The competition – run by the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) in partnership with The Caterer, sponsored by Bunzl Catering Supplies, Bibendum Wine and Virgin Limited Edition, and supported by the Savoy Educational Trust – will see the finalists battle it out at a tense final later this month.

The six finalists are:

  • Jack Cohn, general manager, Kensington Place, London
  • William Gomis, Quaglino’s, London
  • Christopher Kidd, Lucknam Park, Colerne, Wiltshire
  • Giuseppe Longobardi, the Cross at Kenilworth
  • Roberto Marziota, Fourteen Restaurant, London (Restaurant Associates)
  • Ian Sturrock, the Arts Club, London

The competitors were selected following interviews with members of the judging panel. Each finalist will now be required to create a business plan for a restaurant to be presented in the ‘dragons’ den’ in front of a VIP audience at the final on 23 November at the Royal Garden hotel, Kensington.

The overall winner, who will receive a bursary enabling them to study at the Lausanne Business School in Switzerland, will be announced at a VIP reception that evening, also at the Royal Garden. The Virgin Rising Star, an award that goes to the highest placed restaurant manager under the age of 30, will also be named.

The UK Restaurant Manager of the Year is aimed at restaurant managers – or those in similar roles in any sector of the hospitality industry – who are responsible for business performance, managing people, staff training and co-ordinating the operation of the restaurant.