It's that time of year again!.... Yes Wednesday 22nd June sees us here at the Grand celebrating for the 2nd year running #National Kitchen Porters Day. You may well remember last year, we got other departments to take part in the daily life and chores of our hard working, often unseen KPs!
This year due to a rather large lunch taking place on the same day, how inconsiderate is that! We are thanking our boys in a slightly different way! We have asked them all to answer a few questions about themselves and popped them in this blog. A special thank you on a special day!
You may remember Enrico, he has featured in a few of our blogs due to his enthusiasm in being part of the bigger picture working at the Grand..... He was part of the Hotel Team who took part in the Annual St Wilfrids Hospice Pancake Race! Enrico started off almost two years ago as a Back of House Assistant and was promoted within the year to BOH Supervisor. With the support of the hotel, Enrico is currently studying an apprenticeship with Sussex Downs College, studying Level 2 Team Leading. Enrico says it has helped him with his personal development and has given him a better understanding as how to manage a team.
Manuel has worked at the Grand for over 4 years. He normally is responsible for looking after the Staff Canteen on a daily basis, which includes putting out the staff food, keeping the canteen clean and tidy and washing up. He is a proud father of three children and is best known for being the happiest person in the hotel as he is always singing!
Nic started working on a casual contract before moving to a permanent contract last year. He enjoys working straight shifts and the interaction he gets from his colleagues. Nic has also earnt himself extra money taking advantage of the hotel 'Staff Bounty' scheme by recommending his father and his cousin to work here too!. Whilst working at the Grand, Nic has attended the English lessons we provide which has seen him grow in confidence. He has recently working extra shifts in the Garden Restaurant and hopes to transfer to a Front of House role where he plans to study for an apprenticeship.
Mihalache is Nic's father and started working at the Grand on a casual contract and has also worked over Christmas for us, before being offered a permanent contract. His says he is grateful for the stability of having a permanent job within walking distance of home, and has also greatly improved his English by attending weekly English lessons with his son.
Joao (better known as Pedro senior to his colleagues) has worked at the hotel for over 12 years. He enjoys working in the kitchen and likes all of his colleagues, however he says he plans to retire next year!
Michael has worked as a Kitchen Porter in the Mirabelle for 21 years!. En enjoys the atmosphere in the Mirabelle kitchen and also working with different nationalities. He doesn't look a day over 49! But he too plans to retire next year.....
And now for a couple of our people who started out their careers with us as KPs......
Pedro has been working at the Grand for over 18 months. He started as a Kitchen Porter before moving across into the main Kitchen as a Trainee Chef. With financial support from the hotel, he is studying a Professional Cookery apprenticeship with Sussex Downs College and he says this means he can learn the skills of becoming a qualified Chef whilst working in the environment he enjoys so much. Pedro has enjoyed cooking since he was 10 years old and watching his mother cook gave him the inspiration to become a chef.
Roman started work at the Grand ten years ago again as a Kitchen Porter, four days after arriving in England from Poland. He worked in this position for three years before transferring to the Maintenance department. He says his best moment as a KP was when the then Deputy General Manager rolled up his sleeves and helped him on the dishwasher for four hours during a very busy shift! Working here has enabled Roman to improve his English and he says he enjoys working with 'brilliant people from different countries'. Last year was a good year for Roman - he was promoted to Maintenance Supervisor and then won our Employee of the Year.
So just reading these stories shows how much a KP is needed and valued within this hotel. They are often the unsung heros, not seen by guests but without them things would be oh so different.... and not for the good!
On this National Kitchen Porters Day we say thank you and 'keep up the good work' to them all.
Next year, we plan to take National KP Day to another level and arrange an inter Hotel race in the town of Eastbourne... we will be contacting our neighbours with the idea very soon!