Entries are being sought for the Academy of Food & Wine Service's (AFWS) 2015 UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition, sponsored by Bunzl Catering Supplies and Bibendum Wine.
Run in partnership with The Caterer, the competition, now in its seventh year, is open to restaurant managers or those working in similar roles in any sector of the hospitality industry, provided they are responsible for the performance of a business, managing people, staff training and co-ordinating the operation of the restaurant.
This year's competition will consist of a first round entry form, which can be completed online. The top 10 entries will then be visited by the judges at their own establishment.
The 10 shortlisted finalists will then be reduced to six, who will be given two weeks to prepare a business plan for a new restaurant.
At the final, candidates will be interviewed and tested on their all-round knowledge of the job, customer service skills and social media marketing, before presenting their business plan in front of a panel of "dragons" and a VIP audience.
Head of judges and 2009 winner of the award, Peter Avis, chairman of the UK Restaurant Guild, commented: "Since I won I have felt a huge responsibility to promote the role of restaurant managers as I believe they have a vital role to play in the success of any establishment. This year we are determined to encourage entrants from across the board and highlight what a fantastic career the profession can offer."
Last year's winner, Café Rouge restaurant manager Alper Zan, highlighted the opportunity winning the competition brings: "It's such a prestigious award itself and to receive training from the world famous Hospitality School in Lausanne made me sleepless for a couple of nights, thinking: ‘What an opportunity'".
The winner is finally selected and announced at a gala dinner awards ceremony at London's Andaz hotel on 23 November 2015.
This is the first year that The Caterer and the AFWS have joined forces to run the Restaurant Manager of the Year competition.
Commenting on the new affiliation, Mark Lewis, publisher of The Caterer, said: "Following our successful partnership with the AFWS to deliver the 2015 Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition, we are delighted to be working with the AFWS on this prestigious award. Once again, it demonstrates our commitment to supporting this incredible industry and its all-encompassing talents."
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