The Apprentice: 10.05 Coach Tours
Last week Lord Sugar proved that he was quite happy to get rid of the deadwood early on having fired three contestants in one gloriously brutal sweep. This week he was happy to send them on their merry way as the groups branched out from the capital, organising their own coach tours.
For a task where margins were make or break a lot rested on ticket prices. With an experience in event management, Dan led Tenacity and set upon a price of £99.50 (£90 each for a pair). Initially this seemed extortionate and a high risk strategy. What if the price put off punters? What if they failed to sell more than 20 seats? Especially as Mark had made that assumption and negotiated 60% off admission to Blenheim Palace. In the end Dan resorting to a price of £65 each for a group of nine was inconsequential, even if they failed to sell out all their tickets.
That is because Summit, led by Sanjay, set their ticket prices at a paltry £60. Oops. The pricing problems were exacerbated when James began his insultingly low bargaining technique to Hever Castle. Even with such a reduced ticket price they failed to sell with any real conviction as Bianca looked as desperate as a 3am girl outside a nightclub. If you want to sell your final batch there is nothing wrong with dropping the price but don't TELL them this is your final chance to sell. The only surprise was that she managed to sell for £40 each when any reasonable person would have started at £5 and see where it led them.
The tours themselves lived up to the price tags. For Tenacity, Lauren proved her worth with a professional, facts-driven tour without the aid of sheets. However, for lunch on a £99.50 daytrip you should at least expect a free bottle of water no matter how tight the margins and do not even dare argue that, Dan. The group was even treated to a nice afternoon nap on the river as Felipe gently lulled them to sleep with his facts of Oxford.
Meanwhile on the Summit bus 'King James' was centre stage for the second week running. He would later admit that he hoped to be taken more seriously yet that would be easier done without instigating renditions of coach singalong classics such as 'The wheels on the bus'. It seemed as if he had taken the role of a schoolchild being dragged through the beautiful gardens of Hever Castle as he continued to make juvenile remarks while Jemma attempted her own tour, complete with sheets. Sanjay even managed to lead his not so merry group around Canterbury before finding their second attraction just in time, only they then had to leave Canterbury Tales early. All that and James had the temerity to ask for tips.
As was obvious at the start, the winning team was the one that managed to sell at a higher price. This meant that despite being the most despicable man in the room (some feat when you consider the company) Dan had indeed led his team to victory. Somehow James only escaped with a warning from Lord Sugar to 'stop being a clown' and it largely came down to Sanjay against Jemma. The project manager had undoubtedly got his pricing hideously wrong which was to the team's ultimate downfall, especially when you consider that Sanjay is a bank manager. However, it was the 'girl that nearly wins' who left as Jemma was fired. What a strange thing to put on a resume.