Waiters Race, Balance, and Weave through Obstacle Course Saturday

For the first time ever in its 8 year history, the city if Mission Viejo’s annual “Prelude in the Park” hosted a “Waiters’ Race”. 24 waiters from 9 different businesses around Mission Viejo competed in the race.

On Saturday, local waiters bobbed, weaved and cut through cones to win cash.

The Waiters Race, the first of its kind in Misison Viejo, was hosted by the City of Mission Viejo, Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce and the Mission Viejo Rotary.

The race raised money for the .

"I’m excited not only for the chance to win $500, but to also be contributing to a good cause," said Chris Cherrie from . Chris went on to win the entire competition and the $500 grand prize.

Participants raced through an obstacle course which included weaving between a series of cones, shuffling between the pegs of a ladder, and strategically pushing through swinging saloon-style doors, all while balancing a loaded tray of two wine glasses and a full bottle of wine. When the waiter made it to the other side of the obstacle course, they then had to open and uncork the bottle of wine, fill up both glasses, and head back only to wind, weave, and shuffle through the course once again to the finish line.

  • Check out photos of the event above.

Participants had to make it through the entire obstacle course without dropping anything from their tray, or else they were disqualified.

The balancing act was a hit for patrons of the race, especially with either the super skilled waiters (moving at light speed) or the painfully clumsy ones (dropping everything from their tray). The obstacle drills tested each waiter’s foot speed, agility, coordination and overall quickness.

Each waiter could practice at least once on the obstacle course before the race’s start, though many already felt prepared. "I dodge little kids, tables and chairs all the time at work," said Jennifer Tofani, a server from . "Sometimes things even get thrown at me!" Toffani won third place overall and left the race with a $100 prize. 

  • Grand prize $500 winner and 1st place- Chris Cherrie from California Pizza Kitchen
  • Second place, $200- Jake Southall from California Pizza Kitchen
  • Third place, $100- Jennifer Tofani from Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour

Twenty-four waiters from nine local restaurants participated:

The race’s title sponsor was sponsoring the grand prize of $500; other sponsors include Walker Financial Advisors, Inc., , Don Lewellen-Lewellen Accountancy and .

The Waiters Race originated in France, where it is known as the "course de garcons de café." It matched this year’s Target Symphony in the Cities’ musical prelude theme, "Paris in the Park."


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