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Working as a chef in the hospitality sector is a job full of great responsibilities and challenges which the chefs have to take care of in order to manage the large set of customers that come up to visit the hotels and restaurants and have the delicious dishes on offer. The chefs have to take care of fulfilling different preferences of each of the customers when it comes to dishes' taste and offered variety in order to make sure that they go happy and satisfied by focusing on various factors of customer satisfaction for which they would initially require some mentorship program. This handbook deals with the different aspects of a mentoring program for chefs which would enable them to perform the concerned roles and responsibilities in an efficient manner such as benefits and purpose of mentoring program, components of program, involved principles and legislation policies of mentoring among others.
Purposes and benefits of mentoring program
The purpose of this mentoring program is to make sure that the chefs are always working on their maximum potential, are satisfied in their workplace, get the required motivational and emotional support to work and solve any issues that the chefs may face while performing their day to day tasks in the concerned hotels and restaurants. The purpose of this mentoring program is to provide any necessary assistance that the chefs might require to excel in the industry and make sure that the customers are happy and satisfied with the offered dishes and services by increasing levels of customer satisfaction (Ahern?Dodson et al. 2020). The chefs through this mentoring program would also get training about making different types of dishes in order to ensure that the chefs are able to fulfil the ever changing market trends and demands of customers due to different likings and preference for food.
Some of the crucial benefits that this mentoring program is intended to provide to the chefs working in the hospitality industry has been briefly summarised below
- Chefs that are under confident in the industry and are not aware of their potential and lack self belief will be given motivational training
- The chefs will be given training about cooking different types of dishes ranging from continental, Italian, Chinese, Mughlai and Indian among others so that they can expand their expertise and cook different types of food for each types of customers and their food preferences
- The mentoring program will also increase the productivity of employees and will be mentored on soft skills, client management and multitasking by the experts in the industry
Components of mentoring program plan
The components of this mentoring program plan that will be included in this in order to make sure the desired purpose and benefits of the program are successfully achieved can be listed as
- Conducting sessions for managing mental health of the chefs and motivating them in the concerned workplace and hospitality industry
- Career counselling will be provided to the chefs who lack self confidence and self belief to make them realise their true potential
- Skill development training to make the chefs able to make different types of cuisines and dishes ranging from Indian, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mughlai and Continental among others
- Soft skill and productivity training for effective task management and increased customer satisfaction
Mentoring program design principles
The main principles on which this mentoring program for chefs has been designed are
- Hospitality industry requires treatment of customers with good behaviour, workplace etiquettes and effective communication which the intended soft skill training will provide
- Limiting the chefs to one or two kinds of food is never enough as there is demand for different types of food and cuisines
- Employing working in the industry are subjected to extensive workload due to which productivity can be an issue at times
- Sometimes the employees might get subjected to bad behaviour of customers which can be demotivating for them and harm their self belief (McRae & Zimmerman, 2019).
- There are many domains in the hospitality sector which the employees are not aware of which can be solved through mentoring in career counselling
Roles of a mentor and a mentee
Roles of a mentor
A mentor needs to perform the following roles under this mentoring program plan
- Provide soft skills training to chefs in the hospitality industry so that they can handle their customers in a better manner with proper etiquettes and communication
- Prepare the chefs to become multi cuisine experts to be able to make different types cuisines that attracts different types of customers having varying food preferences
- Motivate the chefs whenever they feel let down and unmotivated due to rude customer behaviour or anything which can affect their mental health by conducting relevant sessions
- Guide the chefs in managing the delegated duties within time by boosting their productivity
- Measure the skills of chefs and guide them into different career in hospitality industry through proper counselling
Roles of a mentee
Mentoring is a two way process. Even the greatest of mentors can fail in performing their duties if the mentees don't perform their roles. Some of the crucial role of mentee in this respect are
- Listen to the advice of the mentors
- Follow the instruction that is provided
- Be eager to learn and imbibe new skills with utmost curiosity
- Be proactive and communicate efficiently with the mentors whatever be the issue
- Don't argue unnecessarily with the mentors and give respect to the experience that they have in the industry (Han & Onchwari, 2018).
