“Meribel opens 8 December. Currently the resort is full of staff in training. It’s an exciting but also an extremely busy time of the year. First impressions count and we have to get it right”.
It is so important for every guest to have the same premium experience whether they decide to holiday at the beginning or at the end of the season. So how do Fish & Pips get their staff season-ready?
It starts in the UK
After a careful and thorough recruitment process which started back in June, the first training session for this season’s staff took place in Surrey at The Abinger Cookery School.
Each year chefs from the Michelin-starred Trinity Clapham come and share their knowledge and ideas and provide inspiration to our seasonal chefs. They help them to to create delightful dishes, whilst finalising and signing off the Fish & Pips chefs’ winter menus. The training day is not just about cooking and baking – it also includes brainstorming around the menu plans, finding innovative solutions to reducing food waste in resort, as well as tasting and analysing the freshly prepared fine foods.
Then it’s out to resort
Staff have made it across the first set of hurdles, now they are dispatched to Meribel where the training sessions continue:
- customer service
- health and safety training
- making a log fire
- hot tub maintenance
- driver training
- bed-making masterclass – that includes hospital corners!
- resort orientation
- meeting with suppliers
- a day in the life of…
One of the highlights of the pre-season training is the ‘day in the life of a Fish & Pips guest’. All new recruits get to experience being a guest. The day starts with a full-works breakfast, there’s a tasty afternoon tea, in the early evening canapés and a four course meal. This helps us to to show our new team members exactly how to pamper and look after our guests. A huge benefit is that it is also a wonderful icebreaker for the season’s staff. All of Fish & Pips ‘guests’ (aka chalet teams) experience the unlimited wine offered with the evening meal! It is a great, practical opportunity to learn the ‘Fish and Pips way’ whilst having fun at the same time.
We also use this event to see who works well together for the eagerly awaited chalet pairing at the end of training.
Once paired up staff have a few full days of practice to give them a chance to find their feet in the chalet environment, as well as fine-tune their menus and perfect their hosting skills.
The dark side
There is also the ‘dark side’ to training, the deep cleaning of the chalets. This is no easy task, and everyone contributes to getting the chalet sparkling clean. Toothbrushes and toothpicks are on hand for those hard to reach areas.
Once the chalet is ready and the teams are paired up, there’s a ‘little’ pre-season soiree with friends and partners from in and around Meribel. It’s a way of thanking our suppliers for the important part they have played in making Fish & Pips what we are today.
Next, it is time to welcome our first guests. Staff need a good nights’ sleep in order to be fresh-faced for the first of the season’s arrivals.
If you would like to experience the buzz of the first few weeks of the season with Fish & Pips click here.