Ekaterine Borisovskaya began studying for a Bachelor’s in Global Hospitality Management at Les Roches Marbella in autumn 2020. In this student blog, her fifth entry, she recounts her first experiences working in a restaurant as part of the practical arts training classes.
On week seven of my first semester studying the Bachelor’s in Global Hospitality Management, my team and I started doing the Service part of practical arts training in the House of Colors Bistro café. The week started when we arrived on Monday morning at 6:30 A.M., sleepy and not very confident about what was to come. We had a brief introduction with our teacher, Ms. Floor, who explained all the details about the coming week. She gave us certain tasks to do, and we started working shortly after.
During the week, my teammates and I had the opportunity to try ourselves in all of the working parts of the service side of the restaurant: hot pass, taking orders, host, and runner. It was challenging to handle a huge number of tables, but we worked quite organized as a team. Sometimes we had troubles concerning physical tiredness, a lack of time management skills, or inexperience, but it’s a great way to learn from your mistakes. To future LRM students, I would like to recommend you to stay strong and positive about this, as I mentioned in my last blog, it is just the beginning. You will need all of your endurance, not only physical but psychological as well. Now, if I tell the truth, I am more than happy to have this type of experience before an actual job as at university you study and you always have time to practice, ask questions, and even try again later. When you are going to be working in a real position, you will need to be the master of your own.
“It was challenging to handle a huge number of tables, but we worked quite organized as a team.”
At the end of the week, we had our practical training exam. It consisted of 2 parts: First, divide roles between each other within the team during the exam, and second, choose one of the special desserts of the day and make it. I noticed the hardest part of the exam was the first one: to organize each of the teammates to fulfill their roles in the most efficient way possible. During the week, while working with different people from my group, I had an opportunity to get to know my teammates more, and discover their strengths and weaknesses. Based on my “research”, and since I was the leader of the team, I decided the roles of the team based on my knowledge about their personalities.
Learning to work under pressure
The dessert which we chose to prepare was Crêpes with different toppings, such as berries, Nutella, ice cream, and bananas. It went really well! Of course, it wasn’t easy to prepare the Crêpes, but this case taught us how vital is to have a strong core character inside yourself. A real professional will never give up in any situation. Despite Friday being our exam day, we still had a lot of customers to serve. It may not sound like much, but none of us has ever worked in a busy restaurant before while also having to concentrate on our exam. That day, I was responsible for making pancakes and since we had so many orders, our teacher had to give me a hand preparing them! It was very stressful, but the day was really fun and really successful!
Aside from the practical lessons in Bistro service, we also have mixology classes during this F&B block of studies. This lesson provides us with a basic knowledge of making different cocktails, guidelines, and teaches us how to use bar equipment. We also learn terminology and general information concerning bar operations. Next week in our final exam, each of us has to make one cocktail and answer a series of related questions. However, the grade we will receive will not just depend on the right answers or making a good cocktail. Much of what teachers want is to see that you have a responsible attitude. Details in the hospitality business, especially in the F&B department, are highly important. They range from punctuality to finishing off with an appropriate appearance. I will remind readers that our first introduction to Hospitality was about the positive and right attitude to studying. The world of hospitality is looking for people who are ready to study, to improve themselves, and who are motivated. Appearance in the right uniform, following instructions and company values, a readiness to study, and work in a team are the key points that can best offer you future success in this industry.
Finally, another project I had during this practical arts block is one of the most interesting – “Trends for Foodies”. The aim of the course is to give us a brief introduction to one of the biggest parts of the Hospitality sector – the world of Food and Beverage. During this exciting study block, we had different class conversations on trends and discussions on the pros and cons of globalization within F&B.
Could you imagine that all of these events just happened during just one week in practicals? The race is gaining momentum so stay tuned for my future blogs as a first-year Bachelor’s student!