Service Included

Service Included - Let's Talk June 2013

(Part of the article in June’s edition of Let’s Talk, reproduced by kind permission)

June 23 is National Waiters’ Day. To celebrate the occasion Neil Haverson and Rachel Banham talk to waiters and waitresses around the region to find out about life on food’s front line.

Can you put your hand on your heart and say you’ve never been out to dinner and had a complaint about the service? It was slow, the staff were unfriendly or you sat for ages between courses.

The chances are it wasn’t the fault of your waiter or waitress. But they’re the people who attend your table, so they’re in the firing line.

Fred Sirieix, general manager of Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows and Anne Pierce, chief executive of the Springboard Charity, are planning an annual celebration of the contribution that front of house staff make to the dining experience of millions of us every year.

National Waiters Day will feature a programme of events, including a gruelling Waiters Race. Waiters and waitresses will be tasked to run with a fullyladen tray through an outdoor course in London. Other events are likely to include celebrities returning to their roots and working as waiters and waitresses in the restaurants they worked in before they found fame.

Anne Pierce said: “Waiters and waitresses are hugely skilled. They need to be knowledgeable about cooking, ingredients, wine, accompaniments and more – and are often involved in tableside cooking. Add to that the physical skills required, and you have a trade executed by truly remarkable people.”

To enter the waiters’ race or stage your own event go to
Do you have a favourite restaurant, where the waiting staff ‘go the extra mile’? Write to Let’s Talk and share the joy.

‘Despite the stresses and strains of the job, professional front of house staff keep smiling and do a fantastic job’

HALL TOGETHER NOW - Seckford Hall Hotel

Picture: Lucy Taylor

HALL TOGETHER NOW: Cherie Manning of Seckford Hall (centre) with James Wade, Amy Henderson, Paul Smith, Faye Copping, Alice Bevan, Adrian Richards, Pawel Boguslawski and Ben Fewcett.

While many of us spend our working day in an office, Cherie Manning’s workplace is a beautiful four-star Tudor hotel set amid 34 acres of private countryside in Suffolk.

She is shift leader at the familyrun Seckford Hall Hotel, near Woodbridge.

Cherie was born and bred in Suffolk and now lives in Kesgrave. She started working at Seckford Hall as a waitress two and a half years ago.

She has been shift leader for the past year, which means she organises the waiting team into their daily tasks before every shift.

Cherie, 20, had done an NVQ in catering at college, which she says she really enjoyed. She wanted to work in a hotel, and secured the job at Seckford Hall.

The restaurant at Seckford Hall seats 70 people, and Cherie says that food is served in the lounges of the hotel as well. It means that every day is different for her and her team.

“It’s really good to work here,” she says. “Everyone is very close. It’s a very nice place to work for.”

She believes that having a National Waiters Day, which celebrates all front of house staff and inspires people about careers in the hospitality industry, is a good idea.

Cherie is currently studying for an NVQ in supervising.

She clearly enjoys her role at Seckford Hall, which involves working different shifts, and says that it’s a career she would “definitely” recommend.

“It’s just such a nice place to work. Everyone gets on,” she says.

“The hours you get used to because you make friends here,” she adds.

Mark Suddes, operations director at Seckford Hall Hotel, says: “My waiting team is fundamental to the success of Seckford Hall – this group of highly skilled individuals is key to the Seckford Hall experience; we produce high quality food which is delivered by quality people who need to quickly ascertain how to best serve a table in the restaurant.

“It is encouraging to watch team members such as Cherie Manning grow and develop in the industry; we need to encourage young stars that the service industry is a recognised career choice through training and development programmes.”

Return to homepage



Seckford Hall Hotel



IP13 6NU


Tel: +44 (0)1394 385678