Competition Outline

Whilst rigorous, our competition process is designed to ensure minimal disruption to our applicant’s working schedule. The following information ensures that the procedure is made completely clear.

How do I qualify to enter as a potential Scholar?

To enter for the Scholarship, you must be employed full-time in food and beverage service, in any sector of the industry, within the United Kingdom.  You must also be aged between a minimum of 22 and a maximum of 28 years on Monday 1 October 2018 – born between 2 October 1989 and 1 October 1996.

What are the key dates for the Scholarship?

Call for Entries: Monday 3 September 2018
Entry closing date: Monday 1 October 2018
Quarter Finals: End October, date TBC
Semi Finals: Mid to end November, date TBC
Finalists’ Masterclass: January 2019, date TBC
The Final: January 2019, date TBC
Awards Ceremony: February 2019, date TBC
Scholarship Prizes: February 2019 – February 2020

What will my entry consist of?

The application form will ask for your work and personal contact details and the contact details for your employer/manager. You will also be asked to confirm your age. Then you will complete two written tasks, firstly answering ten multiple choice questions then giving written answers to three restaurant service tasks.  You will also be required to write a brief explanation of TWO ways you think entering the Gold Service Scholarship will be of benefit to you. (maximum of 50 words). Finally you will also need to submit your up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (CV).

How do I enter?

You will need to complete an online entry via the Apply page.

When will I know if I have been shortlisted for a place in the Quater Final?

In October, those shortlisted will be invited to a Quarter Final. At the same time notifications will also be sent to all those who have not been shortlisted.

Who are the judges?

The judges will include members of the Gold Service Scholarship Competitions Committee, together with invited guest judges. All the judges are professionals within the industry.

What is the date and location of the quarter finals?

Date and Location TBC (within London)

What happens if I am selected as a Quarter Finalist?

You will receive a notification that you are a Quarter Finalist and you will also be provided with a detailed brief on what you will be doing.

At the Quarter Final itself you will be invited to undertake a series of individual tasks to test your knowledge and the skills in different aspects of food and beverage service. These will include:

  • Completing a test paper consisting of 50 multiple choice questions
  • A short personal interview
  • A service skills exercise.
When will I know if I have been selected for the Semi Final?

Within two weeks of the Quarter Final those who have been selected for a place will be invited to a Semi Final. At the same time notifications will also be sent to all those who have not been selected.

What is the date and location of stage 3?

Date and Location TBC (within London)

What happens if I am selected as a Semi Finalist?

You will receive a notification that you are a Semi Finalist and you will also be provided with a detailed brief on what you will be doing.

Do I need support from my employer/manager?

Yes. Before the Semi Final, your employer/manager will be asked to provide an endorsement, confirming that appropriate time, mentoring and support will be given to you for the duration of the competition process. If you change employer during the entry process your new employer will be asked for the same endorsement.

At the Semi-Final itself, you will be invited to undertake a series of individual tasks to test your knowledge and the skills in different aspects of food and beverage service. These will include:

  • Table preparation
  • Deciding service priorities
  • Drinks service
  • Salesmanship

You will also have an individual interview.

At the end of the Semi-Final you will be presented with a Semi-Finalist Certificate and a copy of the Certificate will also be provided for your employer.

What is the date and location of the stage 4 masterclass?

Date and Location TBC (within London)

What happens if I am selected as a Finalist?

You will receive a written notification, which will also provide more details of what is to happen next.

To assist you in competing at the Final there will also be a one-day Masterclass, where all the requirements of the Final will be covered.

What is the date and location of the final?

Date and Location TBC (within London)

What Happens at the Final?

All finalists will be invited to plan, prepare for, and serve a three-course lunch, including Champagne and wines, to invited guests. Each of you will serve one table of four people.

As part of the Final you will also be required to complete a written order of service before commencing with the preparation of the service. To assist you with the service, a runner will be allocated to you.

When will the results be known?

All Finalists will be invited, together with a guest, to attend the Awards Ceremony. The results will be announced at the Ceremony.

What is the date and location of the awards ceremony?

Date TBC, Claridges, London

What happens at the Awards Ceremony?

The Reception and Awards Ceremony event will be attended by industry leaders, invited guests, supporting sponsors and the representatives of the media, and will take place at Claridge’s, London.

You will receive a Finalist Certificate and a copy of the Certificate for your employer. The winner will then be announced as the 2019 Gold Service Scholar.

What are the Scholarship prizes?

The Scholarship will include a mix of prizes, based around an individual assessment of the personal and professional development needs of the winner, to be taken over the following year.  This could include for example three or four stages, each of one-week duration at a range of different establishments, and a wine-based study visit, together with personal mentoring from one of a family of judges.  In addition, the Scholar will be provided with a range of learning/qualification opportunities, customised to the Scholar’s individual aspirations. There may also be accreditations and awards for other Finalists on merit.

What are the rules?
  • Entrants must be employed full-time in food and beverage service within the United Kingdom and be aged between a minimum of 22 and a maximum of 28 years on the closing date for entries.
  • Entrants must provide contact details of a referee, ideally their current line manager / employer who will endorse and support their application and confirm, in writing, that appropriate time, mentoring and support will be given for the duration of the competition. If any candidate changes, or intends to change, their employment during the competition process, the organisers must be informed. Any new employer will be asked to confirm, in writing, the same endorsement and support. The organisers also reserve the right to reconsider a candidate’s eligibility.
  • Entrants should be able to provide evidence of their own education, training and achievements and demonstrate, in their entry, that they have the passion and potential to work hard and succeed in food and beverage service.
  • Any establishment in the hospitality industry may submit any number of entries, providing each entry is for a different person.
  • Only entries made through the official entry process will be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, delayed or damaged in any way. Copies of their entries must be kept by entrants for future reference as correspondence cannot be returned.
  • The organisers reserve the right to use and publish any submitted entry material.
  • The judges’ decision at each stage of the competition is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winners of each stage will be contacted within two weeks of the judging process. General feedback on the initial entry applications will be provided on the scholarship website.
  • Where one of the judges is known to any of the entrants for any reason he, or she, will stand out of any discussion about that competitor’s entry. This will apply during the initial judging of entries, the judging of competitors at the Semi and Quarter Finals and the subsequent judging of competitors at the Final. This is to avoid any potential conflict of interest and ensure the integrity of the Scholarship judging process is maintained.
  • The prizes, as set out on the website, are correct at the time of publishing. These will be available during the 12 months following the Final. However, should any prizes become unavailable for any reason, the organisers reserve the right to vary or amend them to at least be equivalent or better. No cash alternatives are available.
  • Educational visits, arranged for the Finalists, may only be taken once.
  • Competitors enter and take part in the competition at their own risk. The organisers disclaim all and any liability to the Scholar in respect of their participation in the prizes.
  • The organisers waive any responsibility for any tax liability resulting from the awarding of prizes.
  • All reasonable travel and subsistence expenses incurred by the Finalists, to and from the competition, will be met by The Gold Service Scholarship (provided receipts are supplied) if these are not provided by the employer.
  • Entrants are obliged to inform the Scholarship of change in their employment circumstances, at any point during the competition.
  • On applying, all entrants are required to agree to the Scholarship’s GDPR rules confirming their acceptance for the Scholarship to hold data and understanding privacy policy.