The Apprentice 2013 Week 2 – Flat Beer

The Apprentice 2013 Week 2 – Flat Beer

MC900441795-1After yesterday’s firing of Jaz before the candidates had even moved into the house, tonight the programme settled into its more regular routine.

Today’s task involved selling Beer. Each team has to come up with a new flavoured beer.

For this task, the girls of Evolve are given Tim as PM possibly as a reward for his speech in the boardroom last week, whilst the Endeavour boys are given scouser Kurt. This is a new twist, with Sugar choosing the PMs for both of the first 2 tasks.

The teams start brainstorming ideas for flavoured beer. and straightaway Tim gets resistance from the girls, who possibly resent him being foisted on them, especially after his speech at the end of the last boardroom session. He responds by agreeing with whoever spoke last!

Kurt appoints Jordan as sub team leader. Zee resents his role in manufacture, due to his religious beliefs.

Both teams are still displaying “Storming” behaviour.

Evolve set off with no clear strategy and an indecisive Tim under pressure from the stronger female egos. The taste boys of Endeavour go for a chocolate orange flavour in amber bitter. Kurt ignores feedback from the manufacturing team who prefer stout to amber.

Evolve go for rhubarb and caramel. Luisa and Uzma clash over the label, in front of the professional. Luisa sulks. This sub team is in full Storming mode, and Tim seems unable to control the egos on display.

The maths of scaling up the recipes proves to be a challenge for both teams, but especially Evolve. In the end they just “go for it”. and get it wrong. Thirty litres wasted. Then another. This will prove to be costly later on.

So, Evolve has no direction, no product and no leadership. “I know it sounds terrible” says Tim, with complete under statement of reality.

Meanwhile, Endeavour are ahead of schedule.

Products finally finished, tomorrow they sell. Endeavour like what they have, Evolve love the packaging, but there is chaos in who is going where and Tim forgets to appoint a sub-team leader. Rebecca is eventually appointed by phone.

Jason is given logistics responsibility and makes a point of confirming this.

Endeavour go for a premium price of £4 per pint at their busy beer festival. Meanwhile at the Kent Beer Festival (actually a pub), evolve find it to be very quiet. By 2pm the festival is in full swing. Sales start to pick up and the product is liked.

Rebecca’s sub-team also has some early success selling to the Trade, getting £300. The Endeavour trade sub-team go to the same pub WITHOUT SAMPLES. Amazing that no one thought of this earlier. Finally armed with samples, the boys pitch high to sell barrels. Jason cannot resist jumping in and undercuts his own team. Then they discover that they have no pump clips with them. Again, the price was dropped to get a sale, reducing profit margin to a minimum.

Rather than drop the price, with no-one wanting to pay £4, the main Endeavour team give it more time. Eventually they decide to change location, but have they left it too late?

When sales dry up at the festival, Tim is persuaded to look elsewhere. Luisa can’t resist having a dig at Tim for not knowing it was a pub. They end up trying to sell in a wine bar.

Frantic activity from both teams. Endeavour turn up late at a food festival and sell it for more than £1.50 less than earlier in the day.

As the clock runs down, prices are dropped to get rid of stock.

Both products have been enjoyed, and there has been some sales success. But Leah saves the best till last, selling 2 casks for £90 each, the best price of the day.

In the boardroom, Kurt is taken to task by Sugar for the debacle over Zee and the lack of samples, as well as the decision to drop prices. Jason is criticised for interrupting negotiations and complains about being sworn at and the use of unfair sales techniques.

For Evolve, Tim, who wants to build a drinks business, is taken to task on the maths problems in the manufacture. He is challenged over the choice of locations to sell, but is generally praised by the team for his job as PM. The task is won by Endeavour by over £400, despite the ego problems and Kurt’d leadership.

Sugar focuses on the maths problems and the wasted ingredients. Arguments ensue  about who was responsible for the Kent Beer Festival and it descends into a bitching match between Rebecca and Luisa. “I’ve never seen such a bloody mess in the first 2 weeks of the contest”.

Tim brings back Francesca and Rebecca. Francesca for her poor maths and Rebecca for choosing the Beer Festival.

Rebecca defends her argument with Luisa and Tim is challenged over his lack of strength with the girls. Tim blames Rebecca for the failure of the task, but Sugar points out that she sold more than anyone in either team. Rebecca and Francesca both point the finger at Tim. In a possibly veiled reference to Stella English, Sugar says he is concerned about Rebecca’s sensitivity but ultimately it is Tim who is fired. He wants to start a drinks business, but has shown very little aptitude for this task.

Tim proved to be a nice guy, but he was too weak and paid the ultimate price. I think his card was marked with his speech in the boardroom last week. He was a weak candidate and was rightly fired. According to John Adair, good leadership requires a balance between clarity of task, building a team, and getting the best out of individuals. Tim didn’t really manage to get any of these right.