The Apprentice: turning flour into dough

The Apprentice: turning flour into dough

October 21, 2010 by Rachel Miller

Missed the third episode of The Apprentice? Catch up here.

The Task

Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly. Lord Sugar, Karren Brady and Nick Hewer, stony-faced as ever, have called in the candidates to give them their next task — turning flour into serious dough. They have to make large amounts of bread and cakes, get orders from suppliers and also sell their wares on the streets of London. The team names are the same — Synergy and Apollo — but the players get shifted around so it’s no longer a competition between girls and boys.

The best bits

It’s all about multi-tasking and while each team is good at some things, neither manages to get it all right. Getting it all right would be essential in the real world of course. There are three key components to the task — getting orders, making the baked goods and selling the remaining stock on the street. All this requires careful pricing and planning. So what happens? Synergy (headed by Melissa Cohen) secures limited orders but the team shines in the bakery where it manages to create an effective production line churning out bagels and croissants  — arguably much easier when you have few orders. Apollo (lead by Shibby Robati) manages to pitch well — perhaps too well — and rashly promises to deliver 1900 units to a five star hotel.

The worst bits

So what goes wrong? Synergy is hopeless at pitching and has no idea what to charge. Given five minutes to think about their strategy by the hotel management, they take a full fifteen minutes and only secure a limited order when Alex steps in with prices at the last minute. Apollo, meanwhile, has given its baking team an impossible task. And sure enough, the next morning, they arrive at the hotel with only 16 — yes 16 — of the 1000 bread rolls ordered! The result? They have to pay the hotel compensation of £130.

The losers

Both teams end up selling just under £1000 of bread and cakes. But Apollo’s profits are hit by its compensation payment. So Shibby is in the firing line and he nominates Paloma and Sandeesh to take the flak too. But they can’t — or won’t — help him and this week it is Shibby who gets the chop. As ever, Lord Sugar also has words of warning for another candidate and it looks like Sandeesh is on borrowed time.

The ones to watch

A couple of the candidates are clearly learning how to play the game. Joanna “gobshite” Riley and Stuart “everything I touch turns to sold” Baggshave radically toned down their attitudes and may last longer as a result.

Quote of the week

“They sold cheap and it wasn’t a pretty sight really.” Nick Hewer watching Synergy giving away a box of muffins for a tenner.

Comments

October 21, 2010
The Apprentice Week 3 - The Bread Challenge

How difficult is it to make bread? Well in last nights The Apprentice, we saw some of the best young brains in the UK – also known as – the Candidates – show that it is nigh on impossible!!

The challenge set by Lord Sugar, was for each team to produce bread, get orders, and sell bread both on the street & to corporate clients.

So off they all went, to their pre-assigned bakeries, and other members of the team went off to get orders. Now, forgive me for being simple, but don’t each of these groups have to agree what they are making & what they are selling, or the other way around – the people selling tell the people making, what to make.

Clearly not, because one team set to making bread rolls, whilst their ‘sales team’ went out and sold croissants! Then the team leader of Apollo, or was it Synergy – by now I have lost the plot – threw all his toys out of the pram, and stormed out of a meeting with a corporate client. However, all is not lost because they already have an order for 1000 bread rolls. Unfortunately, they are only able to supply 16! Yes, they turn up at 5.30am at a London Hotel with 16 bread rolls.

Meanwhile the other team, which might be Synergy or Apollo – but whatever! are being led by something from another another planet. But – good news – she already runs a food distribution business, so she ought to know what she is doing – WRONG!!. Her only skill seems to be – not making a decision, failure to use a calculator, tell other team members to grow up, and to hold long discussions about GCSE Maths grades. Fortunately, one member of the team admits to having got an A* in their Maths GCSE, thereby putting himself in the firing line for more vitriol from the Lady Gaga lookalike.

I can see that you are slowly, like me, losing the will to live, so I will miss out the bit about how they didn’t really sell anything, but still managed to take over £900 in both cases. The eventual winners were either Synergy or Apollo, but whoever was led by the blonde one with the glasses were the winners.

Cut to Boardroom with Dr. Shibby – a surgeon, and his two selected ‘partners’ Paloma (cue for song – Hola Paloma Blanca!) and Sandeesh, who set about justifying their own existence, until Lord Sugar decided he had had enough, and pointed his finger at Shibby and uttered those immortal words – You’re Fired!

(www.imageandprofile.posterous.com)

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