It's another Monday in the canteen. As manager Tony tries to keep everyone focused on actually making some food, Jean is frantically preparing for her daughter Lisa's wedding, Bren and Dolly have a lot to discuss about the weekend's television offerings and Twinkle arrives late again. But there's also a fresh face in the factory - Philippa Moorcroft, the new Human Resources manager. She's keen to raise morale by organising a Scottish country dancing session, but is she going to end up treading on a few toes in the process?
The dinnerladies are very excited about an impending royal visit, though they aren't impressed to find out that they've been allocated Prince James, The Duke of Danby. Stan, however, is delighted as he met the Duke 30 years before at Catterick Garrison army base. Despite lots of rehearsing, Twinkle finds she's unable to string a sentence together, whilst Anita's mouth runs away with her. Meanwhile, Dolly and Jean compete with each other to perform the best curtsey, and Bren is shocked at the Duke's love of sex and bacon.
Bren is horrified when her eccentric mother, Petula, moves into the car park with Clint, her 16-year-old fiancé. Clint's mother is even more horrified and forms a picket line around the factory, with the national press in attendance. As deliveries gradually stop arriving due to the mob outside, Bren suggests an impromptu Oprah Winfrey-style talk show to resolve the matter. Meanwhile, a TV researcher visits the canteen to see whether the dinnerladies would make good docu-soap material, but Tony has serious reservations.
Tony and Bren arrive early to the canteen in much better moods than usual. Unfortunately, everyone else is in a bad temper. Stan's had trouble with his father, Dolly and Jean bicker continuously, Anita is convinced her new haircut makes her look like Fatima Whitbread and Twinkle thinks she's pregnant. Philippa suggests having a 'Bring Your Mother To Work' day to cheer everyone up, but the plan backfires when Dolly's sarcastic mum Enid and Jean's nymphomaniac mother Connie end up having the opposite effect.
A merger with a Japanese company means that the factory's Christmas Party has an Oriental theme to it. Tony and Bren plan to go as a couple but Petula invites herself along as Bren's partner. Dolly and Jean are not impressed with their husbands' flirtatious and ignorant behaviour; Anita gets very drunk at the party and makes a fool of herself, whilst Twinkle and her friend Tiffany are unimpressed by the older workers' dancing. After a disastrous evening, Bren and Tony try to salvage their night together, but Petula has other plans.
A big, unexpected order comes in, prompting the factory manager to ask all the staff, including the dinnerladies, to work a 24-hour shift. With Tony off work sick, the canteen crew are introduced to temporary manager Nicola Bodeux who turns out to be so obnoxious that Dolly, Jean, Anita and Twinkle all end up walking out in disgust. That would leave just two staff to cook food but a disillusioned Nicola promptly resigns leaving Bren to prepare for the impossible task of manning the canteen single-handedly all night.