all comes out together. If it cannot be all served together, apologise to the customer and explain. Good table manners prevents me from starting my meal until all food has arrived. If my food has gone cold I will not enjoy it. If I enjoy the meal and the service is awesome. I tip. This will help you pay your bills.
  4. Removing an empty glass without asking whether I would like another drink. Perhaps I should remind you. I LOVE DRINKS. I might only need more water, regardless, please offer me more. The more drinks I have the more generous I become. This could lead to a bigger tip. You might be able to pay some bigger bills.
  5. Clearing our plates before everyone at the table has finished. My blood is boiling just thinking about this one.
    How a knife and fork look when you have finished your meal

    How a knife and fork look when you have finished your meal

    Do not clear our plates until the last morsel has been devoured. I mean it, the last morsel of food. Don’t guess this. If you are uncertain as to whether the customer is finished, ask them. Those of us who were taught manners will have our knife and fork placed together in the centre of the plate to indicate that we have finished. If you follow this common courtesy I will return to your establishment and bring more friends, spend more money and help you to pay your bills.

  6. Avoiding bringing the bill. We have eaten. There is nothing left for you to sell us and yet you have disappeared without a trace or are avoiding eye contact again. We require the bill so we can pay you. You guessed it. If we pay our bills you can pay yours.

These six are just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath lies a range of other crappy practices which has turned dining out into eating somewhere. Don’t even get me started on the customers who don’t know which side plate is theirs, whose glass is whose and who pile up their plates in order to help the server. Those topics are for another day when I look at this from the server’s perspective.

Delivering Quality Training

My blood is boiling!! Let me share why.
UnhappyFaceDNARelativeFinderCap

I have two titles at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) who pride themselves in delivering quality courses. My two roles are;

Trainer, both Certificate II in Hospitality as well as Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. I also do some short courses.

Training coordinator, which means I  make sure all of the course compliance is in place, meeting the (rather strict) requirements of our National Regulator.

Situation 1. What seemed like a polite phone call from a trainer from a competing RTO. He rang to ask if he would be treading on our toes if he arranged to deliver Certificate III in Hospitality locally. The short answer was no, as we don’t have Certificate III on our scope of registration.

So I get chatting with this person, as I love to grow my network. Where would you do it? How are you going to get enough enrolments in two weeks? …It comes out he would be delivering this course over 5 days.

“Five days?” I ask, “how do you propose to address the practical placement required in 5 days?”

I was told, it’s ok, it’s a five day intensive course, all practical and delivered in a fully operational bar and function room.

So what made me fire up? This RTO can’t be following the rules, and some poor unsuspecting people are paying good money for a dodgy qualification not worth the paper it is written on.

Certificate III in Hospitality requires 36 service service periods for practical placement
The nominal hours for this course are Minimum 322- Maximum 352.
A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge.

These are just a few examples of the flaws I could see in the course about to be delivered.

I think what incensed me more than anything was this person did not seem to know anything about these requirements, requirements which he should have learnt when he completed his Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit, which leads me to believe he has obtained his qualification from an equally unethical RTO, in a very short amount of time and although he might know his stuff as a hospitality worker, he certainly doesn’t know his stuff as a trainer.

Then it happened all over again.

A Facebook post, asking for

“Expressions of Interest,TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, only 5 days course and bargain price…”

Come on Adult Education Providers, lets play fair and give our clients the best possible training for their dollar. These people might be attracted to the short duration and low cost, but they deserve to receive the required skills and knowledge in order to further their careers in these fields.