Holybelly Epic Staff Swap 2016
## 20 secondes pitch
Back of house and front of house often tend to clash. At Holybelly the team is real tight but some tensions still persist. It all comes for one another misunderstanding of each others job. Sarah and I had the idea of doing of full 180° swap for a whole service for a long time now but we finally acted on it and made it happen on March 21st 2016. The rest is in the video, enjoy!
## A little more about the Swap
It’s well known in the industry, BOH and FOH tend to clash. When Sarah and I opened Holybelly back in 2013 we knew we wanted to run the show a little differently. Being a couple both in life and business, and being on different sides of the fence, we understood quite well each others reality and workload but, at times, it wasn’t so obvious for our staff and even us, sometimes, could get caught up in the restaurant’s day to day tasks and stress and forget how much the other one was baring.
The idea of swapping the front of house and back of house for a full day had been on our minds since pretty much the beginning and seemed like the best and only way for every member of our team, and ourselves, to fully grasp what it meant to be on one side or the other of the operation.
The reason we had to hold off for nearly 2 years was that the café was always flat out busy and keeping up with all we had to do was hard enough as is without throwing a full 180° team switch in the mix. Plus, for it to be truly interesting and rewarding, we had to make sure that the swap would be as real and as close to reality as possible. We would need to cover all the tasks attached to each others positions, otherwise the experiment would lose its purpose. That meant heavy training for everyone, that meant extra stress for the kitchen having newbies taking space and moving slow in their already tight space and that also meant roster headaches organising mini-training-swaps in the weeks leading up the big day.
But we did it. Myself, Damian and Regina were trained in the kitchen (that includes mise en place, service, full kitchen clean, ordering etc.) Rosie was trained on coffee and Sarah, Martin and Marie were trained on the floor.
We set the date to Monday March 21st knowing that having a set date, a clear goal in mind, was the only way we’d truly commit to this and make it happen.
Everything else is the video. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it. Our friends at FoxTrot Creative really outdid themselves once again and we could never thank them enough.
The Swap gave me all the answers I was looking for and I believe every single member of our team walked away from it with an improved understanding, I’d go as far as calling it “respect”, for one another’s job. We don’t mean to make more of it than it was, just a good day of fun, something we wanted to tick off our bucket list for a long time.
On documenting it, that was something I truly cared about. We all invested a lot of effort and time into this project and it seemed like a shame to go through the Swap and have nothing to show for it. Just like that, it would be gone. Sure, we would have our personal experience to take with us but BOH versus FOH is such a universal issue in the industry I thought it wouldn’t hurt to put it on film and share it widely. Who knows, maybe it will inspire others to give it a go.
It’s good because we care.
Nico, Sarah & the HB crew.