Young Apprentice. Series 3, Week 4.

Finally, Nick was allowed to speak to camera, to Alan and his team lost! He was even allowed a bite of a sandwich, but wasn’t allowed to sit at the grown-up’s table…

The task this week was to create an ‘afternoon tea experience’, which including creating a theme, purchasing ingredients and cooking, and looking after guests in special tents at Blenheim Palace. The team with the most profit would win. This kind of task used to be a ‘final’ task, and I definitely think the tasks are much harder and more complex this year, but it makes for more interesting telly!

The teams were unchanged for last week – Platinum: David (PM as chosen by L-Alan), Stephen, Lucy & Ashleigh; Odyssey – Alice (PM as chosen by L-Alan as well), Maria, Navdeep, Andrew and Patrick. Platinum’s theme was a Mad Hatter’s tea party and their strategy was to buy cheap and sell cheap. Odyssey wanted to go ‘vintage’ (Alice’s idea), which apparently means the 1940s – although the 1940s is war-time and later Alice explained they went for the 1940s because Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim. Anyway, vintage/1940s/traditional British/British with a twist was the basic theme, with a more high-end product and price.

We saw Alice and Patrick having afternoon tea at Langham’s and sampling teas in a speciality store. We saw David and Ashleigh on the other team going to Tesco’s. Were they not given afternoon tea as well, or did they just not show it? Despite David’s poor management, which meant just listening to Ashleigh on the first day, although he did set the price for the tea at a good price of £7 and I think he may have come up with the theme idea, and on the second day having no “strategy” (favoured word of all Apprentii) with long queues, no cups, Lucy (who on a previous task mentioned she liked making cupcakes) and Stephen made some nice looking cakes, and the theme was a good one and made sense (as did the pricing).

Alice’s team, meanwhile, had some usual bickering and confusion on the first day as Alice and Patrick were too busy to answer their phones, and spent too much and charged too much on a less-clearly defined theme. On the day of the tea, they were much better organised with a good front of house patter and management of the kitchen by Andrew, who is a catering entrepeneur, but they didn’t get as many customers and had to slash their prices from £16 (£13 concessions) to £7, but it was too late.

In the end, Alice and Odyssey spent £284, and sold £375 for a profit of £91. David and Platinum spent £158 and sold £474 for a profit of £316. So not only did they spend less, but they also sold more, despite David’s management – and he definitely would have been fired this week if they had lost. Their reward was to go ‘swimming with sharks’ which meant going down in a cage in the London Aquarium, but David seemed particularly thrilled by the treat.

So despite Patrick appearing to do NOTHING all task, except follow around Alice and agree with her, she brought in Maria and Navdeep to the boardroom. There was no real reason for Navdeep to be fired, although Alice explained she doesn’t have entrepreneurial spirit; and Maria was blamed for pushing the prices up. But, it had to be Alice who got fired, as she had chosen the theme, the pricing, the high-end goods, and really done the whole task. Oh well, 8 left now and I think the only candidate who hasn’t embarrassed themselves so far is Stephen. There’s always next week…

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5 Responses to Young Apprentice. Series 3, Week 4.

  1. Nothing David does can get him fired, even though he treats men like dogs…
    I keep getting blog search hits for Alice for some reason. Loads of them. I bet they’ll dry up now.

    • I’m sure at the next possible opportunity, David will be fired. He didn’t make any comments about dogs this episode though, so he’s improving slightly. And don’t all the previous candidates usually return for the final task, so you still might get interest in Alice for that!

  2. Tim says:

    David’s a dead man walking for sure, with every week showing him up as being just that little bit more inept.

    Although pricing was a big issue here – £16 per head for tea is ridiculous when you consider that entry to Blenheim is £20 per adult. There’s a slight difference in value there! But the fact is that it was the team’s spending which really cost them the task. Whether this was Alice’s fault for not setting a budget or Andrew’s fault for getting carried away with it all is unclear, but overall Alice did make enough leadership errors to warrant firing. Although there are severel candidates who have performed worse on tasks and still survived. Ahem, David. And Patrick. And David again.

    My random thoughts from last night:
    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2012/11/23/young-apprentice-fifty-shades-of-earl-grey/

    • Oh yeah David and Patrick are both dead-men walking at this stage and although Alice seemed like a very competent candidate, you can understand why she got sacked. You can’t charge £16 for afternoon tea in a tent – if it had included access to a special room at Blenheim or some entertainment or booze then yes, and I’m surprised they got so many willing customers at the start.

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