John Thorpe from the Trinity Rotary Club of King’s Lynn has been a caterer all his life and running a young server competition in London and Norfolk for the last 12 years.
He said: “The competition is not yet recognised by Rotary. interested in running it in their area. Hospitality is a thriving industry all over the British Isles and this encourages youth to get involved.”
John has been regularly involved with the Rotary Young Chefs competitions.
He added: “We had some well-known London Chefs help judge them. One was Gary Lee from The Ivy and with this connection, and another one of my own, I was asked by Caprice Holdings, owners of several top London restaurants, if we, Rotary, could develop another competition for the industry.
“So, the obvious area was what we call Front of House, the other side of the kitchen wall, the restaurant itself.”
Many Colleges throughout the British Isles run courses for the hospitality trade. Students leaving school and wanting to learn a trade can sign up for two and three-year courses. Most involve both cooking and food service in the restaurant.
The hospitality industry is one of the biggest employers in this country but is having difficulty at present to employ efficient and well-trained people.
So far, the hospitality competition has been run in London, Norfolk, Essex, and Suffolk.
Most recently, John’s club at Trinity Rotary in King’s Lynn organised a competition at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds with nine students competing.
District Governor Ian Elliott attended the competition which was judged by local caterers, hoteliers and Rotarians.
Ian said: “Front of House is so important to customers’ restaurant experience. I am sure all the entrants we saw will go on to have a bright future in the industry. Well done to the team for putting on this competition.”
John said he was happy to help other Rotary clubs organise a hospitality competition in their community. For more details contact John Thorpe via email.