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Industry Training Experience at The Naked Duck café shop

My industry training at the Executive Lounge at Parkroyal Darling Harbour Sydney terminates in May 2017. I am proud to say that I have learned a lot during my employment here. This critical analysis will discuss an incident happening two weeks ago where consistency at work is incorporated.

Canapes service operates from 5.30pm-7.30pm. At 8pm, one lady (Ms. L.) came and wanted to have food and drinks delivered to her room. I thought she wanted to place an in room dining order so I offered her the menu to look at. However, this was not what she was after. I found out that she wanted to have canapes and drinks delivered to her room. I then explained to her that as our policy, we are not allowed to serve any Club food or alcohol after 7.30pm and any food we serve must be consumed within the venue, that means guests are not supposed to take anything back to their rooms.

Guests are only allowed to take food and beverage back to their room during canape service if they have children with them since children are not permitted to enter the venue during canape service as per the lounge license. Ms. L. was not happy with that and claimed that some staff delivered the food back to her room the last two times she was here. She insisted on not leaving the lounge without having food delivered back to her room.

I apologized her that I could not do it and I could help her place a room service order since that was the only way she could get meals within the hotel. However, Ms. L. kept reminding me that she had some staff deliver food to her room in her previous stays. I then had to ask my Assistant Manager to come and speak to Ms. L. After the conversation with the Assistant Manager, Ms. L. left the lounge since she was told the same things that I explained to her.

When I was firstly asked to deliver food and drink back to the guest’s room, I did not feel anything unusual since I had come across a few situations that are quite similar to this, such as guests want to take away some food and drink with them. I expected Ms. L. would understand our policy; however, she turned out to be a difficult guest. During the incident, I did feel a bit frustrated at times. Despite that, I am glad that I remained consistent and did not violate our policy although the guest mentioned about what happened in her previous stays.

I believe I made the right decision where I did not offer food and drink to Ms. L. since it would be unfair for other guests. I would not rate how effective this was as the guest did not feel any comfortable during the service encounter. However, there was not an alternative for me or I would have to violate the lounge policy.

One thing I could learn from this incident is that consistency plays a very important role at work. My colleagues should have practiced the lounge policy and not allowed guests to take food or beverages away from the lounge. It is also important for employees to realize how difficult a situation could be to get help from management level.

Looking from an attendant’s view, I will still take the same actions should an incident like this happen again in the future. However, there are a few more things I would do differently. For example, I would look at the guest’s profile to find out when was her previous stay and see who was rostered on that date and speak to that staff to make sure they understand the lounge operation. I would also address this to the whole team to see if there is a better solution in case this happens again. On the other note, management should also strengthen staff’s knowledge of product and service they are delivering so that every team member is on the same page.

Industry Training Experience at The Naked Duck café shop

This report is a summary of the author’s industry training experience at The Naked Duck café shop, which is situated in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. As per the experiences of the author, this training has been massively successful as the café shop was one of the best places to learn and complete industrial training. The café provides a very good learning experience for the trainees as well as opportunity to handle challenges and issues all by themselves.

The Naked Duck has certain visions including providing best eating / dining experience for the customers, best quality food at the best possible prices and others. The company also teaches the employees to work according to standards and discipline as well as giving priorities to the customers first. The author is proud to have gotten the chance at The Naked Duck for industrial training as he feels the values and visions of the company is also shared by him and he has learnt to development himself professionally under a very supportive and opportunistic environment. The values that the author has developed during the industry training are as follows.

  • Teamwork
  • Discipline
  • Customer Priority
  • Quality of Service
  • Self Performance Enhancement
  • Honesty
  • Respect and Care for the Greater Community

The Naked Duck Mascot is one of the many cafés located in North Sydney area that is also one of the main commerce sectors of the city. The MoneyMe Financial Group, Tata Consultancy Services, Zurich Financial Services Australia, Infosys Technologies Australia, SAP Australia and other important commercial and business buildings are situated nearby to the café. Hence, most or almost all of the customers of the café are businessmen and commercial executives.The hotel comprises of a kitchen room, a bar area (beer and wine only) and a dining area where the guests sit and have their meals. The café describes itself as an “Australian and French eatery with an Asian twist)” and has a number of unique dishes in forms of regular snacks, main course and even meals. In addition to small snacks for casual diners, there is also meal system when the guests can have regular breakfast, lunch or afternoon meals at the café.

The café opens at 6 am in the morning and closes at 4 pm in the afternoon from Monday to Friday. Although this branch of the café is much smaller than the others, it specifically reputed in the area for providing good quality food, unique and delicious dishes, prompt customer services and value for money for the daily guests. The Naked Duck is also known for various blends of coffee and mixes of various international efficacies in each of the food dishes that are extremely popular among the regular customers. In addition to the in-house dining system, the café also has catering and takeaway services. Occasionally, there are seasonal offers as well as limited time seasonal dishes that are available for all the guests of the café.

Hospitality Operations

3. Findings

3.1 Theory and Practice

3.1.1 Hospitality Operations

During the college course, the author had gathered a lot of knowledge regarding ideal hospitality operations that should be present in all restaurants and cafés. The author also learnt the importance of these hospitality operations in order to improve customer services and increase customer satisfaction. On the other hand, the practical lessons gathered by the author during the industry training was no different as according to the author, the café is run using all the moral values of hospitality in order to maintain and increase the customer base.

