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December, 2013

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26th Dec 2013

Roles in UK CRP Food & Beverage

I thought now might be a good time to explain all of the roles in UK Food & Beverage since I have had a few questions – this is all based on my experience and the experience of my friends so I can’t guarantee things haven’t changed since but this is the basics!

Non-tipped roles

Update: During my first program you only really ever did one non-tipped role in any single day. Now you rotate around the positions like many other WDW locations.

Podium

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Craig and I (in the old costume) rocking the podium. Craig greeting and me seating in my very fetching hat.

Probably the most fundamental role in the restaurant – getting people in the door. This involves roles of greeting and seating. The greeter is at the restaurant podium outside checking people’s reservations and working with the Assigner to take as many extra walk-ins as possible to keep the restaurant full and the servers making money.

The podium uses a computer system to keep track of the reservations and the tables seated and prints seating tickets with the guest’s name, table number, server and pager number when their table is ready11065196464_1674e5775e_b.

It is the job of the seater to page the guest, get their menus and take them to their table. They will also help to bus (clear) tables when the restaurant is busy and help out the Assigner as necessary to rearrange tables and chairs for upcoming parties.

As the ‘front-line’ of the restaurant podium also deal with queries about anything and everything around the park and when the park is really busy such as Christmas, New Year and Easter the podium can see upwards of 2000 people a day so there is a lot of talking involved.

Chippy

11065213496_320a39804c_bThe other major location in the UK Pavilion is the Yorkshire County Fish & Chip shop, affectionately known as Chippy. This serves one thing and one thing only, Fish & Chips, and trust me it sells a lot of them. There are 2 major roles in Chippy, Registers and Filling, at quiet times these can be combined so that one person is doing both roles. Registers operate the cash register, take the guest order and complete their payment. When it is busy and dry they are located outside, in front of the counter. In poor weather they relocate indoors since water and electricity don’t mix too well. Fillers complete the order, taking Fish & Chips from the culinary cast and filling drinks to give the guests including soft drinks, bottled water and pints of beer. When it is busy Chippy can really fly with Fish & Chips going out faster than they can be cooked.

Beer Cart

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Livvie and I on Beer Cart

On Beer Cart you can often be on your own. Beer Cart is an outside cart close to the restaurant which sells (clue is in the name) beer as well as ciders and soft drinks. Except in especially busy times this is a one person location and speed can be of the essence. If you have any ambition to be a bartender this is a great first step. It can be incredibly busy, I remember having a constant line for an entire shift during Food & Wine last year but it is pretty fun and you can have a bit of banter with the guests which makes the time fly. You also learn a few cool pouring tricks which can impress guests and actually prove surprisingly useful when you get home.

Stocker

Me stocking on 4th July 2012

Me stocking on 4th July 2012

This is the position that people tend to dread, although I cannot see why. The role involves keeping all of the locations in the Pavilion stocked up with what they need. This includes drinks, condiments, kegs, till roll and desserts for the Chippy. You have a radio and a set of keys and basically spend the day walking around making sure everything is OK. This is one of those you get out what you put in type of positions. If you sit around it tends to get stressful later when things start running out and people start shouting whereas if you do your best to stay on top of things the day tends to go pretty smoothly. I did this role for every major holiday of my program and trust me if you ever get one of those the normal days feel like a breeze!

Assigner

156081_10151829064789377_497381547_nThis one is optional. You can choose to train as an Assigner. This involves managing the flow of the restaurant, seating reservations on time and taking as many extra walk-ins as possible while not over-working (weeding) the servers or the kitchen and keeping guest wait times to a minimum. The software does its best to help you out but it can certainly be stressful, especially during the Dinner rush when there are frequently more guests than tables but I found it incredibly rewarding and it was my favourite role in the entire pavilion. You do occasionally need a bit of a hard skin when you get everyone from chefs, managers, servers and guests telling you how you should be doing it but I would recommend it to anyone.

