Friday, November 23, 2012

The Apprentice- week 5: A fresh spin on afternoon tea..

Revamping afternoon tea- This task was about organization skills and business acumen. Both teams had to create a themed afternoon tea then sell it to the tourists and visitors at the Blenheim palace in London. This week Lord Sugar appointed David to be the PM of Platinum and Alice the PM of Odessey- It was time to step up! Platinum chose for a fun and colorful theme- Mad hatter's afternoon tea. They chose for cheap quality while Odessey decided to go vintage and create a 1940’s afternoon tea. They chose to replace war ressions and shortage with high quality food and introduce some British history in the process. David did realize from the start this is about making the biggest profit so that was at the heart of his strategy. Alice was very organized through out the task: Market research, a lot of attention went to the creation of the menu- actual tasting! the ingredients, quality and props. When it came to pricing, the sub team pushed for high prices to match their research. They ended up offering their high tea for between 12 to 16 pounds, different prices for adults and children. Odessey sold their afternoon tea experience for only 7.50 pounds! David split Platinum in to two teams sending the sub team to engage in market research. Ashley teamed with David were in charge of the shopping and menu, she ended up taking complete charge and guided David when it comes to the menu, pricing and ingredients. Lucky for him too since he was not in focus and seemed happy to have someone else make the decisions...the other members also had no say in the menu. The time came to bake the cakes- sub teams were in charge of that. Alice was so very busy with Patrick tasting and spending the big bucks, they even went to high end retailor for the tea..she was not available on the phone for most of the day meaning the sub team just had to go on their instincts as far as guessing what Alice meant..the cakes didn’t look that great also for lack of real guidance. She wanted iconic British food with a you have an idea what that means? They didn’t.. Platinum stuck to their theme and made fun and colorful cakes. Odessey’s food clashed with their theme: war times matched with high end.. The time came to set up shop in the palace’s gardens. Each team got two big tents, one for the kitchen and one featuring as a dining room. Alice’s team paid attention to all the details so the tents looked great, they were ready on time, they had army uniforms to match the vibe they were after and they gave good service to the guests. Platinum on the other hand was in complete chaos! Everything took way too long, they were not ready for people so the line got longer and longer..there was no structure to the kitchen, on receiving the guests or how to take the order effectively. They even ran out of dishes at one point.. David resembled a headless chicken running around, not sure how to talk with people which was odd and the others were no help! It took a while but they finally got their act together, David had a good idea on how to tackle the lack of space problem and offered people to sit outside on the grass picnic style. The service was not very good but people attributed that actually to the mad hatter theme! Odessy had a good start but then it dried up and there was no second wave. Some people did walk away due to the high price but with spending so much, they couldn’t really afford to sell for less. At the end of the day they did drop though to half price in a desperate attempt to sell more. Board room time... David, being as lucky as he has been so far in the process and though not much in the structure and organizing department did get the point- PROFIT: Spending a total of 150 pounds and selling for 474 pounds showed a profit of 316 pounds! Alice let herself get carried away and though organized, paying attention to detail missed the most important detail- profit.. She spent a whopping 284 pounds and sold for 375 pounds showing a poor profit of 91 pounds only. Alice ended up being sent home for missing the point, showing a lack of business acumen. Maria once again was warned for her aggressiveness and pushiness especially when it came to the price. She did push for high end prices however, with the money Alice spent, she couldn’t sell for less even if she wanted to! Dropping the ball on the budget, doing no price comparison means you cant hit the mark! Can you? Tune in next week for a task all about child’s play! Enjoy the weekend!

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