Restaurant is a type of commerce that provides foods and beverages to its clients. Food is mostly eaten in the restaurant while some restaurants provide either take away services or delivery of meals to the clients’ premises. They vary significantly in appearance and the type of services they offer, ranging from cheap fast food cafeterias to medium priced and very expensive luxurious establishments.
The placement at Spice Route restaurant is in North Lakes where I chose to work on Fridays and Saturdays of every week for twelve weeks. This is because I had classes on week’s days and serving in restaurant over the weekend equip me with experience on how to cope up with pressure due to increased number of members on weekends. The placements helps me to learn the real world operation of the restaurant while still undertaking tasks that would be used to evaluate my performance and competence and too what would the continuity and prosperity of the restaurant.
My Placement and Goals
My main placement goal was acquire skills and knowledge of real life operations of the restaurant (Payne & Dimanche, 2009). By providing the knowledge and skills learned from my management and leadership classes, I was able to deliver new ideas that are of merit to the restaurant. Seeing the application of these ideas in the real working experience gave me a sense of courage on my skills. Every task I did was to be recorded on an inventory for evaluation (Bodie, 2013).
The restaurant acquired an extra unpaid staff, who would provide services during the peak hours and those working days when one of their paid staffs is on leave as directed by the manager. That maintained the customers’ service delivery at the highest standard required as more customers where served the same time.
Challenges faced and how they were addressed.
Restaurant environment barely suites a” single task at a time” working altitude. One gets pulled out on several directions as every client has different test and privileges on how to be served. Hence one has to operate in such a way that every client is served with highest degree of professionalism and ethics. That taught me how to do a lot at one as well as doing it to my best as it is required (Payne & Dimanche, 2009).
Working as a team is a prime practice ground for career development in the business field. One has to push products between his colleagues and customers thus having to communicate effectively and enhance rapport with the clients (Jacobson, 2009). The virtue of immediate feedback in this service industry, restaurant, requires ones calmness and ability to deliver communications effectively to all parties (Swain, & Lapkin, 2014). Working at Spice Route enhances my communication skills and politeness which enabled me serve effectively.
Restaurants are not only fast-paced but demanding. Sometimes the most gracious individuals become spiteful when angry or hungry. Since the main goal of restaurants is to serve customers, their staff tend to be first affected in the line of fire, but resilience helped me resist blames and protests, necessary or unnecessary. Hence being able to serve with highest degree of empathy (Geiselman & Callot, 2000)
- Attention to details.
There is nothing worse than a client grasping that something is missing on their order, out of place or even wrong. Working at a restaurant presentation enables provides one to work in such a way that everything is presented correctly and efficiently to suit the customers. I had to quickly adapt making sure I meet clients expectations is it is the only way to win ones loyalty and appreciation of the experience.
Patience is a crucial tool in the success of every service industry. Sometimes customers may choose to just sit in tables idly while others may be finding somewhere to sit and be served (Geiselman & Callot, 2000). I had to learn to be patient on them since forcing them into selecting appetizers or pushing them outside will deprive the restaurant their little financial expression of gratitude since they will disappear (Scenario, Liberman & Higgins, 2010).
Outcomes and achievements
Working at Spice Route restaurant improved my leadership skills since I got some privileges of leading and supervising other customers. My communications skills too improved by learning since I learned how to speak politely even in the moments of stress and handle colleagues and client with a sense of humour. I understood how to handle different types of people at the same time.
I learned the importance of networking and realized the need of every single person in my environment (Swain, & Lapkin, 2014). I established new connections and got to work with new environment. This enhanced my team building skills since working with different stakeholders in the restaurant enabled me learned from their experience.
Time management was another key issue whereby I had to learn how to work at high pressure, how to be resourceful and how to relay on technology, systems and even people to help you solve complex issues first. That increased the confidence in every activity I undertook.
