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February 11, 2009

Ross Macgregor, Restaurant Manager at Harvey Nichols Forth Floor in Edinburgh, was awarded The James Sankey Award For Excellence in Service this afternoon.

The award was launched in 2003 in memory of co-founder of Oloroso, James Sankey and has fast become the most sought after, high calibre award for young people in the restaurant industry.

Ross, 28, was presented with the award at a surprise ceremony at 2pm this afternoon, midway through his shift. James Sankey Senior and Oloroso chef Tony Singh presented Ross with the award.

Mr Macgregor beat over one hundred other applicants to scoop the prize which is now in its sixth year.

Restaurant service can be tricky to get right. Some customers like the formality of having their napkins folded whenever they leave the table and their glasses to be kept constantly topped up. Others find that irritating and prefer to be left to their own devices as far as possible.

I remember once complimenting a waitress on the pudding she served. The next time she came to the table, she had got the chef to write down the recipe. The proportions were a bit on the large size; I think it was supposed to serve 24 but the thought was very much there.

What makes the service in a restaurant stand out for you?