Tipped Roles

Food Runner

The first step in to tipped positions. The food runner is basically responsible for getting hot food from the kitchen to the table as fast as possible. Food is put on the line with a printed ticket specifying table and once it is all there the food runner takes it to the table. They are also responsible for keeping various sauces and other items in the kitchen fully stocked up for the servers and other food runners to use. (I couldn’t find a picture for this one)

Server

11065262584_6035c876e3_bFor most people this is the role they will spend most of their program in. You effectively own a 4 table section for your shift, you serve anyone that sits there. Taking their order, bringing and refilling drinks, appetizers and desserts and of course providing amazing Disney service! A test is required to become a server which includes both menu knowledge and Disney service standards. Additionally you have side-work responsibilities for keeping something in the kitchen or restaurant stocked or clean.

Bartender

Only a few people make it to be bartenders. Again a test is required along with a recommendation from management most of the time as someone who is reliable and trusted. There are usually only around 6 to 8 bartenders at any given time compared with around 30-40 servers.

That is a VERY whistle-stop tour of the roles to give you a bit of a flavour. Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them. As I said before things change at Disney all the time and some, if not all, of this information is potentially a little our of date so please let me know if I can correct anything!

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19th Dec 2013

Big News from Dan@Disney – Disney CRP 2.0

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Just a little over 8 months ago I was sat in Orlando International Airport, slightly teary-eyed at the end of my Disney Cultural Representative Program. Two days ago I received the amazing news that I have the opportunity to go back!

I have been applying in secret since August, not wanting to tell anyone in case, as I thought was somewhat inevitable I would be rejected. Very few people get a second bite of the apple and I was pretty sure one of them would not be me.

Things have changed quite a bit since my last application. Phone Interviews have been replaced with face-to-face pre-screen interviews with Disney’s In-Country Agent Yummy Jobs and all of the application process has moved to online systems of filling in forms and scanning documents.

yummyThe process started on August 1st when I applied on the brand new, and admittedly slightly buggy, Yummy Jobs website. This has not changed too much, upload a CV, a covering letter, fill in some basic information and few pre-screen questions and you were good to go. The only difference was at this stage you now needed to upload scans of passports and visas as well.

I didn’t hear anything for quite a while and was fairly content to just let it go but eventually I was ┬áto my surprise invited to a pre-screen interview in early October which was at a restaurant on the South Bank in London. It was a really lovely afternoon where I saw a few familiar faces. This was all entirely new to me so I was not entirely sure what to expect but it consisted of an hour-ish presentation about the program (which actually included photos of me and many of my friends) followed by splitting in to groups for the interviews themselves. These were really group discussions on the program, Disney and things like that. All very casual and pretty good fun. We also had to bring an item that represented our home town or country – I went for Tea, obvious, but I am not very good at that sort of thing!

DOCSFrom that I heard fairly quickly that I had been invited to a face-to-face interview with Disney. Cue a LOT of online form filling – there was an application form for Disney, a form to choose the date and time of your interview, a site to upload scans of all your documents. It took a while but none of it was that difficult apart form uploading scans of previous visas, I don’t think they had thought that people would have more than one, I uploaded one thinking it would give me the option for me, but no, I had to email Disney and ask them to delete my upload so I could upload a single file with all of them, which it turned out had to be in pdf format and less than 4mb in size. Several attempts later I finally got it to work.

My interview was the beginning of November back at Disney EMEA HQ in Hammersmith. It was nice to be back in the building again and thankfully this time I knew where the back entrance was (It’s on Butterwick Road), so not too much wandering around trying to find it.Sue and Jill were over and gave the presentation on the program and dragged me up on stage to talk about the roles in F&B… I think I did an OK job, Sue seemed to like it. I had one of the second time slot interviews so I went and grabbed a coffee in the break with some other interviewees before heading back up to HQ. Sue took me as the first interview of our group. It was a really nice chat, she thanked me for helping with the presentation and we talked about my last program and what I wanted to get out of a second program. I would love to say I remember any of the questions and could write something to help future applicants but I can’t! In 10 minutes or so it was all over and I was heading home just after lunchtime.

Sue had said it would be a long wait for results as she was off recruiting for a while, the Thanksgiving holiday was then in the way combined with the fact they were recruiting for three programs simultaneously. Well finally almost 6 weeks later the email dropped in to my inbox at about 20:30 and the rest is history. 12th August 2014 – Food & Beverage… Here we go again!

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