Bar and restaurant staff took part in races and other events nationwide in a celebration and promotion of front-of-house roles as a career.
The National Waiters Day race in Hyde Park in London was the flagship event of the nationwide Front of House Festival, organised by The Springboard Charity.
The annual race saw hospitality professionals run through the park carrying trays (pictured). The titles of fastest waiter and waitress both went to Prezzo Restaurants: Muki Hashahi and Julia Kazimirova. The team from Kensington Roof Gardens won the award for best dressed.
As well as the flagship event in Hyde Park, races took place across the UK including Wivenhoe House in Colchester in Essex, Tameside College in Manchester and The Grand in Eastbourne in East Sussex.
National Waiters Day is fronted by Fred Sirieix, general manager at Galvin at Windows in London and the maitre d’ in TV’s First Dates. Fred said: “As the founder of National Waiters Day, I was very proud to lead the celebrations on 20 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.”
Students visiting London’s Hyde Park also 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 ran from October 17 to 21 to promote front-of-house roles.
The festival is aimed at changing perceptions about front-of-house roles and highlighting the rewarding career progression routes that hospitality offers.
Anne Pierce, CEO of Springboard, added: “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.”