Ali started the Hospitality Futures programme after being unemployed for over six months. With a young family to support, Ali was feeling under pressure to find something that would not only lead to a secure and rewarding career, but also have the flexibility he required to manage his family commitments. As he didn’t have much work experience or a university degree, he began to feel a bit desperate about his situation and future.
It was in September 2017 at his local job centre that he came across the opportunity to be on Springboard’s Hospitality Futures Programme. Hospitality was an industry he had never considered before, but he thought the programme sounded exciting and so he quickly signed himself up.
Ali performed amazingly, and sailed through the programme. With his confident but inclusive personality, he was a positive influence on everyone around him. Indeed, it was evident that his naturally bubbly personality and sunny disposition made him a great fit for the industry.
At the end of the programme, Ali had to decide where he wanted to do his work placement, and he decided that he wanted to try food and beverage service, as the inter-personal aspect and practical nature of the job really appealed to him. It was then that he spoke with Coople, the world largest on-demand staffing platform – one of our fabulous corporate patrons – as we felt that their professional, fun and modern culture would really suit his personality. Furthermore, we felt that the nature of the work Coople provided would allow him to find flexible jobs in hospitality that he required to support his family.
Ali had the opportunity to increase the breadth of his experience by working in different positions in a couple of London high-end hotels, top event venues and renowned restaurants and bars. Ali did especially well in one of Coople’s clients, a 5-star London hotel, and at the end of his placement he was rewarded with a contract to work regularly through Coople on their platform. He has since been working consistently for over 6 months, honing his customer skills and increasing his experience. Ultimately the roles he has been performing on behalf of Coople have provided him with the chance to support his family whilst also beginning a career where he can thrive. Indeed, Ali continues to flourish as a great success story, and has been a regular source of positive feedback from Coople’s clients
The Springboard Awards celebrate the best the hospitality industry has to offer, rewarding businesses that show excellence in one or more particular fields – whether that’s implementing the latest digital technologies into their processes, or showing finesse in their recruitment procedures. And due to the high calibre of our industry’s businesses, entries are coming in fast… but what makes a good entry?
The judges are searching for companies that show continuous commitment to improving processes, and becoming the best of their particular field. Whether it’s forging strong links between the industry and educational institutions, raising the profile of the industry or showing unrivalled innovation and creativity in their initiatives – it’s about showing that they are the pinnacle of what they do. There are many different categories and awards to choose from, and businesses are able to submit applications for multiple categories.
Companies need to submit their application through our online form. However, companies can’t just talk the talk – they need to be able to back up their claims that they’re the top of their field. They need to clearly explain – and show – what they’ve done to achieve their goals, and explain exactly how they did it.
For example, let’s say ‘The Springboard Restaurant’ had recently been upping the ante on its Chef Development Strategy. They would need to be able to demonstrate effective and innovative processes, and an environment which would facilitate the attraction and growth of chefs.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. This phrase was repeatedly drummed into me as a child. Partly because it’s a highly important life lesson, but also because I was a book worm that often literally picked a book based on its cover.
But have you ever done this? Have you ever judged something, someone based on their clothes, job role or salary? Have you ever paused to think about what their day actually entails?
I ask because Winterhalter’s ‘KP Day’ is coming up. Let’s be honest, KP’s can often get tarred with a pretty harsh brush – but do you actually know what they do apart from washing dishes?
KPs (similar to housekeepers in hotels) are often the glue that holds a kitchen together a glue that is all too often forgotten about. So what does KP actually stand for? A ‘KP’ is a kitchen porter, although the role is often a lot more than just bussing and washing dishes. A KP’s day can start with washing, peeling and chopping 6 kilos of potatoes, followed by putting away 3 days’ worth of orders, including industrial sized tins of chopped tomatoes (let me tell you – you definitely know when you’ve dropped one of those bad boys on your toes!), huge sacks of flour and sugar, meat, fish and all kinds other ingredients. KP’s need to be up to date on health and safety procedures to prevent cross-contamination, as well as correct lifting procedure and so much more!
Meanwhile, the chefs are prepping for service and your previously sparkling sink is now full of burnt pans (chef’s call it caramelised, but for anyone washing the dishes it’s just burnt), kitchen knives that need sharpening and all manor of wooden spoons and chopping boards to clean!
Then while you’re putting things away, you’re also running backwards and forwards from the store cupboards to help the chefs create their masterpieces, by bringing ingredients they’ve forgotten or run out of.
All of this before a busy lunch service? Phew – I’m tired just thinking about it. By the time the ingredients are all away – you manage to clean you sink again and mentally prepare yourself for the pandemonium that service can sometimes bring. Waiting staff asking for cutlery to polish, chefs asking for spiders or spoons or more ingredients because chicken and mushroom pies have been flying out the door, putting plates away as another table of ten’s starters are cleared and land promptly on your now, very full work surface.
Service is slowing now – there are just the late lunchers in and your side is starting to return to its former sparkling glory. The chefs are starting to clean down their station and the close down procedure is looming – a full clean down of the kitchen including brush, mop of the floors and wiping down the walls, changing bin bags, finish the dishes, wash out the dishwasher, put away the dry dishes and make sure all cutlery is ready for polishing. You are not alone in this tasks but considering all of this has taken place between 10am and 3pm you are considerably worn out and in desperate need of a cup of tea!
3.15pm strikes the clock and you’re done – heading home for a few hours, before the second half of your split shift starts at 6pm. Oh yes many, KP’s do this twice in one day!
Now, why am I rambling on about this? Well, as you can see KP’s are hardworking individuals, and are a vital cog in the kitchen mechanism! I have had some experience of being a KP, I often covered shifts in the kitchen when the pub I worked in was short staffed or we were incredibly busy. I was also designated KP during the Challenge Day, as part of the Hospitality Futures programme. By the end of the day my feet were sore and soaked (I couldn’t master the super dooper bendy tap!), but I had a great feeling of pride. Sure, I didn’t do any of the cooking (I would’ve probably given everyone food poisoning) but I was part of that kitchen, and I helped it run like a well-oiled machine.
If you are in industry and want to celebrate your hardworking KP’s please tweet about them using the #KPDay on 22nd June and help us celebrate all of the KP’s across the country!