Reviewers were briefed to be on the look-out for excellent service personalities at any establishment where they might eat, whether on reviewing duty or not, that was entered in the competition in any category. Just to be named a Service Personality of the Month, for being so noticed, and therefore nominated by a reviewer, earns a service person much kudos in itself, and means that that person’s name goes automatically onto the finalist list for the annual award. Each Service Personality of the Month receives a framed certificate to that effect (and sometimes, there is more than one in the same month!), and is invited to the awards ceremony, where all are presented with both a framed finalist certificate and a badge which names them as a finalist for the award which they can proudly wear whenever on duty. The winner receives a smart embroidered waistcoat announcing their status as the award winner for the year in question.
2011 saw a phenomenal 27 service people nominated by reviewers, who evidently took their duty in this area very seriously last year! Almost all nominees made it to the ceremony, including those from out of the capital — Victoria Falls, Bvumba, Juliasdale, Bulawayo, Nyanga — with just a couple of exceptions where their presence on duty in Harare was deemed essential that day, for the establishment where their services had shone so brightly!
Celebrity Chef, Chef Gonzo of Meikles Hotel, who later also did a cooking demo using Mahatma Rice, and who won the Zoap Personality of the Year Award in 2009, was invited up to hand out the certificates and the award itself. Phillip James, Maitre d’ of Victoria Falls Hotel’s Livingstone Room, was thrilled to be named the winner, and indeed, was well- known to many restaurateurs at the event, for he has been delivering great service in the trade at various establishments for some 40 years. Phillip was a very fitting winner, and all other nominees were delighted with their badged and certificates and with this high profile recognition of their hard work and effort. The full list of names can be seen on the Zoap double page spread in The Standard.