Category Archives: Customer Service

Why The Hell Can’t You Find Chefs ???

Give this a go… try Googling ‘Chef Shortage Australia’ or ‘Demand for Chefs’ and these are the type of headings you get in return;

Oh Yes, there sure is a Chef shortage .....
Oh Yes, there sure is a Chef shortage …..

 

WE HEAR YOU !

White Now  certainly hear your frustrations at trying to find chefs, cooks, apprentices and in fact anyone at all with a qualification relating to the kitchen ! We know the amount of job vacancies available for these roles and they increase weekly.  It is pretty true to say that the more ads there are for a position, the more evident shortage and desperation is to fill that position.

As the headlines above highlight, there are a multitude of reasons why there is a shortage of people wanting to work in our kitchens.

Here are just SOME of the reasons why WE think people don’t want to become Chefs / why we cannot find Chefs :

  1. An apprenticeship is perceived as too long – people want quick courses now
  2. The reality TV shows encourage people into the industry but then they realise it is a long journey
  3. Today’s youth are less interested ‘putting in the hard yards’ – they want to ‘be at the end NOW’
  4. Current chefs want apprentices to ‘do it the way they did it’
  5. Traditional RTO delivery is a bit ‘old hat’
  6. The salary and hours of work are simply not attractive
  7. There are more production kitchens therefore less learning for apprentices
  8. The Government put much higher restrictions on the old e457 Visas

SOME SERIOUS FACTS FOR YOU (as at October 2015) !

  • The Department of Employment survey of employers who had recently advertised for chefs found that 62 per cent of vacancies were filled.
  • In Sydney there was an average of eight applicants per vacancy, with an average of 3.5 applicants having formal qualifications and an average of 0.9 considered suitable.
  • The most frequently cited reasons for the unsuitability of applicants were, in order of frequency, applicants were not in the local region, or they did not have the required skill level for the specialised position. Other secondary reasons cited were a poor attitude, lack of general experience and the level of wages offered to applicants.
  • The number of persons completing apprenticeships for chefs and cooks in NSW averaged around 760 in the three years to 2014-15
  • The number of apprenticeship commencements fell by around 15 per cent in the three years to 2014-15 compared to the previous three years.
  • The stock of chefs working in NSW on a temporary business entry (457) visa increased by an average of about 280 per annum over the three years to March 2015. In contrast, during the five years to 2014-15, on an annual average more chefs left NSW permanently or on a long-term basis than arrived permanently or on a long-term basis.
  • (Source: Australian Department of Employment, Labour Economic Office NSW – ANZSCO3513-11 Chef – Occupational Report)

CHECK OUT THESE PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 !!!

sectorgrowth2020

AND HOW ABOUT THIS FOR GROWTH ……. Everyone will be wanting more and more chefs !

Now THAT is growth !
Now THAT is growth !

(Source: Australian Tourism Labour Force Review 2015-2020 – Deloitte)

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

  • We need more people entering the trade NOW to help us in 2 to 10 years time !!!
  • We can’t change how this generation behaves
  • We are already trying our best to attract and engage our staff and develop a culture of support so we need to do things DIFFERENTLY
  • WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO WORK OUT HOW TO GET MORE PEOPLE ENTERING THE TRADE and TO STAY WITH US so we have sustainable food businesses in the coming decades

There are reports, studies, trend analyses, market research, statistics galore that show that we are currently short 38,000 people to fill job vacancy positions in the hospitality/tourism sector. The ‘Australian Tourism Labour Force Report 2015 to 2020’ for the Australian Trade Commission, Austrade conducted by Deloitte Access Economics gives a key finding that “In the absence of any change in policy or industry initiatives it is expected 123,000 new workers will need to be sourced in the tourism industry by 2020″.  Put simply, we interpret that to mean “if we do nothing now, we will not be able to find any chefs in our country at all”.

