National Waiters' Day: Fred Sirieix urges hospitality industry to celebrate waiting staff

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Fred Sirieix, general manager of Galvin at Windows, is calling on everyone in the hospitality industry to back his latest initiative - National Waiters Day
Fred Sirieix, general manager of Galvin at Windows, is calling on everyone in the hospitality industry to back his latest initiative - National Waiters Day
Fred Sirieix, restaurant service expert and general manager of Galvin at Windows, is calling on the entire hospitality industry to back his latest initiative - National Waiters' Day - to celebrate hard-working waiting staff.

The man behind the Art of Service is hoping June 23 2013 will be the first National Waiters' Day - a day to celebrate front of house staff and inspire people about opportunities in the hospitality industry.

"It would be a great initiative because it would finally give pride to people in the profession - waiters and people in restaurants, hotels and bars," Sirieix told BigHospitality.

Recognition

Participating businesses, he said, would not just be contributing because it was a good cause but because it could generate networking, extra trade and PR opportunities.

"I was thinking of giving lots of Champagne to everybody who comes in on National Waiters' Day - I want to let my guests know it is a day of celebration and I am proud to be what I am, I am proud to be a waiter.

"I am going to ask some of my celebrity friends to do service for dinner and I want to do a couple of talks throughout the day," he explained.

The French service expert has already met with The Prince's Trust, People 1st and the Hospitality Guild. Industry charity Springboard has agreed to help coordinate the day.

Sirieix has also come up with a number of ideas of how other restaurants could back his plans:

  • Arranging behind-the-scenes tours and talks within businesses and catering colleges
  • Asking celebrities and well-known locals to work a service
  • Spreading the word in the media and on Twitter, helping to get #NationalWaitersDay​ trending

Good reputation

As well as calling on the support of the industry, Sirieix is now looking for possible sponsors as well as a PR agency to get on board and help develop a website.

"All we need really is a website with a PR company to plan and coordinate the actions throughout the day, across the country. I think it would then be self-perpetuating - it will become virtual."

If successful, the special day could become an annual event and the front of house expert is in no doubt about his end goal - to encourage young people to enter the industry and to change the perception of waiting jobs as being low paid with long hours and no career development options.

"We know why it has got a bad reputation and a bad name - I don't want to talk about the past, I want it to have a good reputation and I want to start today.

"It (National Waiters' Day) struck a chord with people because everybody wants it - we have been waiting for recognition and it belongs to everyone," he concluded.

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3 comments

NATIONAL WAITERS DAY

Posted by CYRUS Todiwala,

Brilliant idea Fred. It's a step towards the recognition our industry deserves more widely.

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A wonderful Idea

Posted by Tonya,

I believe that all restaurant staff should receive recognition for possessing the skills, talents and wittiness it takes to work in the front or back of the house.

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It needs to happen

Posted by Nathan Partyka,

Servers and restaurant staff in general are hard working, intelligent and friendly people. What better way to celebrate this profession than to have a national day? I support this proposal.

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