With pub and restaurant chains struggling to recruit workers to the point where Irony Meters exploded as Brexit-supporting scarecrow Tim Martin suggested relaxing immigration rules for EU workers, this week the BBC will show the first in a 12-part series where hopeful mixologists and service staff will be put through their paces.
Hosted by – who else – Gregg Wallace, the dozen hopefuls start in episode one with a simple test of the skills needed to thrive in the world of front-of-house work at all levels of the industry. Viewers will watch as they build their repertoire from the bottom-up with fundamentals such as forgetting which is the Diet Coke, and not ordering one person’s starter meaning they get it as everyone else gets their main course. Later weeks promise a look at advanced work including bills so confusing patrons just pay out of frustration, and developing a condescending look when customers comment that something tastes funny.
“We looked at a variety of ways to get people into service careers,” said a spokesperson for one of the UK chain restaurants providing their support for the series. “After we rejected outlandish ideas such as paying a living wage, not microwaving all our food and making it taste like tainted cat food, or giving staff guaranteed hours contracts, we thought a TV show would be the best approach. And it’s so easy to get commissioned, you just write to the BBC, start the show idea with ‘The Great British’ and they pick it up.”