This report goes on to show that ‘These shortages are concentrated in NSW, Queensland and Victoria which have a combination of large employment and high vacancy rates’ and that ‘Businesses in the café and restaurant industries reported greater labour market difficulties relative to those in the accommodation or attraction industries’. This is also inclusive of the club sector.  ‘An inability to find workers with the right skills was the highest rated reason for difficulties in recruiting staff’. We hear this all the time at White Now, with other concerns, also supported in this report of ‘the lack of suitable experience’ and the ‘lack of access to training, a lack of quality training or a high drop-out rate from training’ leading to skills deficiencies.

The recommendation of all this research ‘Reducing these shortages will need more than just the direct employment of 38,200 workers, as increased output will be required from industries that support the tourism sector’. As we see it, that’s neither going to be a quick, cheap or easy solution.

Looking into skills training has lead to a report from the Apprenticeships Reform Advisory Group to the Minister for Education and Training that, ‘the views of industry on three vital areas of reform within the apprenticeships system (recommend) the restructuring of apprenticeship incentives; a new pre-apprenticeship programme; and piloting alternative models of apprenticeship delivery’. The list of key findings and recommended actions from this report are also neither quick, cheap or point towards any easy solution.

Where do we start to find people for jobs in the hospitality sector? The Australian Trade Commission’s ‘Tourism and Hospitality Careers’ report from Colmar Brunton, suggests promoting these careers to;

a) The future workforce of years 10/11/12 students. The findings from this group were that, “The key benefits of pursuing a career in the sector included the diversity of roles, opportunities for travel and the perception of many entry level roles across the sector (including those that require minimal training or qualifications). Key negatives of potentially working in the sector were identified by students as long and unsociable hours; having to deal with difficult/rude/demanding customers; low pay (relative to other sectors); and lack of opportunity for advancement in a reasonable timeframe. For the majority of students, career opportunities in this sector were simply not on their radar.”

b) The parents of the students in Years 10/11/12. The findings suggest that, ‘although parents would encourage their children to seek work in the sector to support them through study or other life goals, there is more reluctance to support a career in the sector given its perceived lack of sustainability and opportunity for growth and career advancement’ along with, ‘a fear that they would need to work hard at a low level for a long time to progress anywhere’, ‘perceived poor pay means that it may be difficult to support themselves’, ‘the perception that the sector can be tenuous’ and ‘that other pathways offer greater job security’ and ‘that there is often a drinking/drugs culture in the hospitality sector and wanted their children to steer clear of this’.

c) Mature age workers (unemployed and underemployed). ‘Are willing to take up roles within the sector (and undertake training or re-skilling to do so), but are very cynical that employers in the sector would be genuine in offering them roles or invest in training & developing them’.

d) Those aged 25-35 who have left the sector in the past 3 years. ‘These participants were still able to readily identify a number of positive aspects of working in the sector’ however, ‘left the sector due to unsociable hours, low pay, perceived exploitative practices by some managers, and frustration at a lack of opportunities for career progression’.

You think it’s difficult to find a chef, cook or apprentice NOW … well what about in the coming years … it ain’t getting any better!!… Who has the time, money and resources to get people into the industry and keep them in the industry for the future of our industry ?  Attracting Chefs is NOT just about creating a great workplace culture, that is a given these days.  It is FAR BIGGER than just doing that …. much more serious and the strategy has to be much more long term.

WE ALL HAVE OUR THINKING CAPS ON to see what we can do and how we can think AND act outside the square – you too need to do this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ……  If you are a hospitality leader then you will also need to think differently to combat this problem.

OUR PROMISE TO YOU: ……. AS SOON AS WE HAVE THE ANSWER TO THIS WORRYING PROBLEM  … WE WILL LET YOU KNOW … WE PROMISE 

Where the hell are all the chefs ?
Where the hell are all the chefs ?

 

To chat further about this article or ask us any questions regarding the Chef shortage , please call either David Younie or Jenny White from White Now on 02 9807 1806. 

