Young Waiter Dates

We’ve put together some brief info here and the important dates to add to your calendar. To print or save to your computer, download the dates here

8 March 2018: applications open

Can you enter? young waiters can apply who:

  • are 30 years of age or under as at Tuesday 07-Aug-18 – you must be over 18
  • are currently working professionally within the restaurant or catering industry in Australia on a full time basis or equivalent for a minimum of 18 months
  • are currently working in an establishment that holds a liquor licence
  • have completed & hold the nationally recognised Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate (RSA)
  • are not the owner, or part owner of a restaurant/hospitality business
  • are not a hospitality trainer/teacher on a casual, part time or full time basis
  • are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident (working holiday & bridging will not be accepted)
  • are able to participate in all the dates as listed on this page (excluding workshops)

15 April 2018: applications close @ 11:59pm

30 April 2018: (week of) judges selection

we’ll be in contact with you from this date to let you know of their state finalist selection

3 June – 5 June 2018: national judging

Sunday 3 June: portrait photography for all national finalists who are flown to Sydney (if outside NSW), followed by a meet & greet; welcome dinner & waiter briefing.

Monday 4 & Tuesday 5 June: over the course of two days the selected state finalists participate in national judging where they will sit a short paper; attend a series of masterclasses; workshops; individual interviews; skills & knowledge assessments; wine and menu tasting; and a pop-up restaurant service ‘wait off’. Monday will see the young waiters participate in a series of workshops with our judges, individual interviews and skills/knowledge testing.

Tuesday 5 June: Tuesday will see the young waiters participate in after the ‘pop up restaurant service’ where they will be evaluated on their service skills; table manner; wine pairings and service knowledge and final interview. after all of the waiters have been assessed, the judging panel will select 6-7 young waiters (national finalists) to attend the produce tour in July. The judging panel will also choose one young waiter of the year and runner up to be announced at the awards event in August alongside the young chef and restaurateur of the year.

08 July – 10 July 2018: produce tour

All national finalists (waiters & chefs) are required to participate in an all-expenses paid produce tour of one of Australia’s leading food and wine region to meet and learn from some Australia’s world renowned dairy, seafood, meat, horticulture and viticulture producers. This is made possible with support from partners such as Porkstar, Meat and Livestock Australia  & Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

5 August 2018 : national finalists lunch/dinner 

An event to showcase the young waiter & chef national finalists in a pop up event organised by Appetite for Excellence where the spotlight shines on the young talent unearthed this year who will be working together as a collaborative group.

6 August 2018: awards announcement 

The Appetite for Excellence Young Waiter 2018 will be announced at invitation only event attended by 300 industry heavyweights; appetite for excellence alumni; local & national media, our partners and their guests, the awards event is designed to showcase the talents of all our national finalists as well as announcing the Australian young chef, young waiter and young restaurateur 2018.

Sept/Oct 2018: workshops

all of our applicants are invited to participate in skills workshops held in each state in either September or October. these workshops consist of either sensory analysis, butchery classes or wine/spirit workshops

Prize trip: 2018 (dates TBC)

As part of their prize, the young waiter of the year participates in a tailor made overseas trip to stage at a world renowned restaurant; return economy flights courtesy of Virgin Australia to participate in the stage; and $3,000 spending money.



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