Saturday, 7 February 2009

Looking for staff?

Call me stupid but it seems to me that if I were a hospitality employer/business owner in Hobart and needed staff, the first thing I’d do is call the two best-known hospitality training (Drysdale and Industry Link) facilities and see if they had anyone they deemed suitable for my job. The person they might recommend might be currently doing a training course, or might have recently completed a course there, but either way they would obviously not be coming into my workplace totally devoid of knowledge about the industry. The teacher would have firsthand knowledge of the person and could accurately describe their work ethic and ability/ies.

Why would you spend good money on an ad, deal with fielding enquiry calls,
then have to weed out the fodder from the chaff, if you do, indeed, receive any calls resulting from your ad?

Why wouldn’t you go straight to the source of (presumably) more interested people who had selected hospitality as a possible career option?

It would appear this is not generally done.

You might not think too much of local hospitality training but surely that would be your first port of call?

With our revamped education system about to be well and truly tried and tested by the actual intended recipients (ie the students) this coming week, it may well prove daunting to you (the hard worker and mere mortal just trying to do a job and make it to the end of the day!) trying desperately to make a simple phone call enquiry about the above.

Patience is the key. Add to that a smattering of ‘not what you know but who you know’ and you’re there!

Failing that, email Rita and she’ll point you in the right direction!
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

what if you are looking for an employee with 10 years experience?

not even half the teachers at those training institute have that, so i guess you'd probably waste some money on an ad or something? or call you????????????

did you even think before you posted that last blog? i mean really think about what constitutes a potential employee and all the associated tasks one must perform each day in the work place guided or unguided?

Rita said...

Geez Anon 9.11! It's only 9.26 on a Saturday morning of a long weekend! Chill out. Take it easy!

To answer a few of your concerns - yes, I think a lot about my posts, but also use the blog here as a sounding post for all of us to chat about whatever topics we please. In my mind I liken the blog to a cosy coffee shop where people come and go, add their 10c worth (politely) then get on with the rest of their lives!

Now, seriously, if you're looking for an employee with 10 years experience obviously you wouldn't find them at any of the training places. This post wasn't about you in particular. It was a generalisation statement.

With most of the ads for hospitality staff in every days Merc, the hunt could have started at either of the 2 facilities mentioned. If no joy was received, then go the second step of advertising. The point was that I had assumed that contacting one of those places was what anyone would do first off, and was corrected in this assumption yesterday.

I won't go into the prior qualifications of any of the teachers at Drysdale or IndustryLink. The point is whether or not you think they can pass on industry knowledge and information in an efficient way which, down the track, enhances our industy. Combine that with your own passion, enthusiasm and the fact you've given someone a job, and hopefully you can succeed.

Yes, generally the calibre of the generation of people now working in hospitality might be less than a decade ago, but at least you still have the bare bones there in the job. It's up to you how you nurture, train whatever.

This is an observation of mine from many years, but generally I have found that the employer who genuinely respects and cares for people will get 100 times more out of any employee than others who tend to ride roughshod over them, and dismisses anyone and everyone who doesn't do things their way. Take that any way you like, but I am a firm believer in the old adage "Do unto others as you would they do unto you".

Newbies in the workplace must be treated according to their nature and ability. Also leeway must be given for the fact that they ARE new. I could go on forever as this is a particular passion and concern of mine. Let's just leave it at reverting to your original concern - yes, I DID give this post a lot of thought before I added it.

My offer of pointing anyone in the right direction stands. I don't claim to have all the solutions but I can help - and that's surely better than NOT helping, or being a hindrance.

Christina said...

Well said Rita!
Anyway I know this is off topic but I saw the piece in todays paper about the Souvlaki Hut in Kingston and would like to know if anyone out there has been and tried it?
I used to go to the Aegean back in the day and loved it. Phil and I thought we may take a trip down there tomorrow and check it out.
Nothing like a REAL souvlaki! But I'd love some feed back from antone that's been.
Hope that's okay Rita.

Rita said...

Thanks Christina. I too read that with interest. If you and Phil do end up going down there and having some of their food, please make sure you come back and tell us about it.

I too was a fan of the Aegean, and happened to find a menu from there a while back. What fond memories that bought back. Remember their smashing the crockery at the height of the evening? Imagine doing that nowadays at a restaurant? Actually, now I think of it, there were a few restaurants in Hobart who had their customers actively participating in the evening's entertainment, weren't there? Remember when the Ball and Chain opened and the late lamented George McHugh had the rousing sing-alongs of all the old Australian songs, sea shanties etc and then the same when he moved to the Red Fox in Hampden Rd.

Then there were the theatre restaurant performances at that function centre in Battery Point, whose name escapes me at the moment, which the late Pere Van Dongen owned at one stage.

Anyway Aegean was great, and I personally miss it.

