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Training on the Menu for Shaftesbury Avenue Restaurant

The Bali Bali Restaurant, in the heart of London’s theatre land, is one of the latest businesses to benefit from training with the Skills Support for the Workforce project.

The family-run Indonesian and Malay restaurant employs around 10 staff, and with high demand for outside catering in particular, getting everyone qualified in food safety was a big priority. Regular start dates, which are a feature of this training provision, were therefore important to the business. Training took place at the College of North West London, who were also able to provide courses in IT and management for the restaurant.

“The food safety training was very useful – although our staff are all experienced, it was really good to reiterate these points and keep them fresh in their mind – the restaurant has been awarded 5 out of 5 for food hygiene, and we aim to keep it that way!” said Zulfan Ibrahim, Owner/General Manager.

He has already noticed a big impact in the business, through the confidence and motivation of the team.

“By being more efficient and knowledgeable, staff can cut down waiting times and communicate with customers a lot better at peak times. Being a close knit team, they have been very forthright in advising their peers on what they have learned. We can see staff growing in their roles, talking about our food and the restaurant’s background.”

The restaurant valued the fact that the training was accredited as it demonstrates that staff are qualified and willing to work hard to maintain a high standard for the company.

Bali Bali’s staff have also appreciated the value of the training. Elvi Ibrahim, part time chef, said: “I was a little nervous to join a classroom again as  I am in my fifties but our tutor explained things very well, and created a team environment in the classroom which made the time go very quickly.  I am now in the middle of my IT course which will help me communicate with suppliers and catering customers much better.”

Zulfan is keen to recommend Skills Support for the Workforce to other employers.

“The scheme is a real bonus for businesses like ours, and the College of North West London certainly understand and are sympathetic to our needs,” he concludes.

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