Staff at Fazenda, the South American restaurant in The Avenue, Spinningfields, helped to raise £18,000 for charity by taking part in an innovative job swap initiative.

The fundraiser for Hospitality Action saw members of the Manchester restaurant team transfer their skills from the kitchen to the dining room floor, delivering a first-class front of house service, all in support of charity.

Kitchen team member Antonio Ruiz Garcia swapped his whites to take up the role of welcoming guests to the ‘Social Sunday’ event as a receptionist, while trainee deputy general manager, Sara Ferreira used her years of experience in the hospitality industry to take up the role as bartender for the evening.

The evening was a success for both the staff who swapped job roles and in terms of the amount of proceeds raised by the Fazenda Group – £18,217. The group also has branches in Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham, all inspired by the restaurants of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The Hospitality Action charity, established in 1837, aims to help raise funds to support people who work or have worked in hospitality and find themselves in crisis.

Social Sunday is the brainchild of the charity’s principal patron, renowned chef Jason Atherton, who has created the event to celebrate the best UK hospitality has to offer. 

Restaurants are encouraged to create their own events to engage their guests, celebrate their teams and to raise vital funds for the industry’s charity. 

Fazenda’s back to the floor initiative had not been done before and proved  to be a popular way of generating much needed funds.

The evening Brazilian-style all-you-can eat rodizio menu price was reduced by £5 for Fazenda’s guests and all proceeds from the food sales during the Sunday service were donated to Hospitality Action.

Mark Lewis, Chief Executive of Hospitality Action said: “We loved this creative take on how to raise funds. Ours is a challenging industry and it can be stressful at times; asking staff to switch roles for a shift was not only a great fundraising idea, it was also a chance for the team to gain a greater understanding of each other’s’ roles and how everybody can contribute towards helping each other stay healthy and happy at work.

“Not only was their brave decision fantastic for team morale, it was an amazing fundraiser which will provide hospitality workers with financial, physical and psychological support to help them overcome adversity and get back to work as quickly as possible.”

The charity helps individuals and their families stay afloat with grants to cover anything from rent payments to school uniform for their children, as well as providing support for the older generation who have retired from the industry. The charity provides grants to help with heating bills, home conversions or even funeral costs for loved ones.

Just as importantly, they provide a lifeline to prevent loneliness and isolation and their ‘Golden Friends’ enjoy regular contact and local events to help them stay active and connected to their community.

Tomas Maunier, managing director of Fazenda, said: “Our creative idea to support Hospitality Action allowed us to raise a lot of money for the charity whilst highlighting an important subject that is regularly discussed amongst those who work in the industry.” 

“By swapping job roles, it highlighted the hard work that goes into creating the perfect meal, service and atmosphere. Each member of staff is a valuable member of the Fazenda team with each job role in the industry requiring talent and a variety of skills.

“The evening was an overall success and we are beyond pleased with the results, which was all down to the diligence of the staff.

“Hospitality Action is a great cause and it’s therefore always a privilege to support them in any way that we can as they play a pivotal role in keeping the hospitality industry afloat.”

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