Rita said...

It was the Dutch Inn! (The function centre in Battery Point).

ut si said...

At a recent birthday dinner for an old commie mate of the Prof's...held at Fee & Me of all places, opera nutter let go with some Puccini...which was lovely. Unfortunately things got a little rowdy after that, when, from beneath the linen covered table, appeared a squeeze box. The last thing I remember was belting out,
'The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyr'd dead'.
Pete & Fee were remarkably good humored about it all, as were (most of) the fine diners in the adjacent room. Bring back the rousing sing-a-long I say!

Christina said...

I do remember breaking plates at The Aegean. A long, long time ago though. I also remember the food being really good.
I think I've been to the theatre restaurant in Battery Point that you mentioned but I thought it was called The Rampant Bear when we attended for a work do. I was working at Coles in the city then [my first job] so it would have to have been about 24 years ago! Oh my goodness!!!
So the plan is to head to Kingston tomorrow to check out the Souvlaki bar, so I'll definately let you know how that goes.

Rita said...

Ut si - great you had a spare minute to pop in here. I trust you've been flat out, in the nicest possible way! I'm off to Campbelltown for a meeting week after next, so will probably check in with you then. Will call and make sure you'll be there before I go.
You're right Christina. It was Rampant Bear after Dutch Inn - same place renamed.
Looking forward to your report.

sir grumpy said...

We've been to the souvlaki hut a couple of time, Rita and it is fine. The breads they say they have specially made for them are a bit thick for me and a tad chewy but taste okay.
Meats are also fine.

Christina said...

So off we went today to Souvlaki Hut.
As the Mercury yesterday didn't give an address I rightly assumed in was where the old Chinese drive thru place was.

The place is light and airy with lots of various seating arrangements. Couches and small tables, large tables with stools, indoor and outdoor.

We took our daughter Kayleigh and her friend Zac, who just happens to be from Kingston, along for the ride.
The menu seems great. Starters, salads, kids combos, 9 types of souvlaki,9 types of burger slammers, which appear to be an open version of a souvlaki, various sized platters,and even a seafood and chips selection.

The four of us shared two dip plates, hommus and tzatziki, which were served with warm pita triangles. The dips were great and at $3.45 each really good value.
The kids both had Hawaiian souvlaki's, chicken, pineapple, cheese and bbq sauce and declared them wonderful. Zac giving his two thumbs up.
Phil and I thought we were having traditional lamb souvlaki, lamb, onion, tomato, lettuce and tzatziki, but I must have gotten confused during ordering and ordered greek ones instead which to my surprise had lamb,onion, CHIPS,tzatziki and mustard. They were pretty great though. We all had chips too and even though I'm usually pretty critical of the humble french fry, these were pretty tasty.
The souvlaki's themselves were wonderful, coming in two sizes at $6.50 or 8.95.
The pita bread lovely and soft and just the right thickness. The chicken and the lamb were definately the real deal too.

There's no getting away from the fact though that this is a fast food franchise. Even if you do place your order and your meal is then delivered to your table, it is what it is. Having said that, it is a very good one compared to what's on offer. Lots of healthy salads on offer, nothing was greasy or gross and it was all so hot and fresh.

Everything about this place, including the service was spot on and we will definately return. The young lady who served me was very helpful and had a great knowledge of the menu when I asked a few questions.

As usual our eyes were bigger than our bellies and Kayleigh and I, having ordered the large souvlaki, couldn't finish ours, so I'm now looking forward to mine for dinner as well.

Christina said...

How funny Sir G that we were both writing about that at the same time. I was thinking of you with the chips in the souvlaki actually. I have to admit that I took mine out.

Rita said...

Thanks Sir G and Christina. Great to have some feedback, and Christina's thorough review.
You've solved the first riddle for me, and you're right, The Mercury didn't give us the address, so I'm glad you told us where it was.
Sounds like it was OK for what you got, and that if you want fast food, then that's a good place for it, as opposed to Maccas or HJ or KFC?

Christina said...

Sorry if I was a bit too thorough Rita. The comment got away from me a little.
The burger slammers here have me intrigued and I'm sure Phil will be back to try them. He was particularly taken with an egg and bacon slammer and coffee for $4.50 for breakfast.
They do appear to be burger fillings served in a wrapped pita bread. Gotta have a go one day.

hrv said...

Nice guys who own the place and it has been very busy since opening. I will agree with Sir G, the bread is too thick, a bit like aerated cardboard. Apart from that it is much better than any of the other 'axis of evil takeaway' options

Christina said...

It was busy today too.
I have to disagree about the bread though.
We all loved it. Even comented on how good it was. Different strokes though I spose.

Sir grumpy said...

