Thrills and spills in Norwich for inaugural waiters’ and waitresses’ race
- Credit: Archant
Waiters and waitresses created plenty of thrills and spills after competing in a quick city centre race.
Just over 60 people from businesses across Norwich dashed between The Library restaurant on Guildhall to the War Memorial on St Peter's Street today while carrying two plastic glasses and a water bottle on a tray.
The race, which took under five minutes and included 11 teams, was a first for Norwich and celebrated National Waiters' Day - highlighting the role of front of house staff in the hospitality industry.
Tommy Dade, 19, from Hellesdon, who works at Norwich Theatre Royal, won the race.
Second place went to Greg Sheldrake, 25, from Wymondham, who works at The Assembly House.
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Stewart Duffield, from Madder Kitchen, came in third place.
Jayne Raffles, owner of the The Library restaurant, said: 'The race was put on to highlight the wonderful job waiters and waitresses do. For a long time the emphasis has been on chefs.
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'There is a shortfall of 230,000 staff in the hospitality industry across Britain.
'Hospitality is vital in Norwich and the race was a bit of fun.'
She added the race, which she hopes will become an annual competition in the city, would bring the important jobs of waiters and waitresses to the forefront.
Mr Sheldrake said: 'The race was really good and fast-paced. There was quite a lot of splashes along the route. It is good to encourage people to come together.'
Lord Mayor of Norwich, Marion Maxwell, was cheering on the competitors.
She said: 'The Norwich Waiters' Day Race is a really novel idea. It is fun.
'I'm coming to my last week as Lord Mayor of Norwich and the race is a nice way to end my duties.'
The inaugural event saw competitors battle it out down Goal Hill, along the Market Place, and up Hay Hill.
National Waiters' Day was established in 2013 by Fred Sirieix, star of Channel 4 television show First Dates.
The Norwich race was one of four happening in England for this year's national day and it raised money for Springboard's Food and Beverage Programme, which encourages students into hospitality roles.