Eight finalists named in UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition

17 September 2013 by
Eight finalists named in UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition

Eight restaurant managers have made it through to the finals of the Academy of Food & Wine Service's UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition.

The finalists were revealed following a testing semi-final held at the Moat House Acton Trussell in Staffordshire yesterday.

The eight finalists are:

Shaun Corrigan, Grand Jersey hotel & spa, Jersey
Louise Denton, BaxterStorey at the English National Opera, London WC2
Rebecca Galland, the Vineyard, Stockcross, Berkshire
Clement Joseph, Royal Automobile Club, London SW1
Stephen Morrison, La Vallee Blanche, Glasgow
Paul Shanahan, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire
Nola Sheng, the Hawksmoor, Spitalfields London E1
Janine Swales, BaxterStorey at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, London N17

John Croft, AFWS executive director, said that the quality of entrants and the diversity of sectors they work in had been particularly impressive this year.

"It's important to us that the competition appeals to restaurant managers from across the sector," he said. "A good restaurant manager, wherever they work, must have great service skills, be able to relate to customers, manage staff, work under pressure, have a strong business acumen and be as familiar with the profit and loss accounts as they are with food and wine knowledge.

The final will be held at London's Westbury Hotel on 7 October where finalists will be set a series of tasks designed to test their skills, knowledge and business sense.

The competition will culminate in a Dragon's Den-style scenario in which the competitors will pitch their own business plan for a pop-up restaurant concept to a panel of potential investors.

Former winner Peter Avis, restaurant manager at London's Babylon restaurant, will head up the panel of judges.

The winner will be announced following a gala dinner attended by industry guests. As part of the prize the winner will travel to New York to spend time at Daniel Boulud's Dinex Group of restaurants, gaining a unique insight into the running of various departments. The runner-up will receive a place at the renowned business summer school run by the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, sponsored by the Savoy Educational Trust.

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