1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I was a waitress and I was involved in helping look after tables ranging from one to two customers to larger tables. I would take orders, help deliver food and drinks and ensure customers were having a good time. I would work with around 3-4 other staff member daily who would help me with larger tables.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have been able to learn a variety of new skills which include communication. I have learnt how to talk differently to different groups of people to be able to sound appropriate. I also learnt more practical skills including balancing glasses on a tray and being able to carry numerous amounts of plates at once.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I did fairly enjoy the programme and the job was what I expected to be doing. The team were helpful and supportive and did make the role more enjoyable. The company had a positive culture however there was a fairly large turnover in staff which did lead to the impression that there were tensions amongst people.
4. How valued do you feel by Akeman Inn?
I did feel valued especially as I was such a young member of the team and I was given responsibilities almost immediately. I gained the most praise and recognition from external customers who were quick to thank me if they felt that I had contributed to them having a good experience. Staff were quick to praise each other.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It was fairly well structured and there was a clear support system in place. The induction was clear however there wasn't much training before starting and it was more of a learn on the job role. There was also some confusion on days about what was happening and who was doing which job.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
There was a fair amount of support from the training providers and if there were any problems it was clear who we would go to. I did enjoy it and the training provider did give us a large amount of information and guidance for any sort of problem. They were also clear and approachable
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The managers were generally happy with supporting us and would take time out of their roles to be able to help us. The teams were a well knit unit and there were good relations between higher stage and lower staff. The mentors were useful in making sure when I started out that I knew what to do and would help me when I had queries.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary was in line with what I expected however was still quite low. Luckily I lived close so I didn't have to worry about travel costs however if I had lived further away it would have been a less appealing job because the location of the job was very remote. It was hard at times because it was so far away from a close town so meant other staff would have to travel a large distance.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I feel this role gave me a huge amount of transferable skills which I would be able to use at many venues across the country. It also gave me the opportunity to meet people outside of education and build contacts and friendships to help me as I get older. It helped boost my CV and showed that I was able to work effectively.
9a. Would you recommend Akeman Inn to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is a good job to be able to gain experience in working in the food industry. There are also a variety of schemes to help people progress further up the industry and if they want to stay long term they can gain higher positions as times goes on. It is a good role to do at a young age because it helps people work on their communication skills and confidence.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Akeman Inn? *
I would tell others to make sure that they are confident when they apply to the role because that is an important quality even if they aren't entirely sure what they are doing. I would also make sure they ask as many questions as possible and try to get advice on simple things such as balancing plates or where different things are stored.
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