Creating a successful mobilisation is fun
Mobilisation (where we take over or open a new café or restaurant site) is where, by osmosis, a team and their site transition into bartlett mitchell’s pear world. It is frantic, yet fun at the same time. Creating a successful mobilisation is great from a number of perspectives; it builds teams, sorting the wheat from the chaff and allows the star team members to shine. But best of all it is a golden opportunity to turn a contract around from a dull space to a sparkling jewel.
1. Be prepared for any challenge
On the opening day we inevitably have a number of challenges ranging from being in a new building with no power, or where under TUPE law we have no idea which team members will turn up. For contract caterers this is our bread and butter, we take these demands in our stride. Literally anything can be thrown at us, from the sublime to the ridiculous. In over 200 mobilisations we have carried out, we have never not opened successfully. It may not always be ‘perfect’ behind the scenes, but our accomplished team pulls out all the stops to ensure our customers experience a smooth transformation. And customers always see a noticeable improvement.
2. Plan, plan and more planning
The reason we are successful is because of the detailed planning carried out by our excellent mobilisation team. Our team members have defined roles and responsibilities that are clear to the client. They are empowered to deliver. Communication is always timely and appropriate. Weekly mobilisation meetings take place internally and with the client. The mobilisation team is willing to accept challenge in the best interests of the mobilisation project. And we create an atmosphere of openness and sharing, where ideas keep flowing.
3. Have a cracking team
We are lucky to have a dedicated elite team who deliver all our mobilisations. Our superstar front of house team turn the dullest space into the brightest. They are complimented by the magic brought by our back of house chef team, who truly make it a foodie fest from day one. The commitment this crack team brings, and usually over a weekend, is phenomenal. What I love most is their infectious team spirit which exposes new team members to the fun that is baked into bartlett mitchell’s culture.
4. Create a day one wow
We only get one chance to produce a WOW first impression for customers. Creating a successful mobilisation delivers an essential buzz around the building on the first day and this establishes our reputation for great food and service. We make sure the right people and resources are there to deliver. We particularly love that in green field sites, catering is always mentioned by the client as the one area they never had to worry about.
5. Our tips for mobilisation success are;
- The food must be the priority
- Do things safely and be compliant. From day one show you are serious about H&S.
- Front of House team keeps smiling and behaves like a swan, with its gliding beauty on the surface and a bit of frantic paddling below (or behind the scenes)
- Let the caterers get on with it, this is what they do best
- Have fun, if we have fun and enjoy the process, so will the customers and the client.
As important, but sometimes not considered is de-mobilisation. This is where sites close down or pass to other caterers. Contract caterers have a voluntary code of conduct, which are mainly common-sense actions. But it’s surprising that some caterers don’t always follow them. We took over a site recently which was subject to deliberate sabotage, but despite this, we delivered. We believe in karma so we always leave a site as we would wish to find it.