Wednesday

The trials and tribulations of post pandemic recruitment 

According to the Office for National Statistics, "hospitality businesses are most likely to be experiencing challenges in filling vacancies compared with normal expectations at this time of year."

We are proud of our low employee turnover within Albacore and don't need to recruit very often. However, I've just completed the recruitment process for a vacancy as our client experienced a surge in employees returning to the office  preferring to interact with real humans again - great news for us!

Here we are edging out of the pandemic  and finding that Brexit, hospitality business closures and the end of furlough have forced so many talented hospitality professionals to seek employment in other sectors.

I try to recruit all of our employees and it's a process I usually enjoy. My highlights are the amusing email addresses candidates use in the hope of securing their dream job. santababy@xxx.com, mamawontwork@xxx.com , and Im-just-bad-news@xxx.com, to name just three!

I then send about one hundred "I was impressed with your cv and experience however... ''emails, and keep the six best for interview and trial shift if appropriate. 

I utilise an online advertising and community website as it's reasonably priced and you can use unlimited words, unlike a newspaper where ‘’ Catering Asst required M-F Bathgate’’ will set you back the price of a city break.

A couple of weeks ago, I placed one of my usual advertisements online with what I thought was a great opportunity. Catering Assistant, Monday to Friday,7am to 3pm, living wage, meal on duty, uniform, pension, development programme...I braced myself for the deluge of applications.

Replying to the first three candidates emails all three came back undelivered multiple times.

Then three applied by text- fantastic!

Initial phone interviews, all sounded perfect for the role, a wonderful dilemma! Trial shifts arranged with payment at the end. 

All with the usual confirmation email, full instructions for location, travel, access to the building plus the plea that as I was travelling an hour to the site especially to meet them, JUST TEXT if you change your mind. Reply to my email to confirm you'll be attending. 

I arrive at site half an hour early. Reception, security, the team and I wait with anticipation. Will they be THE ONE?

Twenty minutes later my welcoming smile has become rather crumpled. I feel like a teenager whose first date didn't show up.

What did I say?

What did I do wrong?

Did the bus break down?

Are they all lost, panicking out there somewhere?

Were they all abducted by an alien?

Are they all involved in a vendetta to repay me for something I unknowingly did to upset them?

Strangely now, the mobile number I was previously connected to with warmth and enthusiasm now cuts off when I speak, or goes straight to voicemail. I leave a lonely voice message, followed by an insincere text "I assume you're no longer interested in the position. Wishing you all the best for the future" and hold myself back from adding NOT! 

It's not all doom and gloom, though. A day later, I received a text "intrstd in job no cv". I took a chance, called back within a millisecond and arranged the interview, trial shift and immediate offer and start date all completed in two days. The team on site are so happy with their new member and so is our client. And I'm ecstatic! On cloud nine!

I’m not speaking from actual experience, but just like dating sites, there are still some really great matches out there, we all just have to work harder to find them!

Good luck to everyone recruiting at the moment. I wish you every success in finding THE ONE!

Tuesday

How do you take your coffee?

 Personally, I like a simple cafĂ© latte, but some coffee drinkers like to add all sorts of flavours to their caffeinated drink of choice.

I’m all for trying different things, but adding pureed vegetables isn’t something I’m keen on.

Click on the link to see some of the ideas from the new Food people blog…

As they say, each to his own…!

https://thefoodpeople.co.uk/blog/autumn-coffee-drinkswatching


www.albacatering.co.uk

Thursday

A number of years ago, one of the chefs I used to work with used to make this wonderful omelette.

But who is Arnold Bennett? According to Wikipedia, Enoch Arnold Bennett (27 May 1867 – 27 March 1931) was an English author, best known as a novelist. He was a prolific writer: between the start of his career in 1898 and his death he completed 34 novels, seven volumes of short stories, 13 plays (some in collaboration with other writers), and a daily journal totalling more than a million words. He wrote articles and stories for more than 100 different newspapers and periodicals, worked in and briefly ran the Ministry of Information in the First World War, and wrote for the cinema in the 1920s. The sales of his books were substantial, and he was the most financially successful British author of his day.

