Once the Pupil Now the Coach
Written by Chef Benson-Smith from Benson-Smith Limited.
Benson-Smith Limited is a company that works primarily within the Hospitality and Catering industry providing trusted Business consultancy, Apprenticeships, Chef Training and Professional Development. These are all key to a businesses success; you need a skilled workforce that you have invested in from entry level positions right through to management.
The challenges that represent our industry are vast and often stem from the initial teaching and habits from day one in a kitchen. I was very lucky as a Chef to start off on the right foot and soon found myself being schooled by a 2 star Michelin Chef in Paris. Further along the line I had the fortune to cook within a team for the Prime Minister, followed by a number of leading hotels within London and Bath before returning to my Yorkshire home which my success continued. I strongly believe, that had I not had the right training and continuing professional development, I may not have had this success and enjoyable career.
I have been fortunate enough to coach, train and mentor many Chefs, and in the right way; in turn, leading them onto equally successful careers; not only in the UK, but Asia and North America.
Here we are now in 2016 and we work and dedicate our time to many Apprentice Chefs across renowned establishments throughout the UK. You need to work with organisations that have the same mind-set as you… ‘Developing a skilled workforce, ensuring employability by selecting the right individuals and preparing them realistically for a fast paced and diverse industry’. We want only the best for them and work with clients from leading Restaurants, Hotels, Academies, Gastro/Bistro- Pubs and Premier League Football clubs.
The key and most challenging things are having a good mentor in the work place that shares the same ambition to grow these young people into real Chefs of the future. The key difference and understanding being that the more you can teach an Apprentice Chef, the more they can deliver for the business; sadly not all providers have an above and beyond approach.
‘If Billy is only working on the vegetable garnish section for six months, he will only be able to work on that section. Common sense tells us, if he has a well-planned and structured programme in the kitchen and covers the various key areas he will very quickly become an asset to the overall kitchen team, which then results in the outcomes of the kitchen and overall business success. A happy and well developed workforce = a happy outcome for any business’.
Whether it be an investment in an apprentice/s, staff training, development, coaching, mentoring or a review of your whole business set up, Hospitality is a key sector to the UK economy and for today’s lifestyle choices. Think wisely…are we running successfully? Are we making profit? Do we have a high staff turnover? Are our staff happy? Are they well skilled? What are our reviews like?….(unfortunately the consumer is driven by reviews and word of mouth). Whether it be big or
small, a little difference/change can be the difference to the make or break for your business. Don’t let weaknesses beat you as help and the right choices are always at hand.
By Matthew Benson-Smith