2016 Winner – Jennifer Santner

Jennifer Santner was awarded the fourth Gold Service Scholarship by Her Majesty The Queen, at a celebratory awards ceremony held at Claridge’s. At the time of winning she was the Reastaurant Manager at Fenchurch Restaurant Sky Garden, but has since gone on to take up the role of Restaurant Manager Lecture Room and Library at Sketch.

Her Majesty The Queen, Patron of The Gold Service Scholarship, attended this year’s award ceremony. The Queen wrote in the ceremony programme’s foreword:

As Patron of the Gold Service Scholarship I am pleased to note the success of the Trust’s work and to see that, in a relatively short space of time, it has raised the profile of hospitality and service skills in the United Kingdom.  By recognising the country’s best talent, the Gold Service Scholarship encourages people to improve their skills and then to pass on their knowledge to others. The Scholarship also aims to motivate aspiring professionals so that service and hospitality will increasingly become one of the top career choices for young people.

Jennifer Santner went on to receive a year of expert mentoring from industry greats such as Diego Masciaga at The Waterside Inn and Silvano Giraldin, Director of Le Gavroche. She also work with the Royal Household at a state occasion, spent a weeks working at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpa, and visited the vineyards of Champagne to enhance her skills in all aspects of front of house service and customer experience.

Jennifer Santner, winner of The Gold Service Scholarship 2016, said: “I am thrilled to have been chosen as the Scholar for 2016. I have enjoyed every moment of this competition and cannot wait to start planning my Scholarship programme. I am sure that the next year will be a fantastic learning experience.  I am looking forward to working alongside senior industry professionals in so many renowned venues and establishments and making the most of this opportunity.”

Jennifer Santner competed alongside seven other national finalists at The Connaught, Mayfair to secure the sought-after title. The final service challenge consisted of planning, preparing and serving a three-course lunch, including Champagne and wines, to a table of four industry professionals.

As winner, Jennifer Santner, becomes an ambassador for the hospitality industry and an example of the potential success and rewards that a career in front of house service can offer.

Romain Pottier, Director of Restaurants at Rhubarb, the employer of this year’s winner Jennifer Santner, said: “I am really proud of Jennifer and her success in this year’s Gold Service Scholarship competition. At Fenchurch Restaurant, we prioritise front of house service skills to ensure that the guest’s experience of the food and our restaurant is excellent. We have been excited to support Jennifer throughout her Gold Service Scholarship experience and look forward to seeing her develop and have some amazing experiences with her Scholarship prize.”

Sergio Rebecchi, Gold Service Scholarship Trustee and Director of Serenata Hospitality said: “This is the fourth year of The Gold Service Scholarship and on behalf of all the Trustees I would like to thank everyone involved for their outstanding support.”

Thomas Kochs, Gold Service Scholarship Trustee said: “It has been exciting to see this year’s finalists progress through the competition and to see the high level of service excellence that exists in the hospitality industry. It was a tough decision but we are delighted to present Jennifer Santner with the Scholarship this evening and I look forward to seeing how she makes the most of her Scholarship experience.”

The Judges and Trustees gave credit and special recognition to three other National Finalists:

The one to watch

The one who has developed most through the competition

In recognition of his developing service skills

Each received a structured development programme with mentoring, in addition to the development programme being extended to all 2016 Finalists, who are detailed below;