Three hundred waiters ran in this year’s National Waiters’ Day race in Hyde Park, as Fred Sirieix led the celebration of front of house professionals and careers.
The fifth year of National Waiters’ Day yesterday saw activities take place from Edinburgh to London and many other locations in between. On Twitter, the hashtag #NWD2017 was used by countless hospitality businesses and professionals, trending in the UK top 10 on Twitter. All of this came as part of the nationwide campaign, which showcased the hard work and dedication of front of house staff. The day aimed to change perceptions around these roles and highlighted the rewarding career progression routes that hospitality offers.
Fred Sirieix, General Manager at Galvin at Windows and founder of the day, said: “I was excited to once again lead the race and celebrations in Hyde Park this 16th May – to be celebrating our fifth year of National Waiters’ Day was a wonderful milestone! It’s essential that we promote the ocean of career opportunities hospitality has to offer, celebrate the hard work of front of house professionals, and encourage more people to begin great careers in hospitality. With all the opportunities available, you can work hard and be rewarded with success – there has never been a more exciting time to join this special industry.”
Hospitality businesses nationwide celebrated their team and showed why front of house is a great place to work. As well as the flagship race in Hyde Park, London, races and activities involving hundreds of front of house professionals also took place in Eastbourne, Norwich, Colchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Ashdown, Luton, Newquay, Wick, Stratford upon Avon and Derby, with many other hospitality businesses showing support via social media.
At the Hyde Park event, over 30 employers were in attendance, seeking to entice prospective jobseekers. The fastest waiter on the day was Gigo Machitidze (Cavendish London) and the fastest waitress was Charlotte Storey (The Pig – at Combe). The best dressed award went to Foxes Academy, a specialist catering and training hotel for young people with learning disabilities. The Foxes Academy’s William Wallace also won the fastest student prize.
Anne Pierce, Springboard’s CEO, said: “National Waiters’ Day is all about promoting careers in food, drink and front of house roles throughout hospitality – from baristas to sommeliers; Maitre’Ds to casual dining staff; bartenders to mixologists and waiters. It’s about showcasing talent, what’s involved in each role, how people can start and progress great careers and work for some great employers. It’s about raising the profile of the profession and the skills it requires, and it’s also about having some fun and being happy – because it’s a happy place to work – with massive prospects for employment and career development. Now, more than ever before, the industry has huge opportunities for UK jobseekers. This is a chance for job seekers to explore what’s on offer with eager employers actively seeking new talent – what are you waiting for? Get involved!”
The event was sponsored by Bunzl Catering Supplies and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.
Matt Johnson, Managing Director of Bunzl Catering Supplies, commented: “We are pleased to continue our support of National Waiters’ Day and are delighted to be working with Springboard on this initiative. At Bunzl Catering Supplies, we are always keen to get involved and give something back to an industry where we work with so many fantastic hospitality businesses. We hope National Waiters’ Day continues to be a success in celebrating front of house as a profession and inspiring young people into this great industry.”
Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive, commented: “We’re proud to support National Waiters’ Day as a celebration of the skilled and dedicated hospitality professionals across the country. The hospitality industry brings a wealth of opportunities and we’ll be joining the celebrations by hosting events with our Approved Programme Providers throughout the UK to inspire people to explore them and share how our WSET qualifications can help anyone looking to take their career to the next level. As the industry comes together, the occasion not only offers a chance to speak to budding professionals but also to engage with hospitality employers to emphasise the importance of supporting their staff by giving them the education they need to progress and thrive in their role.”
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