National day to celebrate bartenders and other front-of-house staff

Waiters race

The hard work and excellence of Britain’s front-of-house staff including bartenders is to be celebrated with a national initiative on May 21.

National Waiters Day has been devised to highlight the career opportunities of front-of-house and service jobs in the hospitality industry, from bartending to managing restaurants.

It was originally inspired by Fred Sirieix, general manager at restaurant and bar Galvin at Windows in London’s Mayfair and is co-ordinated by The Springboard Charity,

Across the UK, a wide range of hospitality businesses will host events to celebrate and educate people, from “skills sessions” to organising a “Waiters Race” where participants will show off their combined skills of elegance, competition, and professionalism.

Anne Pierce, chief executive of Springboard, said: “We are delighted to be part of this fantastic National Waiters Day initiative to promote front of house and the hospitality industry as a great career choice.

“The proceeds raised from the initiative will go towards enabling Springboard to continue to develop and run an exciting programme for schools to encourage young people to consider a career in front of house.”

The Springboard Charity helps young, unemployed and disadvantaged people improve their prospects in life through a career in hospitality, leisure and tourism.

The Waiters Race will be held on May 21 in Hyde Park in London, with runners required to balance a tray, cup and a bottle. There is also a race for students before the main race.

Visitors to Hyde Park can take part in a range of have-a-go activities that demonstrate front-of-house skills showcased by key sponsors and partners. Key headline sponsor is Bunzl Catering Supplies.

Last year, over 400 front-of-house and service staff from hotels, restaurants, bars and foodservice management across the UK gathered in Hyde Park for the Waiters Race (pictured).

The winners were Alex Radmore from Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest and Branwen Summers from restaurant and bar Joe’s Southern Kitchen in Covent Garden, London.

Fred said: ‘’There has never been a more exciting time to join the hospitality industry. There are opportunities everywhere for those who want them and who are prepared to do what it takes.

“The idea behind National Waiters Day is to bring a spotlight to the hospitality industry and showcase what a great range of exciting careers the industry has to offer, and we’ll also be having a lot of fun in the process.”

For all the information about events in your area, or to enter a Waiters Race near you, visit Follow the events on Twitter at @WaitersDay_UK and on Facebook at

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