Brasserie Blanc and TGI Friday's emerged as the winners of two new Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) awards designed to highlight and reward excellence in service.
At the AFWS Annual Awards for Excellence, held yesterday in London's Vintners' Hall, Paul Taylor, general manager of TGI Friday's Luton, was presented with the new Food Service Award for his enthusiasm and expertise in delivering outstanding levels of service as well as his ability to inspire his colleagues.
Meanwhile, the Award for Wine Service went to Jason Wright, general manager of Brasserie Blanc Opera Terrace in London's Covent Garden. Wright was recognised for helping the recently opened restaurant stand out by offering high levels of service and wine knowledge and for establishing an excellent front of house team.
AFWS vice chairman Paul Breach said: "These two new awards really reflect what the Academy is all about - excellence in front of house service. We have two worthy winners of the first of these awards, picked from six sector winners, and it's a reflection of improving levels of service in the UK's hospitality sector that both of these winners are from high street chains."
The Academy also gave its first Diamond Award to Pride Of Britain Hotels chief executive Peter Hancock, who was described as an "outstanding personality in the UK hotel and catering industry who has done much to promote the industry and encourage those within it".
Pictured here, from left to right, are: Wright, Taylor, AFW president Roy Ackerman and Breach.
The full list of award winners in the AFWS 2012 Annual Awards for Excellence:
AFWS Award for Excellence - Laura Rhys, head sommelier, Hotel TerraVina, Southampton
Company of the Year Award - De Vere Hotels
Pub Wine List of the Year - The Swan, Salford
Virgin Rising Star Award - Amelia Thornhill, The Bell, Fetcham
The Worshipful Company of Innholders & Maison Louis Latour Sommelier Award - Stefan Neumann, the Fat Duck, Bray
Phillip Thornton Award - Kiri Rayner, The Cavendish, London SW1
L'Academie de Lanson Taste Award - Romain Crozat, Galvin at Windows, London W1
Fine Dining Food Service Award - Luigi Ferrara, Babylon, Roof Gardens, London W8
High Street Food Service Award - Paul Taylor, TGI Friday's, Luton
Pub Dining Food Service Award - Juliet Stone, The White Lion, Suffolk
Fine Dining Wine Service Award - Kathrine Larsen, Orrery, London W1
High Street Wine Service Award - Jason Wright, Brasserie Blanc Opera Terrace, London WC2
Pub Dining Wine Service Award - Rozanne Stringer & Melissa Doyle, the Bear, Oxshott
AFWS Food Service Award - Paul Taylor, general manager, TGI Friday's, Luton
AFWS Wine Service Award - Jason Wright, general manager, Brasserie Blanc Opera Terrace, London WC2
Diamond Award - Peter Hancock, chief executive, Pride of Britain Hotels
AFWS Fellowships were presented to: Conor O'Leary, director of F&B, Hyatt Regency London; Nigel Wilkinson, Boutinot Wines; and Stephen Mannock, Edge Hotel School.
By Janet Harmer
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