Yes, HRV, when we went the second time (lunchtime) the place was heaving.
But the staff are cheery and helpful. I'm glad they're doing well. Felt sorry for the prvious incumbents whose chinese fare didn't see to hit the Kingston spot.
It seems the only Chines place that can survive in Kingston is Chopsticks!
I remember there was a little one (Chinese) in John St I quite liked but that went belly-up too.

Lost Boy said...

Can someone provide an address for this souvlaki place. I have no idea where "the old chinese drive-through" used to be.

Sir Grumpy said...

It's up on Junk-Food Corner, lost boy.
Next to KFC and maccas at the roundabout on Channel Highway just up off the main drag. Just look for the Golden Arches....!!!

Rita said...

Christina - you weren't too thorough at all. I'm really pleased you gave us a review.
HRV - glad you're still reading. I must catch up with you soon.
Thanks Sir G for giving Lost Boy the heads up.

Anonymous said...

it is a total rip off. The souvlaki's are half the size of the ones you get at Europa of Mykonos for the same price!

Christina said...

Sorry Anon 12:07, I can't agree with you on that. Having had both recently, we actually discussed this very fact.
While Europa and Mykonos are cheaper, we felt Souvlaki hut's had more in them. I'm not a bad eater and I couldn't finish mine for lunch so had the rest for dinner.
I really love the Sandy Bay Souv's though and given a choice would probably go there if it was just us, where as the kids would choose the Hut for the range of choices.
Sir G, love Junk Food Corner! How appropriate.

sir grumpy said...

Not so sure, Anon 12.07....we go to all three and they are much of a muchness in size. A bit dearer yes but not a rip-off, surely?
Cheers, Christina ...we use Mykonos more than Europa and will go there when we take the dog to Marieville Esplanade for walkies.
I know Rita is less keen on Mykonos.
Anon...there are tyo sizes at Souvlaki Hut...maybe you got the smaller>

Rita said...

There's an excellent reason why I am against Mykonos in general Sir G. Am happy to speak in person/private about my reasons but no way will say on blog. Suffice to say, you're right, but it's not to do with their souvlaki's.

Lost Boy said...

Thanks Sir Grumps - I found it. Had never been to Maccas or KFC at Kingston so will now have to try them as well as the Greek joint.

How does Maccas at Kingston stack up with say the one at Sandy Bay? Apart from the lack of poo in the kids playground that is.

sir grumpy said...

I think Maccas is the same the whole world over, Lost Boy.
So, I am told, not having had their stuff for many years. I'm not a fan. (Bigtime).

Blue Mtns Chef said...

back on topic, I'd personally much prefer sourcing staff thru colleagues than a placement agency.

it's very much a 'who-you-know' biz, and I'd be a little suspicious of someone relying on an agency rather than local references.

I've found most newbies fresh out of cul school come with 'classroom' techniques which often differ from real experience. I'd rather someone who'd gone from dishpig at the local pub to line cook.

jus said...

I totally agree with blue mtns chef, Drysdale can often send out a student once they have completed their study without ever having spent a day in a normal restuarant/bar!

I have been witness to that as there were at least 10 students I studied an advanced diploma in hospitality with, who had hardly ever done a days work in their life, but now they are hospitality professionals...because a piece of paper tells them so!

However I am not having a go at drysdale, as they do some good...except that bar course that they run with a person who shall remain nameless, and out of touch with the modern trends, as he has not worked in the industry for at least a decade! but he still manages to do all the training for the federal group, and that is why everyone in tasmania expects a pineapple, cherry (marachino), and umbrella in their blended/watered down creamy cocktail, that must at somepoint on the palate taste like it has coconut in it!

Anyway i am here to tell you that I just had the best souvlaki ever at mezethes in salamanca. it was out of this world! I have not had one that good since eating one in Cape Town about 10 years ago, where they are better than in greece! so forget about chain place, mykonos, europa as they dont come anywhere near mezethes!

and afterwards we popped in to Das Zimmer (upstairs Bar Celona) for a drink, well we never thought we would see something like this in Hobart! it is a must, the food also looks fantastic, and service is brilliant. definately going for dinner next week. Anyone been yet?

Blue Mtns Chef said...

to paraphrase an old saying:

those that can't do, teach;

and those that can't teach, teach hospitality.

Blue Mtns Chef said...

a follow-up thought: experience for the sake of experience isn't always the right answer either.

a while back I had an opportunity to bring in another chef. the two best candidates I trialed was a guy who'd worked mainly at roadhouses and pubs. the other was a qualified chef who'd worked in paris and london.

I went with the first guy. he was the right fit for what I wanted, someone who knew the basics and was happy to learn our system.

the other, while much more experienced, had some great ideas and techniques, but found it hard to adapt to the consistency that had to happen, changing ingredients, plating etc to his own 'better' way.

every fooderie is different, and the 'right' staff for you may not be 'right' for the joint across the road.