An omelette Arnold Bennett is one that incorporates smoked haddock, hard cheese (typically Cheddar), and cream. It was created at the Savoy Grill for Bennett, who was a regular guest, by one of the chefs there called Jean Baptiste Virlogeux.

If you dine at The Savoy Grill you will still find it on the menu.

 

Click on the link for an up to date version, made with gruyere cheese.

 

https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/gruyere-omelette-arnold-bennett-recipe?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=30092021ChantelleNicholson&utm_medium=email

Around this time of year you see  a lot of people out picking fruit in the countryside. Usually it’s brambles, but there are also a lot of others foraging for damsons.

Many are most secretive about where they source their supply. A large proportion make gin, jam and jelly, but there are plenty of other ways of cooking with these delicious autumnal fruit.

Click on the link below for some inspirational ideas…

 

https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/ingredients/damson-recipes?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=27082021Jozef&utm_medium=email

 

Monday

With the Tokyo Paralympics starting on Tuesday 24th August what better way to celebrate the achievements of the thousands of athletes worldwide who will be competing than recreating 8 of Japan’s most popular dishes at home?

My favourites are Chicken Katsu Curry and Beef Fillet Tataki.

 

Click on the link below for the recipes…

https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/features/best-japanese-recipes?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=12082021Japan&utm_medium=email

Tuesday

“With the Tokyo Olympics now in full swing, why not enjoy some Japanese cuisine to really get into the spirit of the games in this fascinating country.

Just click on the link below to capture the essence of true Japanese style cooking in your own kitchen.

 

https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/collections/japanese-recipes?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=22072021Japan&utm_medium=email

 

Bon appetite – or as they say in Japan, “Meshiagare!”

Monday

Summer season is truly upon us!

I hope you are all enjoying the additional freedom we are experiencing, if not the awful weather.

July is the time when fruit and vegetables are in abundance in Scotland, and we can take full advantage of their freshness.

Moral Fibres is a UK based eco blog written by Wendy Graham, a sustainability expert. Her aim is to make sustainability simple, by researching and writing on all things environmental - from product guides to breaking down big ideas and has some very interesting information about the subject.

 

Click on the link below to find out more about the fruit, vegetables and herbs that are in season at the moment.

 

https://moralfibres.co.uk/uk-fruit-and-vegetables-in-season-in-july/

Thursday

Some of us are planning a much needed holiday in the sun in the coming weeks, while others are being slightly more cautious about their travel plans.

Foe those of you who are staying locally, I thought I’d share this link with you. There are some great places to choose from throughout Scotland. 

Enjoy! 


https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/beautiful-restaurants-scotland

Monday

As we all celebrate our new found freedom by heading for our favourite pub or restaurant for our first drink or meal out in what seems like forever, the hospitality industry is asking everyone to be kind to the people working in hospitality with the launch of a social media campaign #bekindhospitality.

Graham Chalmers, Curator, Radisson RED Glasgow comments, “It’s been a tough time for everyone and all of us in the hospitality industry are THRILLED to be able to welcome customers back to our venues.

 

https://dramscotland.co.uk/2021/04/26/hositality-urges-customers-to-bekindtohospitality-as-it-reopens/

 

Thursday

I thought that this was an uplifting and honest interview with someone who has really ridden through the storm throughout the pandemic and yet is still refreshingly positive about their career and their future. I especially liked her quote at the end of the article "After all, success isn't something that can be clung too, it is always moving and one must continue to reach for the stars - literally, or figuratively." https://www.thestaffcanteen.com/Editorials-and-Advertorials/three-michelin-starred-chef-helene-darroze-reflects-on-a-year-of-troubles-in-the-industry-how-she-has-missed-her-restaurants-and-what-her-plans-are-going-back#/

Monday

Spring lamb from Scotland is absolutely delicious, and is wonderfully versatile. Our fresh meat supplier,Campbell’s Prime Meat, has partnered with Nick Nairn to recommend some creative recipes to try with local lamb. I recommend tha Rosemary lamb kebabs with pea and mint dip.

https://www.campbellsmeat.com/inspiration/other-recipes/cat/2/lamb-recipes