On Friday night a packed ballroom at London’s Dorchester Hotel hosted our fourth Back to the Floor event, in association with Caterer.com, and raised a whopping £130,000 for HA!
The biennial fundraising event challenges senior figures from the hotel industry to ‘go back to the floor’ taking on silver service and sommelier roles for a gala dinner of colleagues, clients and industry guests. Over 80 industry volunteers served 400 guests, competing in teams to secure the most tips from their intrepid guests who endured more than their fair share of mishaps, breakages and the odd dropped bread roll.
Further entertainment was provided by the London Community Gospel Choir (huge thanks to Pete Crome, Chairman and CEO of Skibo Ltd, for arranging the entertainment)
…..and there was also a raucous auction during which Chef Raymond Blanc OBE took to the stage to promote a lot donated by The Raymond Blanc Cookery School at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons which achieved a staggering £10,000 winning bid.
Our Chief Executive Mark Lewis says:
“Back to the Floor is without doubt the jewel in our fundraising crown. Philip Newman-Hall, Danny Pecorelli [of Exclusive Hotels and Venues] and Zoe Jenkins [Dorchester Collection] worked tirelessly to bring together a barnstorming evening of fun, laughs and some fiercely competitive fundraising. I am humbled by the amount of money raised on the night, which beat all previous records and I will never quite recover from the sight of some of the most senior figures in the industry doing the conga for HA! The amount of money raised is transformational, and it will be put to good use to support hospitality workers as they face life’s challenges.”
Back to the Floor is the result of a collaboration between Philip Newman-Hall and Danny Pecorelli who have steered the growth of the event since its inception in 2013. Since then the event has grown, attracting more volunteer waiters and sommeliers and raising increasingly impressive sums of money. Zoe Jenkins of the Dorchester Collection has been part of the organising team since 2017, and the event was kindly hosted on a complimentary basis by the Dorchester hotel.
Of the event Kamile Riza, Sales Manager of headline event sponsor Caterer.com commented.
“Caterer.com were delighted to support Hospitality Action and Back to the Floor as headline sponsors. It’s such a vibrant event with a great sense of fun, raising essential funds. Every employee plays a key part in the success of the hospitality industry, and team work, flexibility and enthusiasm are vital for all roles in the sector. This event celebrated that, and our team really enjoyed their evening as sommeliers!”
Philip Newman-Hall commented.
“On behalf of Danny, Zoe and myself can I add my grateful thanks to those who volunteered to work at Back to the Floor. To have raised £130,000 for our own charity whilst supporting The Dorchester team was a magnificent achievement. I am delighted to confirm that the event’s future is secure thanks to the kind offer from Sally Beck to host the event at the Royal Lancaster in 2021.”
Brands including Caterer.com, Dorchester Collection, Umbrella Training, Zenith and Diversey, Exclusive Hotels, Laurent-Perrier, Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark, Louis Jadot, PSAV and Hospitality Photographic by Ben and Jeremy kindly supported the event, their continued commitment to the Back to the Floor is testament to their commitment to the wellness of the industry.
Huge thanks to everyone who made the night possible, we’re looking forward to 2021 already!!