The Gold Service Scholarship 2017 – Now Open for Entries – Inspiring a New Generation of Front-of-House Professionals

While customer service is not the only reason to draw guests to a restaurant or other dining establishment, it is a key factor in the judgment of a successful and pleasurable experience. Food and ambience also play significant roles, but it is often the service – good or bad – that will colour a guest’s memory of a meal.

The Gold Service Scholarship – with Patronage from Her Majesty The Queen – not only rewards service excellence, but it celebrates the vital role that service plays in the broad hospitality sector. From restaurants, bars and hotels, to event catering, food service management and corporate dining, thousands of young staff meet, greet, serve and engage with private and business customers. The detail of their roles varies from job to job, but the over-riding thread is one of professional and welcoming service to customers.

The Scholarship’s principal aims are to highlight and recognise the importance of quality in service in our industry, and to raise the level of respect for front-of-house as a serious career path. “At least one in ten jobs in the UK is related to the hospitality industry,” explains Alastair Storey, Chairman of the Gold Service Scholarship and cited as one of the most influential people in the catering industry. “It is therefore vital that we nurture young talent to be future leaders and to recognise early in their careers the spark of personality, aptitude and ambition to succeed in this dynamic business.”

gold-service-winnerMarking its 5th anniversary with the 2017 award next February, the Gold Service Scholarship is now regarded as a vital and prestigious award with its support from the industry’s leading professionals and an immediate and fine record of recognising, praising and nurturing all of the finalists.

Nominations for candidates for the 2017 Gold Service Scholarship will be open from 1 September 2016, via the website: This includes all details of the application and assessment procedure, the winner’s prizes, and the overall background of the Scholarship, its industry Trustees and supporters.

The closing date for entries will be 7 October 2016, and the process then begins to determine the shortlist of finalists. Due to the growing popularity and momentum of the Scholarship, with an increased volume of nominations, the Trustees have added an extra ‘heat’ this year, with the Quarter-Final selection which will take place at the Café Royal, London, on 7 November 2016, followed by the Semi-Finals at Rosewood London on 28 November 2016. The candidates who have progressed to the Finals will then be judged on 6 February 2017 at The Connaught, London, culminating in the Awards Ceremony at Claridge’s Hotel on 28 February 2017.

The Gold Service Scholarship was founded by renowned hotelier Willy Bauer, along with Scholarship Chairman Alastair Storey (Chairman, Westbury Street Holdings Ltd, and BaxterStorey Ltd), who is the principal sponsor of the award. It is supported by an esteemed group of six Trustees, who also have broad career experience in hospitality. They include Chairman of the Judges, Edward Griffiths (Chairman of Searcys and Portico, and formerly Deputy Master of the Royal Household), Thomas Kochs (Managing Director, Hotel Café Royal), Silvano Giraldin (Director, Roux Restaurants), Sergio Rebecchi (Director, Serenata Hospitality), Sara Jayne Stanes (Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts), and John Davey (The John Davey Consultancy). The Scholarship is administered by David Battersby (Director, Hospitality & Leisure Manpower) as Executive Secretary to the Trustees. The influential list of Ambassadors includes many of the hospitality industry’s foremost figures, from inspirational chefs and hoteliers to private catering giants and top front-of-house leaders.

The first four scholars – Rebecca Dibben (2013), James Fleming (2014), Daniele Quattromini (2015), and Jennifer Santner (2016) – have progressed their careers with mentorship and support from the Scholarship, and become successful ambassadors in their own right for their industry.

Jennifer Santner has been fulsome in her praise and appreciation of the Gold Service Scholarship as the current Scholar winner, and explains what it has contributed to her career progression: “To be honest, the Gold Service Scholarship has already opened so many doors for me. This whole experience has helped, and is helping, me to understand the hospitality industry on another level. I’ve had access to some of the legends of the industry, and been able to learn from them.”

Additional background information can be found on the website –
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