The eight finalists for this year's Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) UK Restaurant Manager of the Year have been revealed.
The shortlist was put together after a semi-final was held at the Moat House Acton Trussell in Staffordshire. The eight finalists are Shaun Corrigan of Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa, Louise Denton of BaxterStorey at the English National Opera, Rebecca Galland of The Vineyard in Stockcross, Clement Joseph of Royal Automobile Club in London, Stephen Morrison of La Vallee Blanche in Glasgow, Paul Shanahan of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire, Nola Sheng of The Hawksmoor in Spitalfields and Janine Swales of BaxterStorey at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
The final is set to be held on October 7th at the Westbury Hotel in London. The finalists will have to showcase their talents and skills before finally pitching a business plan for a pop-up restaurant concept to a group of investors, akin to hit-TV show 'Dragon's Den'. As part of the judging panel will be former winner of the prize, Peter Avis, who also manages the Babylon restaurant in the capital city.
The winner will enjoy a visit to New York, where they will spend time at Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group of restaurants in order to gain further experience of how various departments are run. The runner-up will also be awarded a place at the business summer school run by the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.
John Croft, AFWS executive director, said: “A good restaurant manager, wherever they work, must have great service skills, be able to relate to customers, manage staff, work under pressure, have a strong business acumen and be as familiar with the profit and loss accounts as they are with food and wine knowledge. We were delighted to have such good-quality entrants for this year’s competition – it’s going to be an exciting final.”
Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency in the food industry.