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

Entering competitions provides a tremendous learning opportunity.  You can meet and measure yourself against others in the same profession, and develop your professional networks.

Most service competitions are now based on the four key aspects of the job.  These are product knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal skills, and teamwork. 

The competitions:

Gold Service Scholarship: The Scholarship offers a year’s worth of mentoring, learning, travel and placement opportunities, but all 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. www.thegoldservicescholarship.co.uk


Réunion des Gastronomes Award: 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 each receive invitations to attend two Gastronome events. The winner receives two year’s Associate Membership, mentoring for a year, and invitations to attend Gastronome events. www.gastronomes.org


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.  www.royalacademyofculinaryarts.org.uk


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.  www.royalacademyofculinaryarts.org.uk


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.  www.restaurantmanageroftheyear.co.uk.


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.  www.sommelieroftheyear.co.uk


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.  WorldSkills UK draws upon national competitions and networks (including WorldSkills UK Live) to find and prepare candidates to represent the UK. Potential competitors must be 22 years or younger, at the time of the competition. www.worldskillsuk.org  


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

Acorn Awards www.acornawards.co.uk

Master Innholders Scholarship www.masterinnholders.co.uk/scholarship


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