Year 8 Work Place Visit to The Grand Hotel
On Thursday 12th November a group of our Year 8 students visited the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne. Our students were given a tour of the hotel starting with the Mirabelle restaurant. The Mirabelle is a fine dining restaurant with 2 rosettes and there are 5 chefs who work in the Mirabelle kitchen. We learnt that job opportunities in the 2 hotel restaurants include restaurant manager, deputy manager, sommelier (wine expert) and servers. The Grand Hotel is a 5 star hotel and customers expect the very best service. In order to achieve this high standard, every member of staff from housekeeping to maintenance, chefs to reservations, events to operations, have to all play their part in making the customers’ experience an outstanding one. We then viewed the Garden restaurant, Lounge area, recently refurbished cocktail bar and the Compton room. Students asked what skills they would need to work in a hotel. Good customer service is vital and important staff skills are a friendly personality, teamwork and good communication. We then visited some of the 152 bedrooms & suites. Students learnt that the hotel charges a peak season and low season rate for its rooms and the Junior Suite we visited costs £355 peak season which includes breakfast. The team of 30 housekeeping staff have to make sure that the rooms are cleaned to perfection and they have a quick turnaround as check out is 11am and check in is from 2pm. The Grand Hotel has a heated outdoor pool and a spa with indoor pool and Jacuzzi. Finally we visited the main kitchen where breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and room service meals are prepared. There are 30 chefs and the hotel offers apprenticeship schemes where the apprentice can work in various departments and if successful could gain a full-time job. Work in the kitchen is long hours and shift-work. We met an ex-Ratton student who is working part-time as a server/waiter! One of our students asked about job incentives. The hotel offers its staff a discounted rate for meals and overnight stays and staff are supplied with uniform and meals whilst on duty. There is a ‘gems’ scheme which stands for ‘going the extra mile’ where staff are rewarded for certain jobs over and above what is expected. Rewards range from a £50 high street voucher to an overnight stay! Huge thanks to Astrid at the Grand Hotel for her support and well done to all our students who were great ambassadors for Ratton throughout the visit.