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Young waiter

all about the frequently asked questions and their answers....

faqs we’ve put all the answers to questions that come our way each year. if you can’t find a question/answer here, then get in touch via email or call us on 9078 8126. if you don’t think that entering is something for you, perhaps take part by looking at the application form to get you thinking about where you would like to head in your career. a number of past young waiters have said that this helped them to think about their career goals and plan for their future.  also, our judging panel is very supportive and want people to succeed, particularly front of house.

what is appetite for excellence?
we are a national awards program created to assist young hospitality professionals through mentoring, educational experiences and career opportunities. Our judges assess you on your applications, skills, creativity and overall communication. Whilst the program is based primarily on skills, it has a scholarship focus where every level of entry becomes involved in our educational workshops or events. It allows you to challenge yourself, create a professional peer to peer network nationwide and open career doors. all of the judges involved in the program have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and are involved in the program as they wish to see young front of house professionals succeed in their careers and the industry.
can I enter?
yes, if you are:

    • are 30 years of age or under as at Tuesday 08-Aug-17 – 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 visas are not accepted)
    • your employer has consented to you attending all program dates listed on the Young Waiter Dates Page (excluding workshops)

top 10 tips from past young waiters
1. Do a draft Think about your answers before you submit your application. “The questions are there to get to know you better and to help you consider about things you may not have before.” Brooke Adey, The Paddington

2. Ask others
Not sure what your strengths are? Speak to those who know you best. “For me, talking with the owners of the restaurant I work at gave me more confidence and clarity in my answers,” says Alexander Tuckett, Pilu at Freshwater

3. Be honest By all means big yourself up, but remember you’ll need to be able to back it up when sitting in front of the panel. “Be yourself, honestly!” says Louise Naimo, IDES  & Mia McIntyre Michel’s believes a top tip is to ” write honestly and whole-heartedly”. 

4. Use spell check Spelling errors and bad grammar look sloppy, so make sure you check your application form thoroughly. Get someone else to read it, too. Chances are, if they don’t know what you’re talking about, neither will our judges.

5. Give yourself time The application form is your chance to make an impression on some of the industry’s most influential people, so don’t leave it to the last minute. “Preparation is key! Have a read through the application and continually go back to it. Don’t leave the application to the last minute, chances are you will build on your answers over time!” says Lauren Spyrou

6. Do your homework If you’re lucky enough to be selected as a national finalist, you’ll take part in knowledge assessments and blind food and wine tasting… “View this as a chance to gain more knowledge,” recommends James Audas, Lo Fi WInes 

7. Trust your instincts Participating in blind food and wine tasting at the national finals can be daunting, so be confident in your skills and knowledge. “Go with your gut,” says Danielle Doffay, Oakvale Winery, “Your first answer was probably the right one.”

8. Know your industry All national finalists have an informal interview with the judging panel, so this is your chance to really impress. Be aware of the latest trends, techniques and challenges in the industry. “Remember the judges are all front of house professionals that love and care about our industry. Share with them your passion and be honest” Brooke Adey, The Paddington. It’s also your opportunity to “prepare yourself with some questions that you would ask the judging panel.” says Mia McIntyre

9. Be yourself When it comes to the judges, most past finalists agree that the trick is to be natural, friendly and confident. “Be yourself, stay calm, it might seem daunting at the beginning but the judges are there to help you,” says Robert Luo 2015 National Finalist 

10. Don’t give up A number of our finalists and winners were successful on their second, or even third, attempt. “Confidence in yourself and what you do and know during the judging process is important. The judges are not looking for the person with the most experience, rather, the person who can grow and learn from experience” says Lauren Spyrou

I don’t feel that I'm ready. if I enter this year and am not successful, can I enter again?
if you have been working full time in the industry for 18 months or more and are passionate about your job, we feel that partaking in a program such as this will do nothing but help you strengthen your skills. Some of our previous winners and finalists have entered a few times before being selected as a national finalist. This is a good opportunity to challenge yourself and think about what you want out of your career, your goals and philosophies. We will be sending some brief feedback from the judging panel to each applicant who is not selected as a finalist.
what do I need for my application? docs, templates etc?
to complete your application answer all of the application questions, and provide the necessary documentation listed below; these documents and examples can be found here;

