Senior members of Thai Leisure Group (TLG), the operator of Thai restaurant brands Chaophraya and Thaikhun, swapped their suits for aprons to spend a day serving in front-of-house roles at its Glasgow and Liverpool sites on Thursday 20 October.
The stunt, which was in aid of National Waiters Day, demonstrated the company’s commitment to promoting front-of-house and service roles as long-term career options.
In a true reversal of roles, an open invitation was sent to front-of-house staff from casual dining restaurants across the two cities, inviting them to dine at the restaurant for free, using Thai Baht to tip the staff, based on how they found the service.
Managing Director Ian Leigh said: “Currently, the hospitality industry is facing a staffing crisis and we (operators) need to work harder to promote the sector as a viable career option – not just a short-term role.
“At TLG we do all in our power to guarantee career progression by upskilling employees with the necessary training across all parts of our business. And the system works – over 40% of our current managers started their careers with us, in front-of-house roles.
“Naturally, when the opportunity arose to put our work to the test by joining the other senior team members for a day on the frontline, I jumped at it. It was a worthwhile day, reinforcing the important role front-of-house plays in the overall customer experience.”
In addition to Ian, the waiting teams comprised Commercial and Finance Director Christian Hall; Operations Director Chris Williams; and Brand Development Director James Hacon.
National Waiters Day is affiliated with the organisation Springboard and its Front-of-House Festival. This has been created to promote the food and beverage sector, and showcase the industry as a vibrant and dynamic place to work, inspiring young people to join the sector.
Springboard is a charity that provides advice and training for young people in the UK. It also works closely with the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries to help get people back to work and reduce unemployment.