As the fast food industry grows so do the number of opportunities for employment

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

Making sure the nation is fed is not an easy task.

However, Maria Rammese, who joined Debonairs in May 2003 as a member of the kitchen crew, took the hard work and long hours in her stride and rose to the rank of restaurant manager.

"I'm responsible for the smooth running of the kitchen crew and restaurant area. One of my key responsibilities includes labelling and dating foods according to good health and hygiene practice and assisting in making pizzas," said Rammese.

"My job is demanding as I oversee the stock level and control preparation and ordering, ensure quality, cleanliness and good customer service. I have to keep an eye on everything so I'm constantly supervising," she said.

Debonairs has more than 200 restaurants and Rammese said it is estimated that they make between 8000 and 10000 pizzas a month. Promotions increase the public's demand for pizza.

Team work is essential in the job and Rammese explains its relevance to the business.

"This kind of work is like an unbreakable chain from the kitchen crew to the assembly counter and vice versa. This is important to the restaurant and it also shines through to our customers, so we work very closely to make sure we keep them happy all the time."

People who want to work at Debonairs need to attend an intense two-week training programme that includes theoretical and practical training in subjects varying from financials to customer service and making pizzas.

"Our customers are hungry people. They demand excellent customer service and expect fresh, hot pizza. You deal with people all the time so you need good people skills and you need to be able to pay attention to detail so that you can maintain high standards and ensure good service," said Rammese.

Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days and this requires staff members to work in shifts to ensure flexibility.

But is there any potential for growth? "Yes, I'm proof of that! I started as a member of the kitchen crew then moved to cashier, was promoted to a restaurant host and now I am a manager. I'm now working towards becoming a training consultant. There's plenty of opportunity," she said.

Debonairs keeps the staff updated through their intranet system, which informs staff about regular refresher courses to ensure they learn new ways of improving in their work and understand new innovations in the industry.

The starting salary depends on the applicant's level of experience.