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.

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.

Pavlo raises £4,100 for Springboard in London Marathon

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                            Pavlo with his medal, after completing the race in 4:15h.

At Springboard, we’re fortunate – and grateful – for the support we receive from not only businesses, but also from individuals across the UK. Last Sunday, Pavlo Poluektov (General Manager of BaxterStorey) ran the London Marathon in aid of Springboard, raising an incredible £4,100 – completing the race in an impressive 4:15h – non-stop!

We spoke to Pavlo about what drove him to compete in the London Marathon, and why he chose to support Springboard – more than doubling his original fundraising goal of £2,000!

What inspired you to run a marathon in the first place?

"The thing about marathons is that they are psychologically and physically tough – but that’s also part of what makes them such incredible experiences. You can’t just turn up to run the race, or bluff your way through it. You have to work seriously hard, and dig deep physically and mentally, if you are going to complete it. You have to earn the right to be called a marathon runner – that’s what makes it so special. Whatever happens in your life, from the moment you cross the finish line, you will have always run a marathon - it is yours forever."

What made you choose the London Marathon? 

"I’ve always admired those who have completed the London Marathon. I’m fortunate to have known a few people close to my heart, who have done it for various charities and for various reasons. Think about it – what other major sporting event can you compete in, where the top athletes of their field, are taking part alongside first time runners? Okay, you may not be running alongside them – or if you do, it won’t be for long – but you are taking part on the same day, the same course, the same distance and under the same conditions as they are. That is quite something. 

"So, while in Nepal in March 2017 on a charity trek, I was talking to Anne Pierce (the CEO of The Springboard Charity) and she asked me what would be my next life challenge or project. I replied, 'maybe, one day, the London Marathon'. Anne then said, 'I may grant your wish – let’s wait till we get back to London'. Soon afterward, I learnt from Anne that I had a place to run the London Marathon 2018, on behalf of the charity – the first time in history of the Springboard. I am the first one!"

What made you want to support the Springboard Charity?

"Having reached my 40th year – a big mile stone – I strongly felt that, in order to go further and do better, that I wanted to contribute more to the world – share my skills, my knowledge, and what I’ve learnt with people, especially those less fortunate than I am. With this in mind, I entered a competition with my employer, BaxterStorey in October 2016, and won a place on a charity trek in Nepal in March 2017 – organized by The Springboard Charity. Through various fundraising activities, I raised close to £5000 for Springboard on that particular occasion. Having seen first-hand to what difference the Charity makes in people’s lives, I want to stay on board and assist further."

If you’ve been inspired by Pavlo, and would like to fundraise for us in the future, then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.