Criteria for screening and matching mentors and mentees
The criteria that can be used for the screening and matching of mentors and mentees has to be done in an appropriate manner in order to make sure that the mentors and mentees develop a good bond and the intended purpose of mentor program is achieved
- The age and experience of the mentor has to be screened and younger mentees has to paired with young mentors
- Gender needs to be considered to promote workplace safety and make the learning experience more relatable
- Mentors and mentees speaking same language would mitigate any issues due to barriers if language
- Some culture and traditions would help them to establish better bond and understanding
- Regional area would also make the mentor and mentees to connect with themselves instantly
- Cuisine expertise is also a crucial factor as they would be the best mentors to provide training on specific cuisine type
Legislation and organisational policies for mentoring
There are some legislation and organisational policies that has to be taken care of such as
- Confidentiality of talks between mentors and mentees so that the mental health conditions that the chefs might be suffering from or the porefessional weaknesses of chefs does not get known by all other mentees as well as mentors and remains confidential by upholding privacy requirements of the mentees (Hafsteinsdóttir et al. 2020).
- Promoting safety at workplace and making sure that the chefs are not subjected to nay nay kind mental trauma or physical harm in the mentoring program due to any unforeseen circumstances
Variation in resource requirements according to mentoring program mode
There can be huge variations in resource requirements for the mentees as well as mentors depending upon their needs and the services they want to avail
- The mentees who want to prosper in their professional career and are limited by the dishes they can make would require resources for training in cooking different types of cuisine
- The chefs who lack in soft skills would require resources such as booklets for communication skills and important etiquettes in hospitality industry
- The chefs who are suffering from mental health issues would require medical help from professional
- Resources might also be required for chefs who want career counselling and want to change their career
- The has to be resources for recreational activities as well to make the chefs motivated at workplace
Collection and Storage of mentoring program data
The data that is collected from the mentoring program will be kept highly confidential and will not be stored by the organising committee of the mentoring program. There would be non-disclosure agreement signed between the involved parties and only the mentors would have access to the necessary informations provided by the chefs for availing the benefits of mentoring program
Methods for evaluation and reporting of mentoring programs
The method that will be used for the evaluation and reporting of mentoring program will be based on the measurement of following identified key performance indicators of the program to measure the success of its desired purpose
- Survey will be conducted to find out whether they were happy with the concerned mentoring program and do they expect any better outcome and result out of it in the future
- Evaluation of this mentoring program will also be done after a period of one month to see if there has been any significant change in the mentee behaviour or prevalent skills (Sanchez, 2018).
- Data will also be reported about the number of cuisines that they knew to make before the initiation of the mentoring program and the cuisines that the chefs are able to make after the successful conduction of the mentoring program
Appendix A: Mentor pre-meeting 1 checklist
1. Muna: Hi Laxmi! A very good morning. I have already mailed you about our 1st meeting. Did you receive the invitation?
Laxmee: Yes, Sir, I have received your mail.
2. Muna: I want to ask you, are you free next Saturday at around 4 pm? I want to conduct the meeting tomorrow at Starbucks, just in the opposite lane. Are you free at that time?
Laxmee: Yes, Sir, I have no issue. I will reach that time.
3. Muna: Ok great. I will send you a form which is a mentoring agreement. You have to fill that up and mail me. Then only I can start this mentorship session.
Laxmee: Surely, I am going to mail you by today.
Muna: I want to clarify that I will help you to develop those skills that you will be requiring the most in our hospitality industry. You already know how much pressure we have to face during some occasions like Christmas, New year. I will teach you how to handle the extra pressure strategically because you cannot quit at any cost. Satisfying our customers by giving unique, mouth-watering dishes is our passion and of course duty. I am going to mentor you to develop skills that will help to finish any task within a few minutes without compromising the taste.
Laxmee: Thank you so much, Sir. I have been facing difficulties in keeping the taste good while I have huge orders and have to complete all of them within a limited time. I hope your guidance will help me to overcome my issues.
- Muna: Alright! But you have to promise me you are going to work hard and will finish the course within the allocated time. I am going to take a test to judge your learning at the end of mentorship and will give you feedback.
Laxmee: Okay Sir.
- Muna: Okay, now tell me about yourself.
Laxmee: I am 23 years old, and I have been working in XYZ hotel for the last 10 months.
