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Competitions for food and beverage service staff are now an increasingly important part of the training and career development for those working in food and beverage service. 

Entering competitions provides individuals with the opportunity to measure themselves against others in the same profession.  It also provides a tremendous learning opportunity.

Most of the service competitions are now based on the four key aspects to the job.  These are technical skills, interpersonal skills, product knowledge and teamwork.  Most organisers are now recognising that competitions are primarily about encouraging learning.  Consequently they are providing more and more support to competitors in order to help them do well. 

The competitions:


Gold Service Scholarship: The Scholarship offers a year’s worth of mentoring, learning, travel and placement opportunities, but all National Finalists also receive a range of benefits. Entrants must be aged no younger than 22 years and and no older than 28 years on the closing date. The seventh year of the competition will open for entries from 1st September 2019.

Réunion Des Gastronomes Award 2019: The Réunion des Gastronomes, the UK's oldest culinary organisation.  The Award is open to applicants of any age, who are currently working full-time in a supervisor/management position in the provision of food and beverage services.  Shortlisted finalists will each receive an invitation to attend two Gastronome events in the lead up to the final announcement. The winner will receive two year membership, mentoring for a year, will be invited to attend Gastronome events.  Entry is by application from February 2019.

Royal Academy of Culinary Arts - Annual Awards of Excellence: The awards are available for people aged no younger than 20 years and no older than 26 years on the closing date, who are working full-time in food and beverage service.  The 2019 competition will be announced in January 2019.  Entry is by application.

Royal Academy of Culinary Arts - Master of Culinary Arts (MCA): This highly prestigious senior award is offered only every four years.  It is open to people with at least ten year's full-time experience in service, as a chef, or pâtissier, and are able to demonstrate the highest standards of craftsmanship.  The next opportunity will be in 2021.  Entry is by application.

Academy of Food and Wine Service – UK Restaurant Manager of the Year: This competition, for those working full time as Restaurant Managers, is run annually.  There is no age restriction but the competition has a very high standard of entry.  Applications for the 2020 competition will be announced later in 2019.

UK Sommelier of the Year: This competition is run annually in March and April, for those working full time as sommeliers.  There is no age restriction but the competition has a very high standard of entry.  Entry is by application.

Rothschild Rising Star Award in Association with the Food and Beverage Managers Association (F&BMA):  The award provides a unique training resource for members of the F&BMA.  Members can nominate one person from their properties whom they feel has the potential to become a future food and beverage manager/director.  The maximum age for entry is 30 years of age.  Details of the competition are published to London F&BMA members.

WorldSkills and WorldSkills UK Live:  WorldSkills is the international skills competitions, for over 40 trades, which also includes competitions for Chefs, Restaurant Service and Pastry Chefs.  WorldSkills is held every two years, with the next event is in August 2019, Kazan, Russia.  WorldSkills UK draws upon national competitions and networks (including WorldSkills UK Live)the Skills Show) to find and prepare candidates to represent the UK. Potential competitors must be 22 years or younger, at the time of the competition.  The selection process for the 2019 competitors commenced in 2017.  

Other awards, not specific to food and beverage, include:

Acorn Awards

Master Innholders Scholarship

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