The 2016 Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service

By Linda Scarborough

Jennifer Hugé, the winner of the inaugural Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service, keeps La Colombe running with passion and pride.

With this new award, named for the founder of Eat Out, we honour an individual who has made a significant impact on service standards in the restaurant industry. Our first-ever winner, Jennifer Hugé, is a front-of-house manager whose sincerity and passion touch everyone who visits La Colombe.

Jennifer studied finance and marketing in France before moving to SA 15 years ago. She began working at La Colombe as a waitress under Franck Dangereux, but quickly moved into a relief maître d’ position, and from there, front-of-house manager, a position she has held ever since.

Hearing her talk, it’s impossible not to notice her passion: “There’s nothing better than, in the middle of a crazy service, to look around and see how everything just falls into motion,” says Jennifer. “There’s a certain magic that forms in the air.” Jennifer is also quick to credit her team: “The serving staff are incredibly proud of what they do and of what they serve, and this is passed onto the guests.”

Chief judge Abigail Donnelly says, “She is unique in every way, from her lovely bubbly personality, which overflows to the waitrons and guests, to her sincerity and passion. She is a huge part of the restaurant; I can’t think of anyone who deserves this accolade as much as her.”