Put front-of-house in the spotlight says Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons MD

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Philip Newman Hall, managing director at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is keen to put front-of-house in the spotlight
Philip Newman Hall, managing director at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is keen to put front-of-house in the spotlight

Related tags: Gold service scholarship, Term

Philip Newman Hall, the managing director of restaurant and hotel Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, is calling on the industry to do more to raise the profile of service roles and encourage more young people to consider a career working front-of-house.

While service is an essential part of operations within the hospitality industry, often it is the kitchen which basks in the media spotlight and gains recognition.

Addressing attendees at at Gold Service Scholarship event earlier this month, Newman Hall, who himself started out in the industry as a waiter, said work needed to be done to redress the balance and help find the predicted extra 660,200 people needed to sustain the industry by 2020.  

“We need to make hospitality a career choice for children from an early age, as well as change the attitudes of parents," he said. 

"Service roles such as waiters are often seen to be suitable for short term jobs rather than a long term career. In 2013, 41 per cent of waiters were also students."

What can be done? 

Newman Hall believes awards for front-of-house staff is one way of putting them in the spotlight and could make a career in service more appealing. 

"The industry needs the Gold Service Scholarship to raise the level of respect and awareness of the importance of service in our industry," he said. "In return we need the industry to get behind the Gold Service Scholarship and to encourage more entrants, at all levels and from all areas of the UK.”

Gold Service Scholars Rebecca Dibben, James Fleming and Daniele Quattromoni agree that winning the award has helped raise service's profile. 

Dibben, function manager at Ferndown Forest Golf Club and the first winner of the scholarship in 2013, said: "It has made such a difference to my professional life giving me more confidence and offered great experiences. Service is everywhere – whether it is in pubs, bars, nightclubs, cafes or five star hotels and restaurants.” 

TV shows

Speaking to BigHospitality last month Quattromini said​ more initiatives like National Waiters' Day​, which takes place on 21 May, would also help, but the biggest boost would be from the production of a greater number of TV shows dedicated to service. 

"In hospitality you hear more about celebrity chefs, which is great as it has brought the industry into the spotlight, but there should be more quality TV programmes which show the rise of some of the great maitre d's," he said. "Some of them have made it from the bottom up and have worked hard to get to where they are. 

"I think it would be great to show these great managers and where they've come from, because they'd be great role models for people trying to make that choice. It worked for me, but I had to do a lot of research and work in a lot of places to appreciate it. For people who are not that sure about the direction they want to take, seeing them on the television and social media would help."

The Gold Service Scholarship 2016​ will open for entries in September and employers are being asked to encourage their employees to enter. 

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