The Apprentice – Episode Three – The Pie Challenge
This week’s challenge was to create, make, market and to sell a completely new flavour of pie.
The winning team is the one who makes the most profit. They were given $2600 for the challenge.
But first project managers had to be chosen Amy Cato, a business woman from South Australia was one, and Gavin McInnes the buffed lawyer was the other.
I loved how the narrator had to point out to the viewer the pro’s and cons about being the project manager, you don’t have to be a member of mensa to work that out.
Then their was a surprise twist where Amy and Gavin had to swap teams, and lead them.
Gavin said this week “it is time to bring out the personality.” which if by the following comment is anything to go is a tad chauvinistic. When talking about the women he said “They need to be controlled as the fly off the handle easily….”
The girls settled on a vegetable curry pie. Which I don’t think was actually a new flavour of pie, but maybe just not one sold at Hannah’s. They had the advantage of having Mary-Ann on the team who had been in catering and knew the tricks of ordering already peeled and washed potatoes. Also both her and Carmen were accomplished cooks.
Back at team Pinnacle Amy was doing market research on where they are going to market the pies so this delayed the discussion on what pie to make. Sam showed his frustration and Amy bawled him out about it.
I kind of got the feeling that Amy has done business 101 and was not going to diverge from the basic management strategy, white board included. To be honest I thought in this challenge Amy Cato’s likeability was pretty low. They finally decided on a lamb, potato and mint pie, that came out of one of Sam’s brain storming saying anything that comes out of his mouth ideas. He was talking about a roast, and John (I think) expanded upon it. So maybe spewing crap is not such a negative trait after all.
I was very happy they ditched the veal parmigana concept, and some of their more disgusting ideas.
They bought unwashed potatoes which took much longer to prepare. Oh and their prepping technique how much dirt was in their pie?
Then it was onto marketing. Blake’s view was “If you use your personality you don’t need a T-Shirt.” I am not sure if he was talking about his personality, as I have not seen any sign of it yet, or if it was a generic comment. But Amy insisted on T-shirts and flyers.
Gavin’s marketing plan was much more strategic as he got some free t-shirts by offering advertising of the printers logo on them. It would have been nice if Channel 9 had at least flashed the company name once.
Back to Amy and Blake they were handing out flyers at Darling Harbour the day before they were going to sell them there. How dumb was that it is tourist central where it was highly unlikely those people would be back the following day. Oh and the kicker they did not even start selling at Darling Harbour, but at Hyde Park.
At this stage of the show I was starting to wonder where Heather was, but it was later revealed she had the flu so she was staying home.
Team Eventus got to the pie machine first and were very slow, and Sabrina and Gavin disappeared after their marketing prep was done.
This resulted in the teams have a bit of a tiff over when Eventus would get off it. Carmen was tough saying we’re getting our pies done. Amy was whining “It is in the spirit of the competition to be fair,”.
That meat mixture looks disgusting, like pureed dog food. Even though they had a late start Pinnacle ended up producing more pies.
The teams was selling in two locations – Bondi Organic Markets, either Hyde Park or Darling Harbour. Obviously the last two location had to be pre- arranged. But I loved the way the narrator implied the teams had just rocked up there.
In the end the pies were being discounted with Morello selling them for below cost. I am not sure Morello is real smart.
Sabrina and Gavin were giving away t-shirts with their pies but they still had 200 pies left over.
And then it was off to the board room.
Eventus got their heads kicked in for marketing the pies as home made. And Sabrina I thought unfairly got swiped at by Mark Bouris when she pointed out that the t-shirt’s slogan said “for that home made taste”. Bouris thought it was a gray area and he said “we don’t go there”.
Personally I thought it was not a huge sin considering when I think of something as home made I think of it as hand crafted not necessarily made in a house. And the girls did do those pies by hand.
Anyway Eventus made $567.60 but if Mark Bouris thought the Home made sign was so false and misleading he should have stuck a ACCC fine on the for being false and misleading under the Trade Practices Act. Anyway he didn’t and they got to go for a meal at Quay.
Pinnacle’s net profit was $194.70 so a big loss for team Pinnacle, because $20 of that was from Eventus when they bought them out of the prime spot in the markets.
Amy started scapegoat as soon as the team’s loss was announced. But Bouris laid into them for having no pricing strategy and no margin policy. The team had not put a price upas they wanted to allow for pie price flexibility but Mark Bouris scathingly said “I don’t know any business who gives the sales team that sort of flexibility.”
Amy not surprisingly chose to bring back Sam and Morello into the boardroom.Her reasoning for Sam was because he did not express the business maturity the others had, and Morello for selling too low.
Bouris concerned that Morello is one dimensional, but kept him around for another week and it was Amy who got fired. I am not unhappy with that, as I don’t think I saw anything dynamic or spectcular about her in her three weeks on the show.