“Anyone can cook and anyone can serve, but it takes time to nurture that into a talent.”
These were the words of a very smartly-attired waiter from The Landmark Hotel as he nervously addressed the gathering above a post office in Baker Street at the Continental Chef Supplies showroom for the launch of National Waiters Day. In attendance were a number of guests representing the Hospitality industry, the Springboard UK charity and some of the sponsors who have helped in getting the venture off the ground, not least our own company BaxterStorey since our Chairman Alastair Storey has personally supported the initiative from day one.
|The team from The Landmark Hotel who really demonstrated what good looks like in our industry.|
The brainchild of Fred Sirieix, General Manager of Galvin at Windows, on the 28th floor of of the Hilton at Park Lane, the event due to take place on Sunday 23rd of June is to raise the profile of all the brilliant Front of House people who work in Hospitality and often get forgotten in our rush to pay homage to the Celebrity Chefs gracing our screens these days. Think about it; without the waiters, the chefs would just oversee buffets!
There are lots of fun events booked all over the country in the lead up to the big day culminating in a hugely entertaining Waiters race around Brunswick Square.
I went along in my capacity as a newly-minted Springboard Ambassador to support my colleagues. There was certainly great interest in our BaxterStorey version of Fred's board game 'The Art of Service' which we use as training tool.
It would have been great to see a few more attendees at the launch itself, but these are early days and already it has captured the collective imagination of some of the biggest names in the industry. In any case, by live-tweeting the presentations (search for #nationalwaitersday), I was able to involve lots of people who couldn't be there in person. Certainly it generated lots of replies and retweets. The magic of Twitter!
Well done Fred on a fantastic initiative. You may be at Galvin’s, but you’ve actually galvanised the entire industry around a noble idea: that waiting tables is a profession just as much, if not more, than cooking is.
Please visit the National Waiters Day website for inspiration on putting on an event or to take part in the race itself. You might want to put a special table in your canteen or workplace cafe that offers a 'posh' service. Or if you're more upmarket, then why not invite your senior management - or chefs! - to get involved in serving some of your customers. Any activity that raises the profile of our industry is a step in the right direction.