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North Fork Waiter Race

Servers at the start of last year’s fourth annual North Fork Waiter Race. (Credit: Kendall Stark)

There are only three rules in the North Fork Waiter Race: don’t run, don’t touch your opponents, and most importantly, don’t spill.

This Saturday, servers from local eateries across the East End marched down Main Street in Greenport, trays in hand, as the crowd cheered them on.

Shelly Scoggin, who owns The Market in Greenport and organized the event for the fourth consecutive year said she was inspired by similar waiter races held in Washington D.C. and Paris.

“It’s a 20-minute event that promotes awareness,” said Scoggin. “It’s nice because we know all of the servers from local restaurants and it’s fun to go out support them.”

The first waiter race was held in Paris in 1905, and served as a PR campaign for the restaurant industry. The public found food service workers to be rude and offensive, so the competition was founded as a chance for waiters to build their reputations. Today, waiter races are held in over 60 countries across the world.

Edwin Salazar and Elton McIntyre of Claudio’s Restaurant took first and second place respectively while James Mullane of Claudio’s Clam Bar claimed 3rd.

“It feels wonderful,” said Salazar. “Especially since I was disqualified last year for dropping a glass.”

Half the funds from the Waiter Race are donated to the Eastern Long Island Hospital Foundation, while the other half goes to first second and third place winners.

Credit: Kendall Stark
Credit: Kendall Stark