National Waiters’ Day – an annual celebration of front-of-house staff – saw the best in the business dash through Hyde Park, with laden trays in hand.
National Waiters Day was launched six years ago by First Dates’ host and general manager of Galvin at Windows, Fred Sirieix. This year’s event on 16 May was held in collaboration with the Springboard charity and continued to celebrate the talent and dedication of waiters, baristas and other food and beverage service workers.
The event included stands from top hospitality businesses as well as activities and free ice-cream. But, as ever, the highlight of the day was the annual themed race.
This year the fastest waitress prize was awarded to Nelli Nemcsik of Georgian House Hotel, who won an afternoon tea for two at Hilton London Syon Park, while Jorge Llorets of Marriott Hotels won fastest waiter and was presented with a gin and jazz experience for two, in Good Godfrey’s Bar at the Waldorf Hilton.
The fastest students were Lisa Barnett and Chris Jenkinson, of Foxes Academy, who won a day’s work experience, followed by an interview with the company’s F&B director.
Finally, the award for best dressed team went to Landmark London who will be treated to a ‘Be My Guest’ stay at the Hilton.
Anne Pierce MBE, CEO of Springboard, said: “Dining out with friends… morning lattes… post-work Friday night drinks – none of these would be possible without the UK’s food and drinks service teams. They are a vital part of our economy, they brighten up our lives every day, but their contributions, skills and professionalism are often overlooked.
“That’s why National Waiters’ Day began, as a way to celebrate waiters and waitresses, bar tenders, baristas, mixologists, and guest service staff – in fact anyone working in food and drinks service throughout the country. It’s a great way to showcase their talent, say thank you and promote careers in this growth sector. It also gives participating companies a chance to meet potential new talent, by encouraging job seekers and students to try out their skills and explore the potential in the fulfilling world of hospitality – as well as enjoying the spectacle of waiters’ day races the length and breadth of the country!”