The search is on to find the 2012 UK Restaurant Manager of the Year, a competition run by the Academy of Food and Wine Service (AFWS), the UK's professional body for front-of-house staff.
The competition is open to all restaurant managers, whether working in a high-street chain, pub-restaurant, fine-dining establishment or independent outlet.
"We are looking for a restaurant manager who excels front-of-house, has great people skills, the ability to manage and inspire a team and who can demonstrate a strong business acumen," said AFWS executive director Sophie Roberts-Brown.
"Running a successful establishment in this environment is as much about controlling finances and retaining margins as managing a team and running front-of-house. There are some amazing, talented professionals working across the sector, particularly in high turnover, high-street chains. This year we are hoping that more of those people will enter the competition and pit their skills against their peers."
The winner will receive a stage in a top New York establishment, where they will gain a unique insight into the running of various departments.
Last year's UK Restaurant Manager of the Year, Michele Caggianese, restaurant and bar manager of the Rib Room at London's Jumeirah Carlton Tower, spent a week in New York at Danny Mayer's Union Square Hospitality Group properties.
"I learnt a huge amount about the ways very different sorts of establishments are run and picked up a lot of ideas and tips to take home with me," he said.
Entrants will initially be asked to complete a paper questionnaire from which the semi-finalists will be selected. The semi-final will be held in London in early September.
From this, five finalists will be selected to attend the final, being held on 22 October 2012 at the Westbury, London W1. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner the same evening, in front of an audience of invited guests.
By Katherine Alano
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