F&B group seeks fresh batch of staff
A creative food and beverage (F&B) company that uses only the finest ingredients for its artistically executed cakes and dishes is expanding. It is inviting applications from candidates who are willing to make the step up from good to great and are interested in taking on new challenges.
“There are many plans to expand our brand,” says Bonnie Gokson, founder of Sevva, Ms B’s Cakery and C’est la B. “Staff will have opportunities to travel and learn new techniques from other good bakeries abroad and head up our growing business with their own team.”
Following the success of the first C’est la B in Causeway Bay, Gokson recently opened another one in Pacific Place. A third will open next year on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, which will boost the company’s staff to more than 200.
“We are recruiting staff at all levels in the hospitality business, from waiters, waitresses and front-of-house sales to pastry chefs. For our Pacific Place café, we are seeking a hostess and waitresses who can speak Putonghua, Cantonese and English. We also need a good barista,” Gokson says.
Gokson will also initially transfer experienced staff and a manager to the new café to train and coach the new staff. Candidates are screened by the human resources department, followed by an interview with the general manager, and finally with Gokson.
“First of all, we seek individuals with honesty and a passion to learn,” Gokson says, adding that applicants with a bright and well-mannered personality will have an advantage. As food-industry workers, they also have to be clean, organised and possess an eye for detail. Good communication with guests and team members is equally important.
During their induction, new staff not only learn about the dos and don’ts of the company but also the whys – the reasons behind the rules.
“For new staff, first we will test them to see what level they are at. Then we will decide which section suits them best and where they can best apply their skills,” Gokson says.
Sevva, the company’s flagship restaurant, opened in 2008, and offers a selection of fine-dining dishes inspired by the cultural diversity of Hong Kong.
Ms B’s Cakery was opened in 2011 to cater to Sevva’s need for desserts. The shop has developed into a bespoke bakery with handmade cakes as unique as works of art.
C’est la B, with its motto “Love at first bite”, and its symbol of butterflies, representing gaiety, freedom and beauty, offers a cosy venue with cakes and a casual savoury dining menu.
Front-of-house staff joining any of these outlets will be trained in etiquette, grooming and product knowledge, with Gokson personally taking on some of the training.
There are meetings and training sessions for exchanging ideas and increasing product knowledge, such as learning where good produce comes from. Every few months, top overseas consultants are hired to teach staff new skills or refine techniques.
“I am very hands-on and often conduct role-playing sessions. I have the patience to teach staff how to differentiate between what is good and what is great. We have proved ourselves to be leaders in the field and we do like to train staff with our management expertise, with fun and much care. New staff often remark that they have never had so much fun learning elsewhere,” Gokson says.
The teams often have dinner gatherings to talk about their work experience and hobbies. There is also light and uplifting music in the cakery to enhance the mood of staff and brighten their working hours.