RES Apprentice 2016
Round 3 - The Bingham Hotel, Richmond, Surrey
The 3rd round of this year's competition saw our return to the beautiful Bingham Hotel by the riverside in Richmond upon Thames.
This boutique hotel is one of London’s most unusual. A Georgian townhouse overlooking the Thames, the Bingham Hotel is a chic retreat for romantic getaways, a gourmet bolt hole for gastronomic experiences, and a unique wedding and events venue.
Upon arrival we were met by General Manager Erick Kervaon who gave the students an interesting talk about the background to the hotel and to some of the new businesses he has recently been involved in setting up, with particular interest to The Alliance of Independent Restaurants (A.I.R.). This is a new concept dreamt up by Erick in response to supporting and working with independent restaurants to help them as a group, compared to the larger already established chains of restaurants. A.I.R will support with procurement, HR & Legal work, Support Network and PR & Marketing. There is a joining fee of £350 per year and Erick and the 6 other shareholders guarantee that this will be returned through helping get cheaper prices for their food drink and insurance.
The student's task in this round of the competition was to come up with some creative and innovative ideas to help Achieve members of 100+ in the first 3 months of launch. Ideas were then to be pitched to Erick, taking into consideration methods, time frames, cost and financial implications.
Team 1 – Hayden Nicholls & Owen Nicholls
Hayden and Owen had the idea of offering various levels of membership ~ Diamond, Platinum, Jade & Gold with each type giving you different benefits such as higher perks, better publicity, links to their own websites and invites to exclusive events. This was to try and encourage members to opt for the higher level of membership. They were going to advertise this on radio stations and social media. Members would have an initial supplier meeting and would get revisited every 2 months to see if they were happy with the service they were getting and benefits they were receiving.
A well-structured and delivered presentation, although Erick felt that the research had not been in depth enough into getting the members on board.
Team 2 – Alex Drummond & Tom Blunden
Locally sourced, National Growth was Alex and Toms unique selling point. Their idea was to encourage members to join A.I.R. and this would then make them become a regional hub for restaurants in their area. Alex and Tom would as well as giving them the benefits that Erick had already created and would also give them personal introductions to other restaurants in their region so they can share good practice, advice and contacts.
Again a very well delivered presentation but Erick felt that lots of their ideas had already been covered by his own research. He liked their thinking behind the idea but wasn't sure whether it would be viable or not.
Team 3 – Hamzah Rasheed & Liam Sewell
Hamzah and Liam’s vision was to allow smaller restaurants to remain in control of their business whilst also proving support. They would approach large independent hotels and give FREE membership of A.I.R. to approx. 10 clients. These restaurants would then have a wider reach to the smaller restaurants that they then would encourage to get on board to become fee paying members. They wanted to promote A.I.R. as a prestigious high end club to join and many restaurants would want to become part of it to support their own brand image.
Erick liked this idea but the delivery was a little bit long winded rather than getting directly to the point.
After all the presentations were given Erick then gave feedback to the 3 teams and said what they could have done better. He said that many did not cover all aspects of his original brief but he did like some of the idea that they had come up with. After a lot of through Erick fired Hayden and Owen leaving the remaining 4 students to go to the Grand Final.
The Final this year will take place on Friday 11th March 2016 from 12.15 – 3pm and is being hosted in the Enterprise Suite at Rydens Enterprise School.
For information about being involved with The Apprentice Competition please contact Sarah Maton - Deputy Head of Claremont House and Business & Enterprise Co-ordinator on either 01932 242994 X361 or email