  • portrait image of yourself – this can be taken with your mobile – see image example here
  • copy or photo of your current passport page with your name & date of birth
  • If you are not Australian, a copy or photo of citizenship or current permanent residency
  • copy or photo of your current Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate (RSA)
  • copy or photo of the confirmation document from your employer/manager that they are aware you are entering & that you will need to attend all dates to be eligible. download the doc they need to sign here - 2017_young-waiter-employer-consent
  • be available on the dates listed here
  • pay an application fee of $49.00 per applicant for administration purposes by 23:59 Monday 03-Apr-17 AEST
  • submit your online application with accompanying documentation online by 23:59 Monday 03-Apr-17 AEST

does presentation matter
the content contained within your application is the part the judges will concentrate on as this reflects who you are as a waiter; your philosophies skills and how your present yourself. An application where you have thought about your answers, and has correct spelling and grammar, will always stand out. After all, that is what you hope to do – be well presented and stand out from the crowd. It is advisable to ask a friend or employer to read your application prior to submission. Make sure to read the top tips too.
portrait photography: does this need to be professional?
no. you can ask a friend or staff member to take a digital photo of you. Your portrait photo needs to be from the waist up, in your uniform and in your place of work. We also ask that it is taken with enough light so that we are able to see you clearly.
portrait-example
   
do I get feedback from the judges if I’m not selected as a finalist/state finalist?
yes. Every applicant that is not selected as a state finalist will receive brief feedback from the judges. We hope that this will provide you with a little bit of guidance for your career and encourage you to come back the following year with refreshed determination to succeed!
why do you want to know my employers social media details?
we are here to try and support the industry as a whole and offer experiences and opportunities that you would not otherwise have access to. This also includes trying to gain more exposure for your employers business’ to be involved in the program by acknowledging your place of employment/restaurant. A few of these include: your profile & your employers business feature on our website with a direct link to their restaurant website as a national finalist

  • you & your employers business will be announced in our press releases to national media
  • you & your employers business will be announced in our press releases to state & national media
  • we engage with you & your employers place of business through our social media communications platforms
  • we can provide a press release to your employer to send out to their press contacts
  • we invite you to participate in our educational workshops
  • we invite national finalists employers to the awards night on Monday 07 August so they can participate in industry networking on a national scale

my employer is worried about the time I’ll be away if I’m successful…
the program is designed to fit around the quieter months in hospitality as we are extremely conscious of both your time and your employers staffing requirements in your absence. your time away from work will, of course, depend on the extent of your involvement in the program. Those who have been selected as a state finalist will need to have 2-3 days leave from work. If you become a national finalist we estimate that you will need 8-10 days leave from work to participate (if you are a runner-up or winner, prize dates for 2018 will be released later in the program). please refer to the application form, terms and conditions or program overview for exact dates. We provide you with sufficient lead time to be able to arrange these dates with your employer, so you are able to get the most out of your involvement in the program.

  • the application 8 hours: it will probably take approximately 8 hours to complete your application depending on how much you can do at any one time. We recommend that you write a draft of your application answers, then a week later look at the answers again to finalise them
  • state finalist + 3 days: if selected as a state finalist, you will be required for judging and events spanning approximately 2-3 days (all states) in Sydney
  • national finalist + 8 – 9 days: if selected as a national finalist, you will be required for mandatory judging/ events for approximately 8-9 days in total (includes produce tour and the awards evening
  • runner up: You will be required early in 2018 for a visit to an Australian winery and dates (TBC) in 2017 for appearances
  • winner + 4 weeks: You will be required for up to four weeks in March/April 2018 and dates (TBC) in 2018 for appearances

to get a better overview of the different stages of the program, please read the dates listed in about-young-waiter-2017

i don’t have a computer and i’m not very good at using them...
if you don’t have a computer, perhaps you know someone that can help you? Your friend, girl/boyfriend, family member, boss or colleague. if you are using different computers or devices (tablet etc) why don’t you download ‘dropbox’ onto your mobile phone, computer or tablet. you can store images and/or documents here and access them from either your phone or any computer by signing in. Otherwise, make sure that you have a USB key (memory stick) with all your documents and/or images on file to upload if using a friend or works computer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask for any advice – we are here to help!
how do I send copies of my passport, RSA, employers doc etc?
scan a copy or take a photo of your RSA, passport (or drivers licence if you don’t have a passport) and employer documents as individual documents or images. You can use your mobile or digital camera for photos. Each of these copies will need to be uploaded onto the website. If taking photo’s you need to make sure that the wording on each one is visible, able to be read and is not out of focus.
I don’t have a scanner…?
if you don’t have access to a scanner at work, you can use your mobile phone or digital camera to take an image of all documents. However, you will need to make sure that all wording for each document can be read easily, is not out of focus and has enough light. If you can’t read it, neither can we. Please make sure you take notice of the file size – no more than 5MB for each one!
why do I need to supply a copy of my passport?
to prove that a) you are an Australian resident or citizen; b) your date of birth & c) that you are who you say you are!
what does it cost to enter?
there is a one off application fee of $49.00 per application. Only one application per person will be accepted.
how can I pay?
There are two ways to pay either by credit card when submitting your application online (there is a 2% credit card surcharge) or via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) direct into our bank account Bank: ANZ Account Name: Young Chef of the Year Pty Ltd BSB: 012-010 Account Number: 200 425 409 Please quote as a reference ie: YW (your first name and last name) ie. YW JohnSmith

Select a year

see our previous years finalists below