- Muna: Okay, will get to know you more later. Just to clarify, I will use the “Force Field Analysis” technique that will help you to make strategic decisions whenever you need.
Laxmee: Okay Sir.
Appendix B: Mentor meeting 1 checklist
- Muna: Hey, welcome back. Good to see you and thank you for attending this meeting.
Laxmee: Pleasure is all mine, Sir.
- Muna: You know right, maintaining confidentiality is most crucial to building trust between us? You will not discuss anything outside this meeting.
Laxmee: Yes, Sir, I know.
- Muna: Tell me, what have you been doing since I last met you?
Laxmee: Nothing extra Sir, I am working in that hotel for around 12 hours.
- Muna: What is your role as a chef?
Laxmee: I make starters and desserts for the customers and I have to pre-prepare all the dishes. I mostly need to chop, assemble or cook some of the dishes before serving.
- Muna: Now tell me, what do you expect from this mentorship?
Laxmee: I want to achieve excellence in my chopping skill. I can not chop very fast which makes me take longer to finish any dish than others. Moreover, I want to standardise the taste of my dishes. I have noticed, my taste differs every time I cook a particular dish. I must say, when I am not in a hurry, my starters taste heavenly. The cakes I bake are so fluffy that I can not express them in words. But on occasions, when the workload is high, I always mess up. I want you to solve these issues so that it does not create problems in my future growth.
- Muna: Okay. That is all for today. See you at the next meeting.
Laxmee: Thank you so much, Sir.
- Muna: What is your opinion about my mentorship?
Laxmee: Sir, you are a great listener. I am glad that you asked about the difficulties which I am currently facing. I am very excited to learn from you. You are my inspiration.
Appendix C: Mentor post-meeting 1 reflection template
- 1. My communication skill
I think I am quite good in communication and I would rate myself 3 out of 5. I have asked Laxmee about the problems that she is facing and I also asked her about what she expects from me. However, I would have also asked her about her passion and what she likes to do the most other than making starters and desserts. That would probably help me plan this mentorship program accordingly.
- 2. The Dynamics of the relationship
The relationship dynamic between me and my mentee is fairly good. I can somehow relate to her problems as I faced the same problem when I was new to this field. I think I can help her solve the issues.
- The role I played
I have encouraged her to speak out about her problems. Otherwise, I will not be able to help her. I was a good listener, and Laxmee agreed to this point as well. Moreover, I think I know her well and her issues quite well and I can help her and guide her to overcome the difficult situation. I am going to teach her how to face challenges and how to find opportunities out of difficult situations. I am confident, my guidance will help her in her future growth as well.
- 4. My mentee’s interest and comments
At present, she is willing to learn excellence in chopping which will help her to cook any dish in less time. I forgot to ask her about her favourite dish that she likes the most to cook. I am going to ask that in the next meeting. From next time, I will never forget to ask my future mentee about her favourite food.
- 5. Any other impression
I should have assured her that I will help her to solve her issue. I should have told her that I will teach her some tricks by using which she can standardise her dishes and the taste will not vary from the next time.
Appendix D: Mentor pre-meeting 2 checklist
1. Opening question:
Hi Laxmee. Are you ready to attend the next meeting? It is on Sunday, 5 pm, at the same place.
2. Objectives questions:
How are you?
What have you been doing since our last meeting?
Are you still cooking starters and desserts where you are currently working?
3. Reflective questions:
I forgot to ask you last time, what is your favourite food that you liked the most to cook?
Why is it your favourite?
Do you need to cook this where you are presently working?
4. Interpretive Questions:
Do you have any alternative plans to deal with your present issue?
Tell me what it is and how that is going to help you?
What will be the probable impact of your decision?
5. Decisional Questions:
What is your next plan?
Do you have any vision for achieving those goals?
Do you think it is the correct decision and if yes, please tell me why?
Thank you so much for your time and effort. See you next time.
Appendix E: Mentor meeting 2 checklist
1. Opening question:
Muna: Hi Laxmi, thank you for attending the meeting. I hope I can help you to solve your issues.
Laxmee: Thank you so much Sir for having me.
2. Objective Questions:
Muna: How are you?
Laxmee: I am fine Sir. How are you?
Muna: What have you been doing since our last meeting?