I’m having a passionate love affair ! Lessons about love !

I want to share a secret with you.   I am “in love“- totally and passionately in love.  I am proud to tell you that I am in love with our brand. The White Now brand is like a family member, a great neighbour or even a special friend who you can rely on or call on when needed.  Other people genuinely love our brand too.  What I love most though is that my team also are passionately in love with our brand as well and as a business owner, you really cannot ask for more.

The White Now brand is known throughout the industry as the most trusted brand in its field of recruitment,  job boards and so much more.  When we ask our clients what comes to mind regarding our brand, they come up with four things EVERY time:

  1. Purple and Yellow
  2. The exclamation mark
  3. The wizard: and
  4. Service that goes above and beyond.
The Mascot - Wiz !
The Mascot – Wiz !

With this in mind, we knew that we had to ensure that these four things were evident in everything we do – this is how we will live the brand.  The brand is way more than a logo or an item, it’s our heart and soul and DEFINITELY our Values  (Integrity; Respect; Innovation; Quality; and Excellence in Customer Service). Our brand is not just something we think, but it represents what our customers think of us too.

At the recent Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) in Sydney, we had a small stand.  We didn’t spend a fortune on the fit out.  We simply said … ‘It’s gotta be purple and yellow“… and so it was.  Our team worked tirelessly to make the stand warm, fun and inviting – like our brand is.  They succeeded and I genuinely love them for it.

Capturing our brand colours at the AGE !
Capturing our brand colours at the AGE !

As the owner of the WhiteNow brand for over 20 years, I had a ‘light bulb’ moment during this trade show.  This was that my team and I LOVE what our brand stands for.  My team suggested that they wear purple and yellow, they came up with the idea for purple and yellow miniature beach balls (called WizBalls) and they live and breathe the brand.   There is not one thing that I can pinpoint that makes us love the brand, but we honestly do.  It is fun, vibrant, a little bit crazy and out-there and most of all it represents who and what we are and what we deliver.

Branding that moves.
Branding that moves.

The next light bulb moment I had at the trade show was when everyone who walked past wanted one of our little purple and yellow WizBalls.  By the end of each day, everywhere you walked, you saw our brand.  We had so many customers take the WizBall back to their venues and take pics of it at their venue or out and about and send it to us to post on our social media.  Everyone else seems to love our brand too.  I had someone from The Star talk to me a couple of days after the AGE to tell me how funny it was to see so many of our balls at The Star each night after the AGE…. in the bars, on the tables, on couches and in the toilets …. everywhere. WizBalls ended up in Queensland, Melbourne, Hamilton Island and there is a WizBall in Paris as we speak.

WizBall at Hamilton Island

Our team have such a love for the brand, that they also take a WizBall wherever they go (day, night or weekend) and take pics of the it to post on our social media platforms. You don’t get staff doing this unless they are passionate about their brand.

I am privileged to deliver a session each term at the Aristocrat/Leagues Clubs Australia GMDC (Gaming Management Development Course) in front of around 75+ students.  Believe it or not, I wear a wizard outfit whilst I am presenting.  Sound a little crazy to you ? It sort of is but I can tell you that the students seem to listen to what this ‘wizard’  has to say and they sure remember the brand when they walk away.  You have to LIVE and BREATHE your brand !

"In a Wizard Outfit !"
Presenting at the GMDC – in a Wizard outfit

Do you want to love your brand too ? My advice is to make your brand have real meaning and bring it to life in any way you can.  Give it a set of values that are real and tangible.  Make your customers love your brand by doing something with it that makes them smile.  Give it a way that it can be mobile.  Let it be seen with other brands you love and respect.  Make it ‘cool’ or ‘out there’.  Make it a little fun or a little quirky.  Make it consistent.  Don’t be afraid of it.  Believe in it and never every compromise its integrity.

Put your brand with other trusted brands ! Here is WizBall with a Hennessy Coffee !

