Jessica Malandra – Floor Manager at Rhubarb Hospitality Collection


“My HIT Training tutor helped me throughout the whole programme and every time I didn’t understand something, he was always ready to explain it to me.”

Why an apprenticeship?

When Rhubarb Hospitality Collection offered me the chance to do a Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship, I jumped at the opportunity. I love working in hospitality and doing an apprenticeship seemed a great way of improving my managerial skills and progressing my career in the industry. The programme included knowledge sessions on everything from economics to maths and English, and I also enjoyed the practical learnings such as how to do briefings, write a food description and latest regulations about allergens to be in line with the law.

 

Jessica Malandra – Floor Manager at Rhubarb Hospitality Collection

Benefitting my business

Thanks to the apprenticeship, I’ve been promoted from supervisor to floor manager at Fenchurch restaurant in Sky Garden and I’m using the new skills I’ve acquired through training. I’ve learned how to adapt different management styles depending on the situation, and I’m more empathetic thanks to a better understanding of emotional intelligence.

I’ve also introduced some new fresh ideas to make the work environment more fun. As part of my staff engagement project, I now highlight certain team members who have excelled each month, ensuring a diverse selection of champions to showcase people’s various strengths and achievements. This initiative was positively received by both team members and senior management at Rhubarb and has helped impact the outstanding performance of the team.

I’ve also taken ownership of a new area of work in health and safety, learning about the various risks of working in a restaurant so that I can deliver task risk assessments for new members of the team. Accuracy, care and compliance is key in this area, and I’ve learned about the role our compliance consultants play in the business alongside the use of Rhubarb’s Learning Management System to accurately log training records ready for inspection should an environmental health officer require this. 

The role of allergen champion within the restaurant has also been given to me and with the help of my assistant restaurant manager, I’ve learned the various processes we use at Rhubarb to ensure strict allergen care. I ensure all specials have been allergen checked with the chef and communicated with the team and make sure that the allergen sheets are updated whenever needed.

I organise briefing sheets and staff allocation based on the service flow, peak trade times and staff strengths. I’ve learned that finely tuned planning makes for a smooth service with happy guests and a team who are satisfied in their work without being overstretched. I am always thrilled when the senior leadership team request me by name – including Rhubarb’s CEO and our chair – who have asked me to be on duty when entertaining important trustees for our business.

Finally, I also passed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 qualification with merit and got the highest score in my cohort.

Jessica Malandra – Floor Manager at Rhubarb Hospitality Collection

The HIT Training difference

My HIT Training tutor helped me throughout the whole programme and any time I didn’t understand something, he was always ready to explain it to me. I was really pleased to pass my Level 2 Functional Skills qualification in maths and English and I regard this a big career achievement. For me, the most useful things I learned about becoming a good leader were emotional intelligence and different management styles. This is an area I would love to focus on and one day progress into a senior management role.


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