The day started at the Duke of Richmond Hotel with a lovely welcome from Sam and Rebecca who work for the Red Carnation Group and organised the whole day for the students. The first activity was based around customer service giving them an insight into how small things can make a big difference to a customer's overall experience and essentially the hotel's reputation. This was followed by a ‘mocktail’ masterclass from Orlando showing the girls about the importance of forming a good relationship with the customer during bar service. The visit of the hotel was rounded off with an insight into the role of Hilario, the Events Manager who has worked at the hotel for over 20 years. He gave a full tour of the hotel, answering questions along the way about his job and the overall running of the hotel.
One of the students attending this event said “Every member of staff that we had the pleasure to meet was extremely friendly and more than happy to educate us on their role”.
After spending the morning at Duke of Richmond the students walked down to the OGH. Some had a tour with the concierge and shown the gym, spa, bedrooms and bars learning about the ins and outs of caring for their customers who visit from all around the world. They discovered the fascinating history of the hotel on the tour, and finished with some role play to demonstrate good customer service. Others learned how to correctly lay a table for afternoon tea and a three course meal - according to 5 star standards. The students all felt that it showed them the realities of working in hospitality and explored the valuable life skill of good communication and customer service.
“It gives me the opportunity to meet amazing people, work with amazing people and to teach amazing people amazing things” - Hilton Ruch, General Manager of the OGH, on working in hospitality. This is what we learnt during our exciting day spent with experts in the industry, as well as the personal touch that is so special to the Red Carnation group.
For lunch, Italian chef Costa gave a master class in pizza making which were going to be cooked outside in the hotels pizza ovens.
“While we were shaping our dough, he gave us an impressive pizza flipping demonstration. Mr Beasley tried to follow this act, and in the process of doing so, almost hit Ms Clements with his pizza base! We chose from a variety of toppings which were prepared for us, and while we were waiting for them to cook, the friendly staff surprised us with our favourite drinks which they had asked us about earlier in the day. To top it all off, we finished on a sweet note with a selection of ice creams to complete our meal. We left the OGH feeling more knowledgeable about this sector, and a lot heavier than when we first arrived!”
This day provided an enlightening and invaluable experience for these group of students giving them an insight into the career prospects of hospitality. They met inspiring people with fascinating stories, and the practicality of this day brought together everything they had been learning during tutor time over the past school year about life skills.
Miss Clements, Head of Sixth Form said, “They now feel much better-equipped with skills to take on the wider world!– it was a great day and we thank all the staff from both hotels who took the time to share their knowledge with our students – it was fun and really worthwhile. A day to remember and really relevant to the life skills sessions we run throughout the year with them” .