I am really not afraid to share my love and passion with you all.  It is true love and when you are truly in love, you simply want everyone to know about it.

I hope you continue to love our brand too ! Follow us on instagram to see WizBall out and about or check us out on Facebook as well !

Yours lovingly

Jenny White
Director and Owner
WhiteNow

LOVE YOUR BRAND

 

Witnessing The Success of ‘Pokemon Go’ For Businesses !

Less than a week ago I hadn’t even heard of Pokemon Go … but now, thanks to lots of media and lots of walking the streets with my 10 year old son, I am all over Pokemon Go and totally get it.

At first I thought, “here we go, another app that’ll take up valuable brain space in my 10 year old’s head” until I witnessed the power of this craze for businesses.  Friends invited us to Campbelltown City Bowl (Ten Pin Bowling Centre) on Saturday night.  It was a special ‘Pokemon Go’ theme night and trust me, when you mention that to a 10 year old then YES WE WILL GO is the only answer he will hear.   It also must be noted that it takes us over an hour to get from home to Campbelltown so this wasn’t something we would do lightly.  It was here that I truly saw the power of generating revenue by taking advantage of Pokemon Go  by a business.

The Promo Material For Pokemon Go Theme Night
The Promo Material For Pokemon Go Theme Night

This bowling alley had taken advantage of being a ‘Pokestop‘ and had created a full list of Pokemon cocktails as well as countless fun and inexpensive promotions throughout the night.

The Pokemon Cocktail List - simple cocktails with their name changed !
The Pokemon Cocktail List – simple cocktails with their name changed !

The place was booked out days before; the customers were seriously excited; the staff had bought into the theme; the Pokemons were everywhere; kids were engaging with other kids that they had never met before, as were the adults; the place was thriving and it was obvious that lots of money was being spent.  This theme night was definitely a success.

IMG_4547The next day we HAD to head to our local club, Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club as my son noticed it was a ‘Pokestop’.  We spent an hour there hunting down pokemons.

Have you checked your own business ? Have you checked around your area ? How can you take advantage of Pokemon Go NOW ? I know we all plan our marketing and events well ahead of time, but sometimes it is important to see what the latest trends are and be flexible enough to run with them even if they are outside your normal planned marketing.  You may not know what Pokemon Go is however, if you are in business,  then it pays to find out and get your marketing team onto it to see if it can give your business a boost.

pokeballWe were at a cafe as well and guess what ?… they were selling Pokemon bickies by the half dozen.  There are so many ways to take advantage of this craze…. give it a  go !

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT POKEMON GO ? Here is a great article and video that explains everything you need to know about how Pokemon Go works as well as some tips about how you can make the most of this craze for your business.  CLICK HERE

The Crumbiest & Most Stupid Thing I have Done !

doh

Are you ready to hear about one of the silliest things that we have ever done ?  Talk about not thinking something through properly … geesh ………

White Now have all the new, wiz bang credit card facilities for customers to make payment  for our services, but it’s just a fact that some still want to receive their paper invoice in the mail and we are just fine with that.  When we mail invoices we often send little gifts inside the envelope as an added thank you.  Here is where the stupidity begins !

We had lots of White Now branded, double pack bickies from the guys at ‘Bite Size Coffee Treats’ and I thought, “what a great little gift to send with our next lot of invoices”.  It’s a little different to the jelly babies and similar things we often send.

Well it wasn’t until we had sent a ridiculous amount of these bickies out over many weeks that I received a very sweet email with this pic attached. There was no message, just this picture !

500
The Crushed Bickies !!

Here is a closer up pic of ‘the totally crushed bickies’ – WOOPS !

crs

This is what I had done – I had sent out over 100 invoices with these delicious bickies inside NOT  thinking at all that they would be crushed in the mail (D’oh).  Trust me, this is NOT the bickie company’s fault, this is total stupidity from one individual (yes that would be me).  I can also tell you that if it wasn’t for this one caring customer sending us a pic of what he received, that we would still be sending these gifts via mail with our invoices wasting lots of money and undoubtedly annoying the recipient each and every time and not knowing that they were arriving more like crumb bases ready to be made into cheesecake bases.

