waitersWaiters raced nationwide in a celebration and promotion of front of house roles in representation of hospitality, which employs 2.9 million people in the UK.

Fred Sirieix of First Dates fame fronted National Waiters Day, sponsored by Bunzl, in Hyde Park on 20th October 2016. The event, organised by The Springboard Charity, saw waiters racing through Hyde Park in celebration of front of house professionals and their career path.

As well as the flagship event in Hyde Park, races took place across the UK, at Wivenhoe House (Colchester), Tameside College (Manchester) and The Grand (Eastbourne).

Fred Sirieix, General Manager at Galvin at Windows, said: “I was very proud to lead the National Waiters Day celebrations on 20th October – it was a truly wonderful day that celebrated the ocean of career opportunities in hospitality, as well as the hard work of all front of house professionals. There has never been a more exciting time to both join and succeed in this very special industry. If you can dream it, you can do it.”

For the National Waiters Day race, the fastest waiter and waitress both went to Prezzo Restaurants. Muki Hashahi won fastest waiter, and Julia Kazimirova won fastest waitress. Kensington Roof Garden won best dressed.

Students visiting London’s Hyde Park took part in a range of activities which showcased hospitality employers and the skills needed to succeed in front of house roles. Hospitality businesses also opened their doors with careers talks, taster days and social media campaigns as part of National Waiters Day and Front of House Festival, which has promoted hospitality front of house roles (17th – 21st October 2016). It has aimed to change perceptions regarding front of house roles and has highlighted the rewarding career progression routes that hospitality offers.

The event in Hyde Park included stands from Bunzl Catering and Continental Chef Supplies, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Ace Hotels, Premier Inn, Radisson Blu, Hilton Worldwide, Inploi and Springboard’s CareerScope.

Anne Pierce, Springboard’s CEO, said: “The Front of House Festival was created to increase awareness of the range of roles available in front of house, and this year it encompassed National Waiters Day. National Waiters Day was a great opportunity for young people, jobseekers and businesses to showcase the profession and the great opportunities available, with activities ranging from skills challenges to talks, and of course the Waiters Day Race! It was great to see front of house professionals represent their industry and all it has to offer.”