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Getting in the festive spirit with The Pie Man

Getting in the festive spirit with The Pie Man inploi Team | 08.11.2017

With over 35 years of hospitality expertise, The Pie Man is one of London’s most respected Catering and Event Management companies. Still run as an independent business three decades on, the team pride themselves on consistently providing their clients with delicious food and excellent service. Over the years, their reputation has grown, and the team are often requested by their clients to create an array of one-off, awe-inspiring events (sometimes at a truly astounding scale).

This Christmas, the team are excited once again to take on the challenge of creating the ultimate festive popup café/bar experience at two of London’s top ice skating rinks - The Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. For just 7 weeks, the grounds of these iconic landmarks will be transformed into winter wonderlands – delighting tourists and Londoners alike who are out seeking a little festive fun.

We caught up with The Pie Man’s Catering Manager, Judith, who has been with the company for over 15 years and the company’s founder, Murray, to discuss what makes working for The Pie Man so special. “We are all about good food, good service,” Murray explains, “that’s where we start. You can have great food but if the service is poor you will end up disappointing the customer so the service we provide from first contact is especially important to us." As such, every team member across the company, whether they work in the kitchen, front of house at events, or behind the scenes at The Pie Man’s Head Office are equally valued. “We are very interactive - we all support each other.” Judith says, “We often crossover and help in each other’s areas which is good, because everyone can see how each role is played, and it gives you an appreciation for other people’s roles.” Murray adds, “It’s definitely a team ethic. The Pot Washer is just as important as the Head Chef and we can’t do our job properly without either of them. It is very important that each member of the team respects and understands the importance of working together as a team."

Judith has a particularly established knowledge of the company and what each role entails having worked there for 15 years. “I started off as a part-time sandwich maker and I’ve worked my way up. The good thing about this company is that it gives you the chance to progress. If you work hard, you can progress.” Working across the kitchen, front of house and office teams gives her the best oversight of the business, the ability to empathize with junior staff members and most importantly pre-empt the training and backup they need – enabling everyone to undertake their role to the best of their abilities.

The team are consistently taking on feedback from their staff, creating a very open and trusting work environment. “I know they can handle anything that happens.” Judith says, “If you have your systems and planning in place, nothing goes wrong. It’s about making sure people have the right backup and knowledge.” All new staff are given mentoring for a couple of weeks, often shadowing a senior member of staff on different duties before taking on tasks independently.

At present, The Pie Man are most excited about onboarding new team members for their popup cafes and bars at London’s top Christmas ice skating rinks. “Those ice rinks are going to be such good fun to work at!” Judith says effusively. “It’ll be a good environment for young people to work in and enjoy. We need people with a good background knowledge, as well as team leaders. We need people who are willing to take on a bit of responsibility.”

The popups will be built specifically for the Christmas period, giving the team the perfect environment to bond and work closely together for a 7-week period. “It’s a short-term position, but if someone wanted to stay, we’d see what opportunities are available at that time.” Murray says. So whether staff are looking for a temporary role, or something more long term, there’s flexibility available with The Pie Man. It’s the perfect environment for people who thrive off a challenge where no two days are the same, people who love customer service and always exceeding expectations, and finally, people who are passionate about food and beverage. “Any candidates who come along - if they show other skills, and they show ability and they show enthusiasm, then we are a company that very much encourages that, and likes people to progress and grow and do better.” Judith explains. “We want our staff to come in and enjoy the job. And it’s a growing company, so there’s a lot of opportunity for people to put their own stamp on things, and to learn a lot, to bring a lot and create a lot. For the right candidates, it’s a very exciting prospect.”

If you're interested at working at the ice skating rinks at The Tower of London or Hampton Court Palace this Christmas, check out The Pie Man job openings on The Pie Man company page here!