By Margaret Raichura, Careers Manager, The Springboard Charity

On 20th October, National Waiters Day returns to the UK – celebrating front of house careers with a difference.

National Waiters Day is the brainchild of Fred Sirieix, the star maître d’ of Channel 4’s First Dates and General Manager at Galvin at Windows. It’s part of the Front of House Festival, from 17th to 21st October, a weeklong celebration of all front of house roles throughout the industry, including baristas, drinks and beverages servers, and guest service professionals.

Fred said: “I am very proud and excited to lead the celebrations for National Waiters Day again on 20th October – it’s a truly wonderful day to celebrate the ocean of career opportunities within the hospitality industry 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.”

The flagship event of the day is a Waiters Day Race in London’s Hyde Park, with fantastic prizes up for grabs for the fastest waiter, waitress, and team, as well as for the best dressed. Last year, over 500 waiters took part in the Hyde Park race, and this year, there will be more students and jobseekers at the event – employers can set up stands to showcase the profession, and take part in sessions giving advice on how to get into the sector.

Any restaurant can enter its staff or apply for a stand by getting in touch with the Springboard team or by filling in the form at nationalwaitersday.com. As well as the Hyde Park event, races are being hosted by Edge Hotel School in Essex and the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne.

In 2015, lots of different businesses got involved: Karpo created speciality cocktails and ran social media competitions; Prezzo ran a ‘Back to the Floor’ event where senior team members worked as servers for one night; Firmdale Hotels hosted work experience opportunities in their restaurants for local students; Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons hosted a skills challenge, and there were many more! There’s still plenty of time for businesses to take part or sign up to host their events – just head to www.nationalwaitersday.com to find out more.

The event, which is led by Springboard, a charity that promotes careers in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry, involves activities and fundraising around the country, and local businesses are encouraged to get involved by contacting Springboard directly on careerscope@springboarduk.org.uk