Japanese waiters and hotel staff are famous for their excellent customer service. But their training is not all smiles and polite bows.
On November 23rd, Japanese waiters in Yokohama raced down a 300m course in their uniforms, balancing trays with 3 water glasses and 1 glass bottle on top.
This thrilling unique race, Waiters’ Race Japan, has its origins in 1930’s Paris, and is also held in many European countries.
The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu, with its cute swallow-tail coat uniform, beat the four-time team competition winner Yokohama Royal Park Hotel. They were awfully fast during practice, too! Congratulations on your first win!
The race was divided up into the individual women’s race, individual race, and a team race.
Ms. Natsumi Komine of the Yokohama Royal Park Hotel came first place in the individual women’s race.
Mr. Kento Sasamoto of Colowide MD won the individual race at a whopping 49 seconds.
And as mentioned above, the Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu won the team race.
Waiters’ Race Japan started in 2011, and the participants are mainly from long-established hotels and restaurants in Yokohama.
During practice, I thought, “Wow, that team’s fast.” It turned out to be Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu, who later won the team competition, and whose introduction was “We’ll take the prize and your customers.” Congratulations!
The participants in Japan’s race are either professional waiters or students of culinary schools.
Competitors are not allowed to use both hands, but otherwise the rules are a little lenient — even if they spill water or drop a glass, if the glass doesn’t break, they are allowed to continue.
These pictures alone show how much skill is necessary to compete, but here is a video from this years’ competition showing how fast they are.
This is the 5th Waiters’ Race Japan since its establishment in 2011, and the number of participants reached a record high. The gradual increase in popularity guarantees that next year’s race will be as exciting as ever. Why not check this unique race out next year?