Monday, 25 July 2016

Week beginning July 25th - Possibly one of the hardest jobs there is....

No, it's not being a chef, or being a barista, or being on service, though all of these positions are responsible for this, the hardest of jobs, it is not even a kitchen porter, who has probably the hardest job of all.

It is the overall job of keeping all your cafe/restaurant/hotel/work area clean and tidy and neat and free of dust and dirt and well maintained and working and not broken.

It is absolutely endless. Whether it be changing light bulbs that have blown, re-filling the toilet rolls*, cleaning the skirting where the mop heads rub against when you mop the floor and leave smears, in behind the fridges, inside the fridges, inside the bins, outside the bins, the light fittings themselves which attract dust, the retail shelves, finger marks on walls and doors, the shelves under the counter, the storage areas, on and on and on and on and on.

*I once thought it would be a good idea to buy on of those large toilet rolls holders, about as big as a small wheel, for the toilets. It is not. Because when it runs out, someone needs to be able to change it. No-one else can, not least the person using the toilet at the time. Only that someone, who has the key. Ever been there? So now we have normal toilet rolls with three extra rolls on a purpose built shelf in each cubicle. Thanks to one of our superstar staff, we also have this little way of folding the last sheet of paper if it comes loose on the roll, to keep it neat and tidy.

For our front of house service area, we have always had a laminated weekly cleaning sheet, which is split into the seven days of the week and then each day has about 5 different tasks to be completed on that day. Once completed, the person who has completed it signs their name against the task on the sheet. It is an invaluable tool for helping to give people jobs when it might be a bit quiet and also to ensure essential tasks are done.

In the kitchen we do a weekly deep clean where everything gets taken out and scrubbed, as well as complete another weekly cleaning task sheet where we have certain jobs to be done on certain days such as cleaning the ovens. I interviewed a chef recently and showed them the kitchen and said 'so this oven (Blue Seal E31D) is at about five years old'. 'What? It looks brand new!', they said.

It's incredible how quickly things can get dirty and also dusty in a busy cafe in central London. Our Eastcastle street store is slightly easier as it is a concrete structure and is a newer building, whilst Great Titchfield street is a much older building, with wooden floor boards, so therefore requires more work. There is so much to do, especially when you get into the smaller details of cleaning tasks, the ones that not everyone sees.

It is something I always look for in any establishment that I go into, how clean it is. The old classic is to always check the toilets, which of course you always should, but there are so many other areas that can require cleaning too, or dusting. One good thing to check in the toilets is the toilet brush, yes seriously. I have seen some awful ones. Gives me the shivers..

Every day your establishment should be clean, clean, clean. Ready for use by the people who spend their time and also as a pleasant place for your employees and yourself to work in. No junk, no stuff lying around not being used. I am still guilty of some of these actions, just a little bit, but I try hard not to be. It is hard sometimes to take the plunge to 'just chuck old stuff away' or try to sell it on and make a bit of cash if you can.

Both stores have five star food hygiene reviews from Westminster Council, Great Titchfield street has had five stars since the second inspection we ever had back in 2010 and keeping things clean certainly helps with this. It is also something that we can all be very proud of.

Keep it clean, keep it real. It's real hard, but it has absolute benefits for all.

Please enjoy the menu for this week, as we will enjoy bringing it to you.

Peter Dore-Smith

Great Titchfield Street Menu

Seven Seeded toast with butter and preserves 2.00
Cinnamon and Raisin Toast 2.50
Fruit salad with pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit 3.90
Traditional bircher muesli with Greek yoghurt and rhubarb and raspberry compote 4.00
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses, Greek yoghurt and rhubarb and raspberry compote 4.00
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 5.00
Ciabatta roll with avocado, omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 5.00
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach and plum tomatoes 5.00
Breakfast Foccacia - Cotechino sausage, fried egg and gruyere cheese 6.50 (weekends only)

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 2.00
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Portuguese tarts 2.00
Banana bread 2.50
Double chocolate chip and macadamia cookies 2.50
Peach and  apricot muffins 2.50
Ricotta pesto and spinach savoury scrolls 2.50
Mixed berry with white chocolate friands (gf) 2.70
Super moist chocolate brownies (gf) 2.80
White chocolate blondies 2.80
Raspberry and coconut slice (gf, df) 2.80
Polenta cake with citrus and spices 2.80
Carrot Cake 3.00

Own made brioche 5.00
Salami,  roasted red pepper, avocado, gruyere, aioli, rocket 
Grilled halloumi, aubergine, tomato ketchup, fried onion, baby spinach 

French retro baguettes 5.30
Ham, sauté mushroom, leek, cheese sauce, baby spinach
Grilled courgette, spicy pea, feta, lemon capers sauce, rocket 

Salads: 5.50/7.00
Grilled salmon salad with blanch broccoli, edamame, fried hash brown, sesame seeds, watercress and chilli bean sauce
Buffalo mozzarella salad with plum tomato, avocado, roasted yellow pepper, green olive pesto and mixed leaves
Red cabbage, cucumber, carrot, tomato pesto, parsley 

Tart: 4.40 or 8.00 with salads
Tenderstem broccoli, bacon, chilli, manchego quiche

Eastcastle Street Menu

Sourdough seeded toast with butter and preserves 2.00
Gluten free bagel with butter and preserves 2.00
Fruit salad with pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes and passion fruit 3.90
Traditional bircher muesli with Greek yoghurt and rhubarb and raspberry compote 4.00
Paleo granola with Greek yoghurt and rhubarb and raspberry compote 4.00
Brioche with corn fritter, baked egg, chives cream cheese, onion marmalade 5.00
Brioche with treacle smoked back bacon, roasted tomatoes, smashed avocado, rocket and aioli 5.00
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach and plum tomatoes 5.00
Croissant with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, tomato and rocket 5.00

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant  2.00
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
ANZACS  2.00
Portuguese tarts 2.00
Lemon curd tarts  2.00
White chocolate, oats and cranberry cookies  2.50
Banana bread 2.50
Strawberry and coconut friands 2.80
Strawberry & white chocolate muffins 2.50
Spinach, ricotta, pine-nut savoury scrolls 2.50
Raspberry and coconut slice (gf, df) 2.80
Super moist chocolate brownies (gf) 2.80
Protein bar (gf, df) 2.80
Salted peanut butter and white chocolate bar 2.80

Own made brioche buns 5.00
Treacle smoked bacon, slow roast tomato, red onion chutney, cream cheese, baby spinach.
Roasted butternut squash, grilled courgette, red leicester, hummus, rocket.

Baguettes 5.30
Smashed avocado, caramelised onion, brie cheese, roasted red pepper, baby spinach.
Shaved ham, plum tomato, grilled halloumi, pommery aioli, rocket .

Salads 5.50 / 7.00
Turkey meat ball salad, roasted red onion, roasted peppers, cranberries, apple chutney, blue cheese, walnuts, raddichio.
Quinoa salad with halloumi, pearl barley, spring onion, parsley, mint, lemon, courgette, cherry tomatoes and green pesto.
Green fine beans, mixed sprouts, edamame, peas, shallot, chilli and ginger pickle.

Savoury Tart 4.40 or 8.00 with salad
Broccoli and spinach quiche with chive cream cheese.

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