It’s funny that sometimes you have no idea that you are doing something wrong until some kind and thoughtful person points it out.  It is only because this helpful Club Manager emailed us a picture of our special ‘gift’ that we realised that this little gift was not a gift that traveled well !

If you see your supplier or any colleague in fact doing something that doesn’t work for you, why don’t you find a way to let them know in a gentle and encouraging way.   It will help them change the way that they do things …. and for the better!

Yours in stupidity

Jenny ‘Homer‘ White

CEO of www.whitenow.com.au

 

 

Who Remembers The Fax Of Life ?

Fax

The world is seriously changing rapidly and for the better.  This really hit me this week when I stood in front of a bunch of industry people and reflected back to about 10 years ago. Oh how my working world was different.

WhiteNow present year after year to the fresh, keen audiences at the GMDC (the Gaming Managers Development Course).  This year we presented to about 70 eager beavers on the same topic as we are asked to deliver every year –  ‘Designing an Effective Resume’.   Every time we deliver, the presentation has to change as the world progresses.  The only thing that doesn’t change is that I still wear the same old Wizard outfit that I have been wearing for years ! It is pretty ridiculous but I think it has the desired outcome which is that everyone remembers the presentation from that loud lady in the purple Wizard outfit’.  It’s really interesting though to reflect on what we presented today and what we presented just 10 years ago. Looking back on the notes from 2006 I see that some of the topics include things like;

  • The best colour paper to print your resume on for faxing (this one is funny – White Now haven’t owned a fax for the past 8 years);
  • How to draft the ideal fax cover sheet so it stands out (I don’t even remember how to do that now);
  • The best ways to bind a resume for posting;
  • How to professionally label an envelope with a professionally; printed label …PLUS placing stamps neatly on envelopes; AND
  • How to send a certified letter to the employer (sending resumes was really quite expensive back then).

Oh how the world has changed.  This year we talked about totally different things including;

  • Locking down your social media pages;
  • Being careful about what you say online on blogs, LinkedIn Groups etc;
  • Googling yourself often;
  • Preparing your LinkedIn File and gaining recommendations;
  • Online networking; AND
  • ‘Talent Sourcing’.

Oh how the world has changed in just 10 years.  I am so glad that our team are all like minded in the fact that we move with the times and often faster than the times.  One thing I do know about what we do 10 years on is that we are a whole lot more efficient with changes in technology.  Faxing resumes used to be so damn time consuming let alone receiving at least 220 resumes a week via fax. The savings in reams of paper is incredible in itself.

Do you want to be efficient in the way you get yourself noticed in this industry ?  Get yourself online and especially on LinkedIn.  Your FUTURE colleagues are on LinkedIn so start networking with them in this virtual world so that when you meet them in person, you already have a relationship ! Connect with me on LinkedIn too – I would love to share some virtual space with you.  Connect with me, Jenny White,  on LinkedIn here.     

Also, a big shout out to Leagues Clubs Australia and Aristocrat for their amazing support of the GMDC year after year.  You guys are incredible ! THANK YOU  !

From Jenny White and the team at www.whitenow.com.au 

IMG_3160
The 2016 GMDC Participants at Wests Campbelltown on 17th March.

The Butcher Who Mustn’t Like Money

At the start of this month I made a conscious effort to support small, local businesses. It was my month to give back to those

"The Butcher Who Must Not Like Money"
“The Butcher Who Must Not Like Money”

who are making a go of it, often on their own, and have fought many obstacles to try and succeed.  I appreciate this having run my own business for almost 20 years.  Business owners are dedicated and work so hard.