The author had learnt during the theoretical classes that for ideal hospitality management in established restaurants, there should be a number of store managers who will manage various aspects of operations. In the real life experience at The Naked Duck, the author found out there are two managers – one is store manager who manages the financial transactions, store maintenance and other aspects while the other is customer relations manager who himself invigilates the customer services provided and manually reaches out to the customers in order to know whether they are satisfied with the services or not. In addition, the entire café is under CCTV surveillance for monitoring purposes and security of the items brought by the customers.

All other baristas and all-rounders work with great team work and also take great care to ensure the customers are well satisfied and their orders are promptly processed and served. In order to keep track of the workers’ performances and work duties during the day, each of them has to report to the store manager regarding their duties as well as issues faced during their shift hours. In case of guest complaints or feedbacks, the customer relations manager should be reported immediately so that he can take suitable measures to resolve the issues immediately.

3.1.2 Human Resources Management

During the learning course in college, the author learnt that human resources management is one of the most important requirements for running a business successfully. He also learnt that for the best and optimized performances from the employees, effective human resources management is extremely necessary. The important human resources management operations include recruitment of new employees, training the employees, safety and security of the human resources, motivations for improved performances, performance appraisal and salary increments, bonus awards for exceptional performances and others.

During practical experience at The Naked Duck, the author found out that the company takes a great pride in the performances of the employees in services and customer support and hence, holds the human resources as the most important attribute in ensuring success of the business of the café.

Human Resources Management

During his training period in the café, the author found that in the last Saturday of each month, the store opens only for the employees of the café and a “Rewards and Recognition” (RnR) program is organized where all-rounders and baristas as well as the managers are rewarded with exciting gifts for performing well throughout the month. After the reward session, a group meeting is held where the employees are motivated and praised for their hard work by the human resources. For poor performing employees, the human resources department reaches out to them and asks if there are any challenges or issues faced by the employees that justify their poor performances.

As per the author’s experiences, the recruitment process is also done fairly and is altogether based on the skills and experience of the applicant rather than just degrees or having favorable contacts. Throughout the recruitment session, the human resources team handpicks the applicants and sends them to training sessions before recruitment in the main roster. In addition to background, skill and experience check, the human resources team also ensures to know about the moral values of the applicants that they would like to apply during their tenures with the organization as the company holds customer services to be the topmost priority in the business.

3.2 Management Issues

3.2.1 Self-Management

For the subject of self-management, the author found that The Naked Duck provides an extremely supportive environment to the employees. Although help is always available for the employees facing a challenging work environment, the company promotes self-management i.e. it allows employees to develop and enhance their self-improvement skills so that overcome any challenges at work by themselves. The Naked Duck also thinks self-management is an important attribute that help to serve customers and increase their satisfaction.

As per one specific incident faced by the author himself, once after noting all the orders from the customers, when he went to the kitchen to place the order list, he learnt that a few dishes will not be available as the items needed to prepare these dishes were finished. After passing the information to the customer, he was very angry and reported to the customer service manager immediately.

From the next day onwards, the author did not fail to check with the kitchen regarding the available dishes every hour so that the same can be informed to the customer before he places the order. The author also ensured to prepare a customer order forecast at the beginning of each shift and sent a list of required items to the kitchen accordingly so that there is no food shortage towards the end of the shift.

The Naked Duck Café Shop

During the shift hours, the authors noticed that most of the customers being business executives, they almost always sank in deep business related conversations after placing an order. After learning this, author did not disturb them every few minutes regarding additional orders and allowed them to enjoy their meals with privacy.

3.2.2 People Management

During the training process at The Naked Duck, the author noticed a lot of people management processes undertaken by the store manager. As per the author’s experience, the duties of the café employees were divided and each employee was provided a specific duty for performing during that day. The duties included taking orders from the customers, processing the payments made by customers, cleaning the tables, serving the dishes to the customers and others.

As an all-rounder and barista, the author was generally assigned with the tasks of attending the customers, taking orders, placing the orders in kitchen and managing the serving and cleaning staffs to perform their duties. The author also noticed that the store manager took great care to ensure that all the employees are performing as per the expectations and maintain a friendly environment inside the café for the customers.

3.2.3 Leadership

During the training at The Naked Duck, the author learnt about the importance of leadership in order to enhance the performances of all the employees of the company. The author closely noticed how his team leader managed the entire team of baristas in order to maximize their performances in serving the customers. The team leader always motivated his team subordinates to perform well and also helped them if they faced any technical or other issue during work.

Towards the end of the training period, the author was promoted to the role of the team leader and also tried to lead his team as he learnt from his predecessor. The author had a great deal of professional development while performing as a team leader at The Naked Duck.

3.2.4 Processes

The author learnt from his training that the café runs by closely following standard operating procedures (SOPs). The most important SOPs for the restaurant included personal hygiene and health of the employees, procurement of certified and packaged food materials, use of gloves and necessary utensils, testing the food before serving, regular hand wash, employee behavior during shift hours and others. The author closely followed these SOPs in order to maintain a performance standard and help the organization gain reputation due to maintaining a certain standard during operations.

3. Conclusion

The author has realized that the training period at The Naked Duck has been extremely valuable for him to gather significant professional experience and knowledge. The author learnt a lot more from his practical experience than he learnt during theory classes in college. The author has also been able to promote his self-development and leant to handle challenging situations at work efficiently as well as professionally. One issue the author faced was that the college did not arrange any training placements for the students and he had to find his job at The Naked Duck all by himself. He thinks that the college should take more active steps to ensure all the students are placed for training sessions especially for the international students who find it hard to find a job placement at a new and unknown place.

4. Reference

The Naked Duck. (2018). The Naked Duck - Australian and French eatery with Asian twist. Retrieved 28 January 2018.

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