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The Apprentice episode
Week Four
Version: UK Series
Series: Series 2
Task: Set up a restaurant by the River Thames
Project Managers: Mani (Velocity)
Alexa (Invicta)
Team Changes: Mani moves to Velocity; Alexa moves to Invicta.
Fired: Alexa
Airdate: March 14th 2006
Series Two Tasks:
  1. Selling fruit and veg
  2. Create and sell charity calenders
  3. Buy a list of ten items
  4. Set up a restaurant by the River Thames
  5. Advertise a private jet booking card
  6. Sell used cars
  7. Display and sell fashion items
  8. Selling to the trade
  9. Rent out properties
  10. Running entertainment on a cruise ship
  11. Interviews
  12. Stage an event at Tower Bridge


Week Four saw the first team reshuffle of the series, as Mani and Alexa (who had asked to be a project manager the previous week) volunteered to lead the opposing teams, which until this point had been single-sex. The teams were each given a budget of £2,000 and told to set up restaurants in tents that were being pitched near Tower Bridge for the Thames Festival.

The TaskEdit

VelocityEdit

After throwing some initial ideas around such as French and Spanish food stalls, Mani decided on a Chinese noodle restaurant. Although the food preparation went well the following day, Mani alienated most of his team by refusing to get involved in any of the physical tasks, and spending much of the day driving around London and sorting out drinks, advertising and other tasks. He eventually did get involved in the food-making near the end of the day, but still ended up getting into an argument with Sharon and Ruth back at the house.

The team seemed to have patched things up the following morning, and business for their restaurant was good from the start. Early on, Mani decided to cut the pre-lunchtime prices so that they wouldn't have any leftover stock come the end of the day, which led to a major rush in customers, and caused their restaurant to be full for most of the day. Despite having to slash prices again as the day closed, Velocity still managed to sell all of their noodles.

InvictaEdit

Since Alexa didn't have any restaurant experience (other than having worked on the pizza counter at Asda previously), she deferred to Syed and Tuan, who had managed and worked in restaurants respectively. Syed told Alexa that pizza was the best option to go with, and she agreed to go with that idea. No-one seemed to have any idea how many pizzas they could produce, and Tuan threw out 500 as a ballpark figure, which ended up being adopted as the actual number that they intended to produce. Alexa, Syed and Tuan went out to buy ingredients with their pizzas, but found out that the butcher they intended to buy from what shut, leaving Syed to place an order on their answerphone, including a hundred whole chickens for the hundred Tandoori Chicken pizzas they intended to make. In the meantime, Paul, Ansell and Samuel hired some Italian chef costumes for them to wear on the day.

On the second day, when they would be preparing their raw ingredients, Alexa and Samuel went off to handle advertising, while the remainder worked with a professional chef to produce the pizzas and the ingredients. When Syed's food order arrived however, it was discovered that the chickens were far larger than Syed had anticipated, and cost nearly double the guide £/kg price. This, together with an order for a large quantity of grated mozzarella cheese, swallowed up most of their budget, leaving Alexa and Samuel with little to spend on advertising. Adding to their problems, it soon became apparent that the all-important 500 pizza figure was totally unrealistic, but Alexa ordered Invicta to carry on making pizzas and ingredients. Tempers soon flared under the stress of the situation, which led to a heated argument between Tuan and Samuel, which Alexa did nothing about, and it was eventually left to the chef to break up the argument. By the time they had finished, they had prepared ingredients for 500 pizzas, but they had only produced 90 bases.

Invicta's restaurant saw slow custom, and the few customers that they did attract weren't particularly complimentary about the pizzas, which had been overloaded with toppings in an effort to use up as many ingredients as possible. The team stumbled through the day with a lack of clear leadership or ideas, and with large amounts of pizza still left over come nightfall, were forced to heavily cut prices, although they did eventually manage to sell off all their stock.

The BoardroomEdit

Sir Alan first asked the teams how they thought they'd done. Velocity were generally quite positive about their performance, but Invicta didn't have much positive to say about Alexa's leadership, and Paul told Sir Alan that he didn't think they'd won. The results were then read out; Velocity had spent just under £1,100 of their budget and took in around £1,440, giving a profit of £350. Invicta on the other hand had spent their entire budget and only managed to recoup less than £1,200, leading to a catastrophic loss of £807; the first time that any team on the UK version of the show had finished in the red. Velocity's reward was an evening meal at a high-class restaurant, then getting to watch a firework display that they were putting on.

Invicta returned to the boardroom, and an extremely angry Sir Alan interrogated them on their loss. Ansell accused Alexa of letting Syed and Tuan make the key decisions for her, and not taking important decisions at key moments herself. The figure of 500 pizzas was also questioned, and Tuan admitted that he didn't really have any backing logic as to that figure; Samuel then revealed that he had objected to the figure, since it would have required them to sell a slice every nine seconds in order to clear all their stock. Syed also came under fire for his purchasing decisions, and his decision to buy the hundred chickens, and Alexa eventually bought him back into the boardroom, along with Tuan.

Sir Alan demanded to know from Alexa what she had actually contributed to the task, and who she felt was to blame for its failure, but she spent most of the boardroom seeming to be in a state of shellshock, and gave little in the way of answers to his questions. He turned his attention to Tuan, who gave a breakdown of what exactly had gone wrong on the task, and told Sir Alan that Syed had been responsible for the production problems, and Alexa for the overall failure of the task. Incredibly, Syed started bragging about his capabilities and the effort that he put into the task, leaving Sir Alan quite angry at him - however, he also said that Alexa had given him no direction, and let the task fall apart. Sir Alan told them that they all deserved to be fired (though the show's rules in the first two seasons prevented him from firing three, or even two candidates in one week), Syed especially - however, Alexa had not given any justification of why she deserved to stay, and had not explained her decisions in the task. He branded her "a lightweight" and "a very, very bad manger" before firing her, then angrily told the three of them to get out of the boardroom and go away. Syed turned to Sir Alan as he left and gave thanks for letting him stay in the competition, which caused Sir Alan to irately brand Syed a "cheeky bastard" after he had gone out the door.

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