The 4th Ipoh International Waiters Race organized by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Perak Chapter was bigger and stretched a day longer than in previous years but despite the extra day the event ran smoothly.
This year’s event being a prelude to visit Perak Year 2017 an effort was made to attract visitors domestically and neighboring ASEAN countries.
This resulted in the participation from 11 states and four countries Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand and Japan.
Organising Chairman Patrick Ong said the event attracted 397 participants with the number of foreign participants totaled eighty five and described the participation a substantial increase from 230 participants a year ago.
The annual event challenges waiters and waitresses from hotels and restaurants to carry a 600ml bottle and two glasses of water on a tray to race a 1.2 kilometer course as fast as possible without spillage.
The race is divided into the Classic Tray category open to individual professionals working in the hotel industry and the Sportive Tray category for quick-service waiters, students in hospitality schools and colleges.
The aim of the race is to help participants to deliver fast and effective service to customers. The competition is used to recognize the best waiters/ waitresses in the country if not the world.
Besides the hotels there was a marked increase by participants from the restaurant, café and hospitality schools where colleges and universities from Brunei, Japan, Indonesia and locally took part.
Akademi Pariwisata from Medan Indonesia and Joshi University, Japan saw 97 and 35 students respectively in attendance with 50 %of them participating in the competitions.
Possibly the only negative comment mentioned was the event should be held at a public location so that the public can enjoy the fun activities.
“Generally at other parts of the world this event is held at a public place. But for the last two years it was held at Lost World of Tambun where the public had to pay to enter.
“For future races we will apply to have it held at a public location, possibly at the Kinta Riverbank/ Taman DR Seenivasagam area” said Ong.
Ong added that another aim of the competition was to encourage those entering the hospitality industry to be positive about their career and the challenges of the industry.
Mohammad Hirsan Hanafi with the Pariwisata Akademi Tourism College said the participation of the hospitality students for the race provided them a positive exposure and experience especially in this international competition.
Hirsan added that Medan is one of the focus growth areas for Tourism in Indonesia and participating here is also a field study of the hospitality industry.
Reliance College Lecturer Wan Mohd Osmanee Aidel similarly agreed that this event was a good exposure for the hospitality students to experience and network before going out to work.