Often before work I stop at the local Lebanese bakery and pick up some ‘Leb bread’, hommous and garlic dip for the night’s dinner.  I always have mince in the freezer and Lebanese ‘7 spice’ in the cupboard to make my own Kafta to go with dinner.  Someone told me about the butcher that was two doors up from the bakery and said that his meat was nice.  I always looked at that butcher and thought “gee he has hardly any meat on display – he must be struggling to make ends meet”.  This morning I decided to support him by buying my week’s meat from him.  I chose his ready made Kafta, some lovely looking rump steaks, a bunch of sausages, lamb chops and a small pork roast.  The total of the purchase was $72 ish.  I went to hand my card over and he said that he only takes cash. Upon questioning him as to why, he said that ‘Credit Cards are too much of a hassle and it’s not worth it to me’.  I explained to him that I had no cash on me and I was about to make him my new butcher.  His response was “oh well – it is not my fault you didn’t see my sign there that says cash only”.   I gave the logic one more go and said “I’m not the best at maths but I’m pretty sure that if I buy this amount of meat from you every two weeks, then that’s about $1,800 a year you’re missing out on by not taking credit card”.  He said, “oh well, it’s my policy“.   I handed the meat back.

Imagine the lost revenue to this tiny business if just 10 people had the same experience as me, yup that’s about $18,000 pa going somewhere else but in his hand.

How many other customers had said the same to him ? How many times had he not listened ?   As the world moves rapidly to a cashless world, how long will this butcher survive ?

Moving with the times and meeting the expectations of customers that truly want to give you business is the only way to do business.

Oh well, I tried.  The Kafta was nice though – lucky I had $20 on me !

Are You Getting Schnitty At Your Hospitality Venue?

2014-09-23 18.43.21

It is time for me to share my thoughts about the almighty and much adored Chicken Schnitzel and it’s BFF, the deliciously smothered Chicken Parmigiana.

The question really does need to be discussed….. should your hospitality venue serve these well known items or not ?????

I want to share with you an experience that I had at a club that we did a lot of work for a couple of years back.  I can name the club as it no longer trades; ‘Souths on Chalmers’ which was also known as South Sydney Rugby League Club in Chalmers Street, Redfern.

Firstly, let me say that I was oozing passion for this club, the brand, the cute little ‘resting rabbit’ logo and of course what the club was trying to achieve.  We worked tirelessly and worked many unpaid hours to help this club try and realise it’s dream.  Sadly, the club closed not much more than 12 months after it first opened.  Why ? There were many, many reasons, too many to discuss, especially in a blog that is really about the infamous Chicken Schnitzel.

The club used the services of a Contract Caterer who was very well known as a restaurateur and function/events operator.  They had not been involved with a club prior to this.  Let me tell you that I thought that their food was pretty damn good.  Some of the menu items that I loved were:

  • Grilled Croque Monsieur of Gypsy Ham & Gruyere Cheese with Dijon.
  • Salmon Fish Cakes with Remoulade and Salad
  • Roast Pumpkin and Beetroot Tart with Gorgonzola and Hazelnut Dressing.

The problem was that only a percentage of those members and visitors who came to visit the club enjoyed these types of dishes. They were dishes that you could have every so often, but perhaps not once, twice or three times a week.

I cannot tell you how many times that customers said  “why don’t you have a chicken schnitty or a chicken parmy on the menu?” .  On the club’s very active Facebook page there were many, many mentions about how nice the food was but they wanted to see a Chicken Schnitty and Chicken Parmy on the menu.  People openly voiced their thoughts all over social media about the absence of the items. They said that they would come more often if these were on the menu.  There were families that shared their thoughts about wanting to bring their family to the club for birthdays but their brother/father etc wanted to have a Chicken Schnitty and it was not on the menu so they were going to the pub around the corner who, coincidentally were smart enough to realise the absence of the Chicken Schnitty from the club’s menu spelled ‘O P P O R T U N I T Y’ for the pubs in the area …. and trust me, they vigorously marketed this to their prospects.

