The Savoy Hotel has been closed for 3 years and “need” 10 items before they open and the candidates are asked to get them. And as the task is about negotiation the winner is the team that comes back having paid the least for the items. And of course there are penalties for not getting items. They’re given £2,000 to buy the items, a map of London and business directories.
This time Lord Sugar mixes the teams up and the teams choose their project leader. Susan Ma is chosen for the Venture team leader because she’s run a market trader stall. Gavin is chosen as the team leader for Logic.
The items the teams needed to get were:
- Fillet Steak: Aberdeen Angus, 7 kilos, minimum of 21 days matured, kept chilled
- ice: 120 kilos, crushed
- Cloche: stainless steel, 10 inches
- Top Hat: Black, Fur felt, Size 7 1/8, New or used in pristine condition
- Chandelier bulbs: 50 clear candle bulbs
- Chamomile flowers tea: 10 kilos, loose
- Signage: wording to be machine engraved in capitals with black paint “Wine Cellar” Brass plaque 12″(w) x 7.5″(h) Font- Helvetica Regular. Size 1.5 inches tall
- Physalis: 100g, Fresh
- Organza silk: 10 metres,
- Toilet paper, 500 rolls, 3 ply
Apprentices Venture to East London
As Venture team leader Susan points out that they need to source items moving out towards the East of London as things get cheaper as you move East. She give each team member one or two of the items to source. And quickly gets locations for 8 of the 10 items. At that point she splits the team into 2 with Soupman leading one sub-team and they rush off to get the items.
The first thing they go for is a top hat, from the top hatter in London. Don’t they realise that will make it rather pricey? I would have thought going for a top end hire company and buying it from them might have been a good option. Round the corner Soupman’s sub-team is rushing to buy the fillet steak – in Mayfair! So much for Susan’s direction to go eastwards because prices are cheaper the further East you go in London. Although Jim does manage to get the butchers down to almost where he was suggesting, in the end he gets the fillet for £170!
Susan’s team also manages to source extremely expensive tea which is a jaw dropping £990. Luckily for them the supplier drops the price massively, still expensive though.
There’s No Logic to Logic’s Approach
And then horrors!
Natasha has a brainwave that other luxury hotels will send her their supplier list! Why on earth would they do that? I mean they’ve spent time building up relationships and getting good deals with their suppliers. They’re not going to want anyone to mix it up, are they? Get a grip Natasha! But, no she goes ahead and makes the call. Everyone else looked embarrassed and yet no one (particularly Gavin) stops her wasting time and making a fool of herself.
And as the minutes tick by Gavin keeps bleating about making a decision, if that’s ok with you guys…
Eventually (after 3 hours) they set off. Vincent leads the sub-team to find the wine cellar signage and lets Natasha demonstrate exactly how not to negotiate. For a start they’re on a loser because the engraver knows they really need to buy from him anyway.
But, and worse than anything else…
Natasha doesn’t ask him what his best price is. And as soon as he says he can’t do it for the price she names she just ups the price! At that rate he could keep saying he couldn’t do it for that price and the team could end up paying more than the real price! Vincent breaks in to try and stop the price escalation, by suggesting another price, £80, all in. Which the engraver agrees to but says lets add on VAT too, giving a price of £96. Afterwards Natasha claims that if Vincent had just left her alone she could have driven the price down further! Didn’t she hear herself increasing the price then?
When desperate Gavin starts to negotiate for the organza his need to buy almost screams out of his pores.
Back to the boardroom
Lord Sugar pointed out that Venture had been going to a lot of expensive places for their items. Places like Mayfair! And as an example the tea, that had originally been priced at £990 was sold to them for £410 whilst Logic got the tea for £223. A massive difference.
And despite the fact that Logic missed out on 4 items the amount paid, including fines, was almost identical.
So venture got 9 items, were fined £202.75 whilst Logic got 6 items, were fined £312.68
In total that meant the amount paid by Venture was £1,381.69 whilst Logic paid £,1389.20.
Leaving Venture the winners by less than £10. As Lord Sugar points out to Gavin and Logic, it was only right they lost anyway, because they had got only a pathetic 6 items.
So Gavin chooses Zoe Beresford and Vincent Disneur to go back into the firing line with him.
Finally, Lord Sugar decides that Gavin should be fired. And at the same time he warns Zoe that she needs to show him what she can do.
Was The Apprentice Firing Fair?
Gavin appeared completely incapable of running his team. He let Natasha eat up time trying to get a rival hotels supplier list. He didn’t listen to the rest of the team, in particular Melody who was telling him about the cloche and how they were running out of time. When they were in the car Gavin just clutched his head and seemed to be losing. Equally, having Vincent as a team leader was a definite mistake from Gavin. Simply putting he who shouts loudest as the leader doesn’t work. Plus Gavin needed to have a good negotiator on his own team. As part of the team he was completely unable to conceal the despair and desperation he felt during the Organza negotiation.
So, Lord Sugar did the right thing firing Gavin, although with only a £7.51 difference between the teams it could have easily been someone from the other team!