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Working in care as a Catering Crew Manager – Helen Murphy

Working in care as a Catering Crew Manager – Helen Murphy

There’s so much involved in a role within our Catering Team at Borough Care. To find out more about what a day in the life of a catering crew team member looks like, we sat down with Helen Murphy, a Catering Crew Manager at our homes.

1. What does a typical day in the life of a Catering Crew Member look like?

I’m one of the Catering Crew Managers, so my colleague and I share the homes between us. There are 12 homes altogether and we each take care of half of them. Originally, I was one of the chefs at Lisburne Court but then I was promoted to Catering Crew Manager. Our typical day could involve anything from working in the kitchen cooking lunch, or evening meals, for the residents, to hosting an event or doing rotas. I’ll also place orders, update rotas, and sort holidays and wages. Sometimes we’ll even offer support to our ALFs (Activity & Lifestyle Facilitators) – especially if they’re hosting an exciting event!

At Borough Care, no two days are the same. For example, at the moment I’m in one of the homes training the staff. I’ll spend a couple of weeks with them getting them trained and then move them into a team with the other chefs so that they can get to know each other and the residents.

2. What led you to start your career in care? Did you always want to work in the sector?

I originally started working as a Catering Team Member at a college, before moving on to working at a hotel. But, neither jobs were for me. Then I moved into the care sector. I worked at a different care home provider before moving to Borough Care where I’ve been for 7 years.

3. Why Borough Care? Is there anything specific that made you want to work for Borough Care in particular?

The team at Borough Care really looks after us when it comes to our wellbeing. The wages are great and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in courses as part of the role. All staff can access fantastic discounts through MyHub as well. I’ve also had opportunities to be promoted during my time here. It’s been great to learn more about the management side of my role and move toward that area.

4. What do you think is the best part of your job?

I love supporting my staff and getting involved in events while still being able to step back in and be part of the cooking side of things as well. When I moved jobs, I thought I’d miss the hands-on cooking within the role. But, I found that I actually enjoy the other tasks that come with the management role – managing staff, helping them be better etc. It’s great working with all my team and having variation in my role. We also get to move between the homes a lot which is great. The kitchens at all the homes follow the same menu and service times but each home is slightly different in the way that they do things – it’s really refreshing.

5. What is the process of putting together the menu like? Is it collaborative with the whole team?

Tony, our Catering and Hospitality Manager, has a lot of input on the menu – it’s not just one person who puts the whole thing together. We work closely with Apetito, our catering partner, on the menu which is brilliant, but we also get to share our thoughts and add things to it. For example, we have a set menu at the home but Tony has introduced things like croissants to the breakfast menu. We also make our own fresh soups and desserts too.

Another important part of the menu is knowing what food would work best at each home. Residents at each home have slightly different tastes so we try to tailor the menu to their needs. Making sure that everything looks good on the plate is also essential!

6. There always seems to be something to celebrate at the Borough Care homes. What has been your favourite event or celebration to cater for so far?

The cheese and wine event that we did recently at Lisburne Court was wonderful. Last year, we also did an event where Apetito brought their outdoor mobile catering into the home. We turned it into a seaside themed event and served fish and chips in boxes. It was such a lovely event! Apetito also does events where, when they have a new product on the menu, they’ll tour a few of the homes and host taster sessions. Usually, we’ll coordinate with them and ask the residents to let us know what they think of the new menu.

Meet our Catering Crew

Want to learn more about what our Catering Team gets up to at Borough Care? Read our interview with Tony Gent, our Catering and Hospitality Manager. To stay up to date with the latest news from Borough Care, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. For news on our latest jobs, follow our Twitter and Instagram jobs accounts.