As the winner of this year’s award, Zan will spend a week at the world’s top hospitality management school, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, sponsored by the Savoy Educational Trust.
Picking up his prize during the gala dinner at London’s Roof Gardens last night, Zan said: “I feel very proud, responsible and relieved – I’m so pleased to have won.”
Former winner and Babylon restaurant manager Peter Avis, who chaired the panel of judges added: “I am delighted we’ve got such a worthy winner. Alper Zan demonstrates real commitment, a sound knowledge of food and wine and customer service as well as the ability to manage his team.
“He is a true professional in a role that demands a wide range of skills from food and wine knowledge to business acumen.”
Amie Duncan of The Butchershop Bar & Grill in Glasgow was runner-up in this year’s awards, while Ian Sturrock of The Arts Club in London took third place.
Amie Duncan was awarded the Virgin Rising Star Award for which she received a stage at The Roof Gardens, a certificate and a bottle of Champagne.
“We had a very impressive line-up of finalists this year, but Alper emerged as the ultimate winner,” said AFWS president Roy Ackerman.
“Well done as well to Ian Sturrock and to Virgin Rising Star winner Amie Duncan, all of whom demonstrated a good range of both practical and business skills.”
UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition
The annual UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition recognises the best restaurant managers from across the industry.
Six managers made it through to this year’s final following the interview stage, and for the first time judges visited their places of work to see them in action.
Judge Stephen Motion, sales director for sponsor Bookatable.com said: “It’s been fantastic to be part of this competition this year, particularly with the calibre and range of people now coming through. We’ve had entries from across the board, all with the skills and dedication that it takes to be a top class restaurant manager.”