The placement enabled me cover all the main principals of planning, organising, leading and also controlling which are the main tool in an entrepreneurship. I got a motivation to use them to start up my own restaurant in future since I believe I am fully equipped with skills and experience on how to serve my customers earnestly and efficiently.
The realities of working in the industry
- Collaboration is important.
Working as a team enables one to build a larger network and a wider range infrastructure. This is effectuated by the fact that it becomes ease to share ideas and skills too which lead to more perfect business decisions (Noon, Blyton & Morrell, 2013).
- Need for networking.
Most information is gained through word of mouth rather than through advertisement to the public (Reagans, Argote & Brooks, 2005). Word of mouth provides an absolute and much reliable perception of an event or a premise. Thus building strong relational influences is an essential proficiency as well as visual investigation and accomplishment (Noon, Blyton & Morrell, 2013).
- One has to keep constantly learning.
The design of industry is constantly evolving and even changing, hence as an entrepreneur, one has to familiarise, study and develop to possess shifting ideas, trending events, techniques’ and trends (Larson, Story & Nelson, 2008). The boldness of continuous knowledge instils the familiarity and work-flow needed by one to be able to maintain relevant in a fast paced industry.
As in my case study, I chose to work as a part timer, working on Fridays and Saturdays of every week, eight hours a day for twelve and half weeks. My mentor assigned me with several tasks including keeping track of inventory which involved entering the record of sales and tracking their trends, shift end paperwork, scheduling of tasks and keeping records of the cash. He provided me with an inventory where I was to record my daily activities for evaluation purposes (Reagans, Argote & Brooks, 2005).
During my third week at Spice Route restaurant, was a busy Saturday when a certain lady ordered a buffet, took it and when I requested her to pay she realized that she had no cash. After some argument she was requested to provide a credit card but to the disguise, it was not working. I consulted with my colleagues but they were too busy to pay attention to me. That’s when I realized that my mentor had processioned me to ever be ready to enquire from her. But to avoid much delay on other clients’ service I had to just forward her to my mentor, since I had no idea of whom to approach when such occurs (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 2008). Later when the congestion had decreased I consulted my mentor who advised me accordingly.
After some time, a weekday when the manager had requested me to work on behalf of my colleague who was not feeling well, I realized that in the inventory, the records of food in the store did not match with those for foodstuffs being stored (Reagans & Brooks, 2005). When I consorted the store supervisor he shockingly informed me that he was not aware of the mismatch. Since my mentor had informed that I had to alert him on any issue before I forward it to the store, I consulted him and forwarded the issue to the manager, but it was later realizes it was an entry error.
During the last week, on a busy weekend too, a young man ordered a meal and after eating so fast I realized he was trying to escape without paying. I fallowed him to the packing and after asking him why he has failed to pay for the meal, he pointed to the street light and started pointing fingers on the government. Worried of his mental conditions I hurriedly called for security personnel who forwarded him to the manager and prosecuted.
- To avoid confusions that I witnessed in the first scenario, the management of the
Restaurant should provide a clear procedure on how to handle different issues that occur between the clients and the restaurant servants (Jones, Alexander, 2010). That would ease communication between management and customers and attendants. I had to consult my mentor to avoid ill feeling between me and other clients who might had a different approach to solve it.
- Hospitality jobs require effort in the side of attendants. Every stakeholder should
ensure accuracy on his part to avoid issues that might result to missing items (Swain, & Lapkin, 2014).. I was worried on the amount of blame I could bare if I emerged to be a whistle blower in the restaurant (Scenario, Liberman & Higgins, 2010).
- I never had time to consult for the third scenario due to the fear of the young man
can flee away. To protect the restaurant’s property, I had to make sure that the man was held up before seeking for further advice (Reagans & Brooks, 2005). The security guys helped me solve the issue faster as they had much knowledge of how to work about it, something that I was ignorant of. All detailed findings in the report as detailed in the inventory (Geiselman & Callot, 2012).
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