Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Apprentice UK Season 7 Episode 11+12

Another week and another task but I actually enjoyed watching these "business partner" hopefuls starting up their own fast food shop, you can't really call them Apprentices anymore can you.

After last weeks episode I gave a particularly bad review of some of the contestants but I have turned a 180, I think my utter disappointment last week led to me playing favouritism a bit too much. In fact I honestly can't guess who will win this. I don't really like Jim, he still creeps me out, but I wouldn't mind him winning which probably led me to believe he was the favourite, at this moment to me he actually looks to have the least chance of winning! I'm so indecisive! I think the main Achilles Heal for Jim is his lack of creativity, for Susan it's her maturity, for Tom it's his grit and for Helen it's her business mentality. Each candidate could win for different reasons and added to that is a new prize of being a business partner with Lord Sugar making the guessing all the more difficult. Whilst I still am not on board the "Helen is going to win" train I think there's a possibility now, unlike what I've said in previous weeks. People are upping Susan but I just don't know. Basically my head says it must be Helen, like everybody else, but my heart says the other three. But wouldn't it be so boring if Helen won?

Anyway onto this episode. I loved the idea of British (pie) fast food. I recently went to Australia and saw Pie Face but I don't think I've seen anything similar in the UK. I think Helen and Tom's Mypy idea was interesting, I liked the concept. Now lets break the whole thing down. I think the idea of mini pies is doable especially for fast food as everything is ready made and the great thing is you can mix and match and create funky combo names... sorry my "creative" side is going on. That's the main part of this task, the longevity of the actual business and Mypy does have potential but now I want to talk about what they actually did. The store looked plain boring and the logo was even more boring, I just don't understand where Tom's creative side went. And why were they dressed like flight attendants? And Helen's line of "Have you ever eaten 100% British before" was rather jarring. Finally why did they go with the plastic plates which made the whole thing more "British Airways!" Details wise I would like there to have been a reason for calling something Nightingale or Columbus (lol) rather than just giving mash a name, it could be genius when thought through but at the moment it seems a bit slapdash. Mypy was a great idea I just didn't like what I saw on the show.

Now we move onto Caraca's, Jim, Susan and Natasha. Oh how I love the name Caraca's because it has nothing to do with Mexico, Maracas might have been but Caracas is definitely not. Anyway I think Jim lacked a business not just a business model. In all honesty what was different or unique or interesting about what he was serving? What did he actually do in the kitchen as well? Why did they need to make so many things? Why didn't he consider this and why didn't anyone tell him? The only thing Jim's team had was a decent logo and a better storefront than Mypy. I would much rather walk into a clich├ęd restaurant than walk into a BA lounge. Jim's utter inability to actually run the whole thing was further shown when he messed up the calculations stating 60 times 7 equals £4800. But honestly to me I don't think 60 customers in two hours with an average spend of £7 is too low, yes in rush hour the figures might be different but equalling it out and being a start up business I think it sounds about right even though it only means £420 in two hours.

What I do love about the Apprentice is how they simplify things so much e.g. when Helen was talking about profit margins but was there any consideration of other costs like staff, maintenance, running etc. I know it would be foolish to go into these costs for a two day task but I'd just be interested in what they actually think they would make.

Quote of the Week
Lord Sugar: It's a bit like me saying I've got a degree in first aid right but I'll see someone dying on the street and say "Sorry I haven't don it for ten years" so I'm going to leave him alone

My favourite is still Susan and I would love to see her win. Her story is just so amazing and she will be such a role model to kids wanting to start their own business. I also wouldn't mind seeing Jim win. If Tom won I'd be half interested because all I've been hearing lately is his failed business concept whilst if Helen won I would just role my eyes. At the moment though the odds feel like Helen-Tom-Susan-Jim but bookies think Tom-Susan-Helen-Jim!

I was rather harsh on Helen last week, I do see a lot of good things about her, she'll be a great employee to anybody but I don't know about her as the boss, she'll work hard and do her best but I can't see her being a successful businessperson. I was also quite harsh on Tom but I think he needs to be led rather than lead. Jim lacks the creativity to actually start a business and I think he's a better salesperson. Finally we have Susan, I really want to know more about her skincare company but at the moment based on ability to do well she does seem the best candidate.

Anyway I'm so excited for Sunday, so annoyed I'll be late in watching the show.

Who will win?

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