AFWS launches UK Guild of Restaurant Service

The Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS), the UK’s professional body for front of house food and beverage service, has revised its membership structure, introducing a membership category specifically for young people in the profession.

As from next month under 24-year-olds with one year’s full employment in the sector can join the UK Guild of Restaurant Service for just £25 per year, giving them access to the Academy’s competitions, such as the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2014 and the UK Restaurant Manager of the Year, the on-line training module Licence to Work, as well as organised talks and masterclasses.

Members of the Guild can also take advantage of the Academy’s new mentoring programme, with a team of industry professionals from four- or five-star hotels lined-up to act as career mentors.

“We recognise that it’s important to offer a category of membership to young professionals that offers tangible benefits to help them develop and progress their careers,” commented AFWS executive director John Croft.

“It’s important that young people entering the sector have access to a professional body that can help them develop and progress, as well as offering them a networking opportunity with other industry professionals and those at the top of the business.”

The announcement comes as the gripping TV series, Michel Roux’s Service, is repeated on BBC2. The programme, first screened in 2011, follows the training of eight raw recruits in front of house service, with the winner gaining their first position in the industry.

The Academy played a pivotal role in the making of the programme and arranged the scholarships awarded to the winners. The programme was instrumental in boosting the profile of front-of-house as a career and raising the public’s awareness of the profession.

“Michel Roux’s Service will once again highlight the value and opportunities that a career in front of house can offer,” added John Croft. “We are delighted it is being repeated. We hope it will find a new audience of would-be recruits who will be inspired to work in the sector.”

[Episode 4 of Michel Roux’s Service is on BBC Two on Sunday 9 March at 1pm].



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Editor’s notes
The Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) established in 1988, is the professional body for front-of-house service. It is dedicated to improving the status and awareness of food and beverage service as a viable career choice, raising standards across the industry, and encouraging teamwork to foster good relations with other industry sectors.

The Academy can offer advice and training to anyone following, or considering, a career as a sommelier, wine waiter, waiter, bar manager or restaurant manager.