The Apprentice: Can too many cooks spoil the broth?

team apprentice team buildingLast night’s episode of The Apprentice saw the battle of the condiments, with Italian style ketchup going head to head with Asian flavoured chutney.  Lord Sugar decided to mix the teams up a little due to the imbalance between boys and girls.  Phoenix saw the addition of Katie and Duane and Nick head over to join Sterling.

The new faces in each team seemed quick to want to make themselves known, and Katie and Duane put themselves forward for project manager in their respective teams.

Phoenix quickly decided that they wanted to tackle the table sauce market and settled upon the idea of an Italian inspired tomato ketchup.  Over in Team Sterling, chutney won the day despite voiced reservations from food manufacturing manager, Jane, who was quickly over-ruled.

The teams were split into sub teams with one sub team tackling the manufacturing of the condiments and the other looking after the packaging and marketing.  Team Phoenix quickly named their product ‘Belissimo’ and whipped up a design for a label consisting of a single red pepper—not a tomato in sight.

Team Sterling appeared to have problems with the manufacturing of their product, namely that it was completely inedible.  Once he’d recovered from almost choking to death after tasting what appeared to be pure chilli chutney, Duane decided that the sub team would have to try and market their product to an independent deli without a sample, much to everyone’s embarrassment.

However, it’s red faces all round as the same deli owners point out to Team Phoenix that they appear to have spelled Bellissimo incorrectly, as the camera pans to the sauce bottle you can clearly see that they have called their ketchup ‘Belissimo’, the errant ‘l’ probably languishing somewhere with a picture of a tomato.

Back in the processing factory, Team Sterling had amended their recipe and was churning out tasty jars of chutney.  Sadly things didn’t seem to be going well for Team Phoenix as one batch of their ketchup inexplicably turned lumpy and they were unable to pour it into the bottles.  Sub team leader Ricky was forced to discard the whole batch, leaving Katie to take the decision to up their cost price to cover their losses.

With the products made and packaged the teams set about selling their wares.   With mixed results at selling to both trade and public, both teams appeared to have shifted reasonable numbers with only a few jars and bottles of their condiments left.

The boardroom tension mounted as the sales figures were revealed; Team Sterling had finally done a sterling job and made a profit of £1028, whereas Team Phoenix hadn’t risen from the spicy ketchup flames—having only made a profit of £585.

With project manager Katie facing Lord Sugar for the third week in a row she took 26 year old Recruitment Team Leader, Ricky Martin and 31 year old Furniture Retailer, Michael Copp into the boardroom with her.

Ricky Martin was clearly not ‘Living la Vida Loca’ as he tried to explain away the botched batch of ketchup at the processing factory, but ultimately it is Michael who ends up on the receiving end of the Lord Sugar point as he is ceremoniously told ‘You’re Fired!’ for failing to sell enough of the product to trade.

How would your teams have got on in this week’s challenge?  In our Team Apprentice manufacturing event teams are tasked to identify a gap in the market, create a brand and then manufacture a range.   Team work is needed throughout as they hone skills such as creativity, time management, decision making and quality control.






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