Hundreds of waiters switched aprons for trainers to run through Hyde Park in London to celebrate the fifth National Waiters’ Day.
In May, 300 waiters took part in this annual event run by the Springboard Charity and founded by Fred Sirieix to showcase and promote the marvellous career and talent of front of house professionals.
Activities took place up and down the country with the Twitter hashtag #NWD2017 trending. However, it was TV’s most famous maître d’ Fred Sirieix from Channel 4’s First Dates who led the proceedings for the race and celebrations in the capital.
“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,” said Fred Sirieix, general manager at Galvin at Windows. “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.”
Waiters carried a tray and a bottle of water as they ran the 120-metre race in the park, which was won by Gigo Machitidze from The Cavendish Hotel in London and Charlotte Storey from The Pig at Combe in Devon. The best dressed award went to Foxes Academy, a specialist catering and training hotel for young people with learning disabilities. The academy’s William Wallace won the fastest student prize.
“National Waiters’ Day is all about promoting careers in food, drink and front of house roles throughout hospitality – from baristas to sommeliers; maitre d’s to casual dining staff; bartenders to mixologists and waiters,” said Anne Pierce, Springboard’s CEO – a charity that helps young people achieve their potential within the industry and helps disadvantaged and underprivileged people gain industry employment. “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.”
The event, sponsored by Bunzl Catering Supplies and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, truly showcased the dedication, skills and hard work of front of house staff, as well as the great potential for rewarding careers in the hospitality industry, which employs 2.9 million people in the UK.