Laxmee: I have been trying to apply some new techniques in my chopping technique since the day I met you.
Muna: Ok, are you still cooking starters and desserts where you are currently working?
Laxmee: Yes, Sir, but I have to occasionally cook entrée as well when the work pressure is high.
Muna: My plan is from the very first day of the practical sessions I will start working on your chopping skills. It is a very important step in cooking any dish. Moreover, it is the most crucial step as well because you have to chop every piece of fruit and vegetable with perfection. I know it will not make any difference in the taste of the food but it is important to enhance the aesthetic value of the food. Most importantly, we do not get as much time to cut with perfection as well. I will teach you. So, are you ready to learn?
Laxmee: Yes, sure, I will be more than happy.
Muna: After you grip on your chopping skills I will slowly forward to teach you techniques using which you can easily standardise the taste of your dishes and I can make sure, all of your dishes will taste the same every time you will cook them. Are you excited to learn?
Laxmee: Yes, Sir.
- Reflective Questions
Muna: I forgot to ask you last time, what is your favourite food that you liked the most to cook?
Laxmee: I love to bake and try new cake flavours. I love to experiment with food. My favourite pastime is to experiment with new cake recipes.
Muna: Why is it your favourite?
Laxmee: I just love to decorate the cake with frosting and fondant. On weekends, I take personal orders for making customised cakes for the clients. Most importantly baking does not require chopping, which is the best part.
Muna: Do you need to cook this where you are presently working?
Laxmee: Yes, Sir, I have to bake here every day. However, I cannot experiment here with baking as the hotel follows a specific menu. I have to cook the same cakes every time.
- Interpretive Questions
Muna: Do you have any alternative plans to deal with your present issue?
Laxmee:Yes, Sir, I have a plan and I try to apply this while chopping.
Muna: Tell me what it is and how that is going to help you?
Laxmee: I am trying to work with a smaller knife to exert control over my chopping skills. I know it is riskier and takes more time to chop but at first, I want to ensure all the pieces of my fruits and vegetables are in equal shape. I have seen a significant difference in the overall look of the dish where the vegetables are cut with precision. I have also noticed, properly cutting fresh fruits and dry fruits, which are sometimes used in cake decoration can instantly make the cake more attractive. I can say, it is very important to learn this chopping skill but unfortunately I am still struggling and seeking your help.
Muna: What will be the probable impact of your decision?
Laxmee: I can accelerate my chopping skill if you guide me and create dishes that are aesthetically pleasing.
- Decision Question
Muna: What is your next plan?
Laxmee: My next plan after learning good chopping skills is ensuring the standardisation of dishes.
Muna: Do you have any vision for achieving those goals?
Laxmee: Honestly speaking, I do not have any plan till now and I want your help badly in this regard. Because it is practically impossible to measure every ingredient while cooking. I want something alternative so please, help me.
Muna: How do you like this meeting?
Laxmee: It is a wonderful experience. I think I have talked about everything about myself.
Appendix F: Mentor post-meeting 2 reflection template
My communication skills
I think this time; I performed better as a mentor. I was successful to get all my answers and queries that I badly needed to plan the mentorship program.
Who did most of the talking?
This time both of us talked, but I think my mentee talked a little more than me.
Who had the power?
I had the power but I allowed my mentee to express herself.
The dynamics of the relationship
Same as the last meeting.
What worked well and why?
This time I was well-prepared and I already made the questions so that I did not miss anything to ask.
What needed improvement and why?
I think this time I have done it correctly.
Comments of Mentee
My mentee liked the meeting very much and did not say anything else.
Things I need to work on to enhance my mentoring skills
I think I have to be more open towards my mentee so that she can be encouraged to take risks.
Strategies to enhance this skill
I can share my own experiences with her and can focus the conversation on the more meaningful areas to make it more relatable.
Appendix G: Sample mentor agreements
Mentor name: Muna
Mentee name: Laxmee
Our mentoring agreement:
By signing the agreement, we both are acknowledging to maintain privacy and confidentiality.
We both will try to meet for at least: (mention frequency and duration)
Agreeing to inform beforehand if there is any need for meeting cancellation.
We will work together to solve the problems.
Signature and Date (Mentor):
Signature and Date (Mentee):