Springboard Blog

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.