The food service aspect of restaurant management has, in this country, long been a poor relation to the food production (Caterer, 11 May, page 4). There are two strands to this problem.
The first is that food service must become a career option as on the Continent, rather than seen as a "stopgap" job. We industry representatives on the Worcester College of Technology (Department of Hospitality) Strategy Group have been pressing this point for some time. The college, always prepared to listen, is working with the awarding body to create a food service qualification. If we can start to make this important job recognised as a career option we will have started to succeed.
The second is the attitude of many members of the public, who look upon waiting staff as servile rather than providing a professional service. Even at an establishment such as my country house hotel and restaurant there's a noticeable shift in attitude towards one of my team non-uniformed and working front of house and one uniformed and waiting at table.
This is an indictment of the public and these two areas need to be addressed in order to solve the problem.
So instead of whingeing about it, Antony Worrall Thompson et al, let's be proactive and actually do something about it.
Proprietor, the Cottage in the Wood hotel, Malvern Wells, Worcestershire
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