We often get feedback from our Monday Night Dinner customers that they would like to get to know the Scarf trainees a little better. That’s usually not possible during the busy dinner service, so we thought we’d take some time to chat to one of our current Autumn Scarf trainees, Rosa, and see what Scarf is like from a trainees’ perspective.
Rosa and one of our lovely volunteer mentors Lisa at an Autumn Scarf Dinner at Top Paddock.
Scarf: What made you want to do Scarf?
Rosa: I wanted to do Scarf because I have not been able to get a proper job after finishing my VCE year at High School in 2012. When I went job hunting, all the employers would ask if I had experience, even though my resume, I think, showed that I had some insight into the type of job I was looking for and therefore that I would be fully committed to learning what the particular job would offer. After a while, I learnt that no qualified experience means no employment, anywhere. After applying for Scarf, I seriously figured that I want to have this Scarf experience so I can acquire all the skills necessary for a hospitality environment, which is an environment that is interesting and totally different to my Nursing career path.
It’s week four of the program. What have you done in Scarf training sessions so far?
Well, so far I have learnt many of the basics necessary for a hospitality environment. These basics are totally different yet full of common sense because there just little things that I would not have thought would be considered a big deal for me to acknowledge. For example, acknowledging my customers upon arrival and at the end is both great for the customer and myself because it somewhat indicates whether they would come back to a Scarf dinner. So far I have also learnt remembering the cover numbers of my customers, table numbers and carrying three hot plates at once, among many other fun experiences. I think the most important thing I have done in Scarf training is writing a nice, clear and readable docket.
Alongside all the customer services, we, all the Scarf trainee crew, have done bar training, which allowed us to be confident and bring out the bar-tenders in us while also learning the seriousness of hygiene behind the bar. The different types of drinks and what they can be mixed with and the most famous drink, Gin and tonic. We have also done a number of coffee training sessions. These sessions also taught us the important of a good coffee, which consisted of the right concentration of coffee beans, stretching of the milk and finally the pouring skills to make sure the coffee is evenly distributed in the cup for that perfect first sip. Finally, so far we have done a wine training session, which basically involved smelling, tasting and recording the types of ingredients used in each of the different wines.
What has been your favourite training session so far?
My favourite session so far is the coffee sessions [at Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse]. I think it’s because I find it exciting and a completely new understanding to anything I have done before. Even though I am personally not a coffee drinker I would like to be involved in coffee to develop and learn of the different types of coffee, their origins and taste.
Coffee training with Kim from Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse.
What is it like working with the mentors during the dinner service?
I find it very helpful and less stressful working with mentors during the dinner services because they know what to do automatically even when they stand to the side and watch me lead. For example, they would be remembering all the customer orders and cover number while I am focused on writing the correct orders. So the mentors make it easy, when necessary but yet push me to take more charge during dinner services.
What is enjoyable about serving customers?
The entire process of serving customers is interesting. This is because I am new to the idea of silently remembering their cover numbers while physically connecting and clearly communicating with my customers. So I find my mind being able to focus on these three key aspects of serving customers for a successful outcome is very enjoyable. It makes me laugh sometimes because I realise how hard it is, because it is completely new skill I have to develop but it can be easy with more practice during Scarf.
What is challenging about serving customers?
Personally, I find everything about Scarf to be new and challenging to my previous capabilities but I still consider it all important for my leaning. The biggest challenge I think I face now would be keeping in time with the customers, whether they’re possibly ready for another drink or the next course etc. and ensuring I have approached them appropriately.
What are you hoping to achieve from the program?
At the end of the program I hope to find a job. Particularly I would really love it if I can make coffee and learn the little things involved in making the perfect coffee for my future customers. Otherwise, I would also like to work at a cool and chilled place even though Scarf’s training is for the best of the best type of work.
Thanks for chatting with us Rosa. Good luck with the rest of the program and finding a job in hospitality!
Thanks. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead!
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