Gold Service Scholarship: Dame Kelly Holmes and Andrew Wong launch coveted competition for 2024

Exacting standards: Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop, the 2023 Scholarship winner  (Gold Service Scholarship)
Exacting standards: Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop, the 2023 Scholarship winner (Gold Service Scholarship)

This year’s Gold Service Scholarship has officially launched for 2024, marked by a glitzy event at London’s Corinthia Hotel with guest speakers Dame Kelly Holmes, Marcus Wareing and Andrew Wong.

The launch saw the speakers discussing, in the organisers words, “what it takes to succeed in hospitality, high performance mindsets, and the role of service in a restaurant experience.”

The competition is open to 22-28 year olds working in the UK, during which the highest possible standards of front of house service are meticulously assessed.

From wine service to napkin folding, to cutlery placement and tableside carving, competitors are expected to be at the top of their game when it comes to delivering flawless hospitality.

The scholarship offers its winners a range of industry-related prizes, aimed at furthering skills and knowledge. These include bespoke courses at the Swiss hotel school in Lausanne, trips to vineyards throughout Europe and work placements in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong.

Last year’s winner, Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop, said: “My year as the Gold Service Scholar has been incredible. The educational programmes have been truly unique and have enabled me to develop my skills to a level I never imagined could be possible.

“I’ve also been able to meet some amazing people. Whether it’s the trustees, the sponsors of our study programmes, or the wide network of front-of-house professionals within Team Gold, they have all helped me develop so much.”

Whilst the Gold Service Scholarship might appear somewhat of another era, it’s organised by some of the most influential names in hospitality, including Alastair Storey (of Baxter Storey), Lydia Forte (of Rocco Forte Hotels), Knut Wylde (of The Maybourne Group) and Thomas Kochs (of the Corinthia Hotel).

Those who wish to enter can do from today, with the closing date for applications on October 3. A series of quarter and semi-finals will follow, with the grand final taking place at the Corinthia London on January 15 next year; an awards ceremony will follow on February 5 at Claridge’s.

Edward Griffiths, trustee and chairman of judges, said: “My fellow judges and I are very excited to be launching this year’s competition, open to all young front-of-house professionals who are looking for ways to develop their skills and knowledge.

“As always, we look forward to engaging with and supporting the next generation of hospitality talent.”

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