Springboard Blog

The KP - A Vital Cog in the Hospitality Machine

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Don’t judge a book by its cover. This phrase was repeatedly drummed into me as a child. Partly because it’s a highly important life lesson, but also because I was a book worm that often literally picked a book based on its cover. 

But have you ever done this? Have you ever judged something, someone based on their clothes, job role or salary? Have you ever paused to think about what their day actually entails? 

I ask because Winterhalter’s ‘KP Day’ is coming up. Let’s be honest, KP’s can often get tarred with a pretty harsh brush – but do you actually know what they do apart from washing dishes?

KPs (similar to housekeepers in hotels) are often the glue that holds a kitchen together a glue that is all too often forgotten about. So what does KP actually stand for? A ‘KP’ is a kitchen porter, although the role is often a lot more than just bussing and washing dishes. A KP’s day can start with washing, peeling and chopping 6 kilos of potatoes, followed by putting away 3 days’ worth of orders, including industrial sized tins of chopped tomatoes (let me tell you – you definitely know when you’ve dropped one of those bad boys on your toes!), huge sacks of flour and sugar, meat, fish and all kinds other ingredients. KP’s need to be up to date on health and safety procedures to prevent cross-contamination, as well as correct lifting procedure and so much more!

Meanwhile, the chefs are prepping for service and your previously sparkling sink is now full of burnt pans (chef’s call it caramelised, but for anyone washing the dishes it’s just burnt), kitchen knives that need sharpening and all manor of wooden spoons and chopping boards to clean! 

Then while you’re putting things away, you’re also running backwards and forwards from the store cupboards to help the chefs create their masterpieces, by bringing ingredients they’ve forgotten or run out of. 

All of this before a busy lunch service? Phew – I’m tired just thinking about it. By the time the ingredients are all away – you manage to clean you sink again and mentally prepare yourself for the pandemonium that service can sometimes bring. Waiting staff asking for cutlery to polish, chefs asking for spiders or spoons or more ingredients because chicken and mushroom pies have been flying out the door, putting plates away as another table of ten’s starters are cleared and land promptly on your now, very full work surface. 

Service is slowing now – there are just the late lunchers in and your side is starting to return to its former sparkling glory. The chefs are starting to clean down their station and the close down procedure is looming – a full clean down of the kitchen including brush, mop of the floors and wiping down the walls, changing bin bags, finish the dishes, wash out the dishwasher, put away the dry dishes and make sure all cutlery is ready for polishing. You are not alone in this tasks but considering all of this has taken place between 10am and 3pm you are considerably worn out and in desperate need of a cup of tea! 

3.15pm strikes the clock and you’re done – heading home for a few hours, before the second half of your split shift starts at 6pm. Oh yes many, KP’s do this twice in one day! 

Now, why am I rambling on about this? Well, as you can see KP’s are hardworking individuals, and are a vital cog in the kitchen mechanism! I have had some experience of being a KP, I often covered shifts in the kitchen when the pub I worked in was short staffed or we were incredibly busy. I was also designated KP during the Challenge Day, as part of the Hospitality Futures programme. By the end of the day my feet were sore and soaked (I couldn’t master the super dooper bendy tap!), but I had a great feeling of pride. Sure, I didn’t do any of the cooking (I would’ve probably given everyone food poisoning) but I was part of that kitchen, and I helped it run like a well-oiled machine.

If you are in industry and want to celebrate your hardworking KP’s please tweet about them using the #KPDay on 22nd June and help us celebrate all of the KP’s across the country!

National Waiters' Day Celebrates Food and Beverage Excellence!

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The campaign was backed by celebrities from across the industry, including Gordon Ramsey, Leigh Francis and Lorraine Kelly

National Waiters’ Day 2018 was a massive success, celebrating the UK’s fantastic food and beverage service industry.National Waiters’ Day 2018 was a massive success, celebrating the UK’s fantastic food and beverage service industry.

National Waiters’ Day is a vital UK-wide campaign, which encourages jobseekers into an industry that is so desperately crying out for them. To help spread the word, events have been held all over the country – from Cornwall to Edinburgh – to mark the importance our food and beverage service staff. 

The campaign began 6 years ago, initiated by First Dates’ host and Maître D’ of Galvin at Windows, Fred Sirieix. In collaboration with The Springboard Charity, the event recognises the hard work, dedication and talent of the waiters, baristas, and other food and beverage service workers. 

Waiters’ Day was backed by celebrities from across the industry, who strongly believe in the value of our food and beverage service staff. These celebrities – including the likes of Gordan Ramsey, Gino D’Acampo, Huw Edwards, Leigh Francis, Ore Oduba, Andrea McLean, Laura Tott, Jose Pizarro, and Cici Coleman – showed their support on social media, with selfies in the official National Waiters’ Day t-shirts.

The London event, held in Hyde Park on the 16th May, contained a variety of exciting activities – including stands from top hospitality businesses, the annual themed-race, and a prize giving ceremony – as well as free ice-cream, a football challenge and more.

The event was sponsored by Bunzl and Caterer.com, and involved a selection of fantastic companies – including Coople, Zizzi, HIT Training, Wagamama, Syft, Zuma and more. Each business was creative in their interactions with the students and job seekers – holding football shootouts, bartending trials and pillow-changing challenges. Even more businesses got involved in the race portion of the day – including The Ivy, One Aldwych and The Cavalry and Guards Club.

