Apprentice 2: Cater a Chi Chi Party

The second task for the candidates was a catering challenge. The two team leaders both put themselves forward as the obvious leaders – with some justification. Rocky Andrews runs a chain of sandwich stores, and Jasmina Siadatan is a restaurateur.

However it’s one thing to lead a group of people who know what they’re doing and who acknowledge you as their boss, and quite another to lead a bunch of amateurs who have a vested interest in seeing you fail.

There were two tasks; a lunch service to an office and catering a chi chi party.

Empire, with Rocky as a leader, chose an Olympic theme, after all the London Olympics are only 3 years away. They then figured they could include any type of food, which defeats the purpose of having a theme – which should give you a focus for the evening. Then the guys decided to wear togas (rented) for the party. This is extra cost and as Nick commented “the hairy arms and spotty backs aren’t appealing”.

Their pitch for the party was way out of line £60 pounds per head for canapes – they ended up going with £15. The food they came up with at the party included a nacho chip with a sausage on it – I can’t imagine which cuisine that is supposed to be from.

Apprentice2 resultsThe concept was bad – and the execution was terrible. The customer was disappointed and only paid half the fee – the guys ended up with a loss. Not a way to win favour with Sir Alan.

The girls were led by Yasmina who took charge from the beginning, the theme was Mediterranean, which is easy to do, and can be used for both the lunch and the event. She pulled the team together and got them to have fun while working hard. While the execution was a bit off – they  prepared the biggest bruschetta I’ve ever seen  – they were spot on on the night. Hard working, alert, watching the crowd, service minded and attention to detail. It was a win deserved.

In the board room Rocky defended himself well, leaving Howard and James out to hang. I did think James would go – his verbiage was off-putting. However Rocky made too many silly decisions in light of his supposed expertise.

Sir Allen Sugar commented that he was puzzled about how it could have gone so wrong given that both Rocky and Harry had relevant experience. In the end he thought Rocky didn’t have the experience/expertise/potential to go any further.

“Rocky you’re fired”

In my view: James was a pretty close second, and after his outburst in the boardroom he won’t last long. Rocky could have saved himself by taking the negotiator Philip Taylor in to the boardroom with him. Ultimately though, this was Rocky’s expertise, he was project manager, and they lost money. Can’t be surprised that he was fired.

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