With all the feedback that came through and was passed on to the caterer, they unfortunately chose not to add this to their menu as it was seen as ‘club food’.  My thoughts are that ‘if it looks like a duck, it smells like a duck, it quacks like a duck then it must be a duck’.  This was a club.  It was a hospitality venue that wanted families, groups, parties and more. .  Unfortunately the item was not added to the menu.  It may very well have been an item that on its own, did not offer huge profitability but if it was viewed as perhaps a ‘loss leader’ then maybe they would have seen their revenue double or triple just by adding what the customer wanted to the menu.

The club is now closed which makes me sad.  There were good people working there and good intentions and big dreams.  I wonder to this day though, if that Chicken Schnitty and its BFF the Chicken Parmy were part of the menu, how much of a difference this may have made to the ongoing viability of the Club.  Who knows !  Does the world actually revolve around the Chicken Schnitty ?

There are some that think that having a Chicken Schnitty on their menu attracts the wrong clientele.   I know that my family, my friends and so many of my colleagues enjoy fine dining at its best, new exciting and creative menus and radical taste combinations, but I also know that the majority of them really, really want to go somewhere where they can get a Chicken Schnitty in a relaxed environment as well.  You will find me once a month at our local bowling club and guess what I order ?  …… the Chicken Schnitty which comes with pepper sauce, yes the one and same Chicken Schnitty that you see in the picture.  In fact,  there are a bunch of us that meet at the club just because a few of the group love the Chicken Schnitty.

What do you think about having an item that many people want and ask for on a club and pub menu  ?  Should it be included ??

Yours Crumbingly

Jenny White (Owner of White Now and Chicken Schnitzel Activist).

 

Service with a Smile

In the hectic lead up to Christmas, we missed getting our hands on one of the Aldi “Three Bird Roasts” and so in a mad panic, I called Jenny and asked her if she had any bright ideas.  Her response in an understandably matter-of-fact style was along the lines of “DERRRR, have you called Tanya and Paul at RPT Promotions?”.IMG_0155

“Ummm…..  No”, I replied somewhat flatly as my brain clicked in to gear and asked itself ‘now why didn’t I think of that in the first place, EJIT?’, (followed by a couple of expletives).

Anyhow, a call was placed to Tanya and was met with Tanya’s message bank, where I explained my predicament and went back to work.  Not even 15 minutes later, the lovely Tanya was calling me back with Season’s Greetings and instructions for how to get a hold of Paul.  Two minutes later I was dialing Paul’s number which was answered with Paul’s always happy & bubbly English accent.   Once again I explained my stupidity and with a wry laugh and an eagerness you had to hear to believe, Paul was making arrangements for one of his Turduckens to be delivered to Gladesville RSL (in close proximity to my home) for me to collect.

I thanked Paul profusely and he promised to call me back to confirm when the delivery would occur and off he went.  24 hours later he was back on the phone, as promised, to let me know that the Turducken was en-route to the RSL Club as planned.  He couldn’t have been any more obliging if he had tried.  What I didn’t realise at the time was that Paul and Tanya were in the middle of one of their BIGGEST Christmas’ ever!  They had orders stacked up to the rafters and were right in the thick of the logistical-challenge of getting everything delivered to the right place at the right time before Christmas Day!

The reason that I didn’t know just how crazy things were for P&T was because Paul made me feel like I was the only customer that he had, even though I was only after one item and it was probably (if I’m totally honest) a bit of an inconvenience.  But Paul went out of his way to ensure that I would get my Turducken with a short lead-time, so that my family could enjoy their Christmas Dinner and BOY, OH BOY did we ENJOY IT!!!…

The pictures speak for themselves, so let me just add that we all thoroughly enjoyed the Turducken, so much so that we will be placing our order with Paul and Tanya EARLY next year for Christmas 2015!

IMG_0154 IMG_0156 And let me also add that we are all extremely grateful to them both for being such a pleasure to deal with and for making our Christmas Dinner so very special this year.  Thank you both so, so much…