There were prizes for the fastest waiter and waitress, the fastest male and female student/jobseeker as well as the best dressed team. Fastest waitress was awarded to Nelli Nemcsik of Georgian House Hotel, who won an afternoon tea for two at Hilton London Syon Park. Jorge Llorets of the Marriot won fastest waiter, which was a Friday night gin and jazz experience for two, in Good Godfrey’s Bar at The Waldorf Hilton. 

When it came to the fastest male and female student, the prizes were awarded to Lisa Barnett and Chris Jenkinson, of Foxes Academy, who were given a full day of work experience, followed by an interview with the companies’ F&B Director. Finally, the award for best dressed team went to Landmark London – Sara, Charlotte and Theresa – who will be treated to a ‘Be My Guest’ stay at the Hilton.

Anne Pierce MBE, The Springboard Charity’s CEO, said “dining out with friends… morning lattes… post-work Friday night drinks – none of these would be possible without the UK’s food and drinks service teams. They are a vital part of our economy, they brighten up our lives every day, but their contributions, skills and professionalism are often overlooked.”

“That’s why National Waiters’ Day began, as a way to celebrate waiters and waitresses, bartenders, baristas, mixologists, and guest service staff – in fact, anyone working in food & drinks service throughout the country. The event is a great way to showcase their talent, to say thank you and promote careers in this growing sector. It also gives participating companies a chance to meet potential new talent, by encouraging job seekers and students to try out their skills and explore the potential in the fulfilling world of hospitality – as well as enjoy the spectacle of Waiters’ Day races, the length and breadth of the country!”

Fred Sirieix, founder of National Waiter's Day and General Manager at Galvin at Windows at the London Hilton on Park Lane, said, “I launched National Waiters’ Day back In 2012, and in that time the campaign has done an incredible job of honouring the wonderful food and beverage service workers from across the UK. Not only was it fantastic to see how the Hyde Park event inspired people into the industry, but also the many different ways people celebrated the National Waiters’ Day across the UK. I’m so excited for next year’s event, and hope to make it even better than ever.”

Neil Pattison, Sales Director of Caterer.com, said, “Caterer.com backs National Waiters’ Day because hospitality businesses are nothing without their skilled and dedicated food and drinks service staff. We want to help celebrate those employees, and showcase wonderful careers in the sector with some outstanding employers. 

If you or your company would like to get involved in next year’s event, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

National Waiters' Day returns!

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Celebrate the UK’s food and beverage service workers, at National Waiters’ Day 2018.

National Waiters’ Day is a national campaign, held in Hyde Park on the 16th of May, which highlights the dedication, skill and hard work of those within Food and Beverage service roles. Now in its sixth year, the event was founded by Fred Sirieix (General Manager at Galvin at Windows at the London Hilton on Park Lane, and host of First Dates), and is organised by the Springboard Charity.

The day will include a careers fair, with businesses from around London coming together to meet up to 500 enthusiastic jobseekers and students – with stand holders including IHG, CH&Co, the Ivy and more. These businesses will showcase their job vacancies and network with jobseekers – showing them just how rewarding a career in hospitality can be. 

National Waiters’ Day will also feature a 100m dash across the park, led by Fred Sirieix, with companies from across the UK bringing staff to compete – all for the chance to win an exciting prize, and be crowned the National Waiters’ Day race champions.

Businesses from across the UK will also hold National Waiters’ Day events. From Cornwall to Edinburgh, businesses will host taster days, races and talks, which they are encouraged to share on social media. Make sure to connect with Springboard on the official Twitter - @WaitersDay_UK – and follow the hashtag #NationalWaitersDay, to keep up to date on the latest news. 

Anne Pierce, Springboard CEO, said: “National Waiters’ Day celebrates the skill and professionalism of the people who enjoy successful careers in food and drinks service in all spheres of the hospitality industry – from your local baristas to waiting staff in fine-dining restaurants, from bartenders to Maître D’s and from mixologists to Sommeliers. The day showcases the expertise, dexterity, flair and sheer fun involved in the sector, raising the profile and value of these fulfilling careers. What’s more, the experience of working as a waiter or waitress – for however long or short – will stand you in good stead for life.”

Fred Sirieix, who founded the campaign, said, “In 2012 I launched National Waiters’ Day, I am very excited today to be here and celebrate the fantastic array of careers available in hospitality. I feel proud to lead such an important day, and hope it leads to a lasting appreciation of the UK’s hospitality workers.”

Neil Pattison, Sales Director of Caterer.com, a National Waiters’ Day sponsor, said, “Caterer.com back National Waiter’s Day because hospitality businesses are nothing without their skilled and dedicated food and drinks service staff. We want to help celebrate those employees, and showcase wonderful careers in the sector with some outstanding employers. 

“This event is a fun-filled celebration of the people who bring a smile to customers every day through great service. Our Caterer.com team are looking forward to racing with them in Hyde Park.”

To host a stand at National Waiters’ Day, or to bring your team to the race, head to www.nationalwaitersday.com.