Red’s Hot Women internship: THE FOODIE EXPERIENCE

11-03-10 – Bonus day

Posted in Uncategorized by Katie Bryson on March 11, 2010

The morning kicked off with the bonus announcement. The office was buzzing with anticipation – I overheard many conversations with people speculating what the figure would be.

I headed down to the restaurant to grab some breakfast and watch this unique event. Everyone who works for John Lewis and Waitrose is a shareholder – so whether you’re the chairman or a checkout operator – everyone gets the same bonus.

The restaurant rapidly filled up with workers clamouring to see what the figure would be. Once the clock hit 9.30, a partner who’d been with the company for a staggering 41 years opened the crucial envelope and announced the bonus.

This year it’s 15% of workers’ salaries. Nice!

I went back up to the Development team where they were all busy discussing how they were going to spend their well earned dosh. Jealous? Me? Course!

The rest of my day was largely dominated by the weekly Product Panel. This is the crucial moment where products that the team have been working on get tasted and hopefully approved by a panel made up of the senior Brand Development team so they can then go forward to hit the shelves of Waitrose.

The products up for discussion today were beef and lamb, cakes, fruit juice, cheeses and chocolates.

The Product Developer, Buyer and Technologist are all there to present their product and give the panel a full insight into the journey they’ve been on to reach this point.

Sometimes there are still some tweaks to be made to the recipe, but today I’d say about two thirds of the products were approved.

It was amazing being in on the discussions and sampling all of the food. These guys are such incredible experts in their field – I’m learning so much!

The last task of the day was to cook up yet another batch of party food in the mix for the Waitrose Christmas offering. It was great to be in the kitchen helping out – it’s probably where I feel most at home!


2 Responses

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  1. Steve Heyman said, on March 26, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Why is it so amazing that John Lewis is now stocking Zotter Chocolate? It has been available in this country for over two years and we have been stocking it here in Alligator Wholefoods in York for about about 18 months. And it didn’t take months of work for us to get it…just the three week order time..which now appears to have gone down to two. Your breathless prose gives the impression that John Lewis is leading the way….is it the usual southern syndrome…it doesn’t really exist until it happens in London?

    • rhwfoodie said, on March 26, 2010 at 6:14 am

      I didn’t intend to give the impression that Zotter chocolate is only available in John Lewis food halls. I am aware that it is available in smaller specialist shops all over the country. But thanks for pointing that out.

      It’s a new product to me as I’d not come across it before – hence my genuine excitement about the unusual range.

      Launching a product like this into two major food halls is not as simple as just placing an order and sticking it on a shelf and seeing what happens.

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