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Competition: UK’s best restaurant manager

Competition: UK’s best restaurant manager

The Academy of Food & Wine, the professional training body for front-of-house service, has launched its UK Restaurant Manager of the Year 2010 competition, and is inviting entries from managers of any style of catering establishment.

The competition, supported by the National Skills Academy for Hospitality and sponsored by OpenTable.com, will endeavour to find someone who has all the skills needed to be a top class restaurant manager in today’s demanding climate - great business acumen, bags of personality and confidence, the ability to get on with people and a thorough knowledge of his or her trade. The winner will also have the sensitivity to judge when customers want to chat and when they don’t, and, crucially, be able to recruit, manage and motivate his or her team.

Last year’s winner was Peter Avis, restaurant manager at London’s Babylon restaurant at the Roof Gardens, part of the Virgin Exclusive Collection. Peter won the competition after the judges agreed he encapsulated the perfect restaurant manager, having a thorough knowledge of the business and the ability to get on with anyone.

“It’s a fabulous competition to have won, I’ve had an amazing year and have raised my profile in the industry hugely,” said Peter. “As part of my prize I completed a stage at Danny Meyer’s restaurant in New York which taught me a massive amount and was great fun, but I’ve also had speaking engagements at colleges, lots of media interviews and contact with other restaurant managers that I’ve found invaluable.”

Competitors will initially be asked to complete a paper questionnaire, from which the semi-finalists will be drawn. Winners from the semi-finals, to be held in London on 8 March 2010, will then go through to the final, taking place at Babylon Restaurant at the Roof Gardens, Kensington, London, on 17 May 2010. The name of the winner will be announced at a gala dinner at Babylon Restaurant the same evening.

For an entry form call the Academy on 0208 661 4646 or download one from the Academy website. Entries are welcome from all restaurant managers working in a UK establishment, regardless of size and style. Entrants must be members of the Academy of Food & Wine or apply at the time of entering. Entries must be received by 29 January 2010.

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