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Why did you launch the Restaurant Spotlight Awards?

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 restaurants throughout North America, there is consensus that restaurant's, managers, and serving staff do not receive the recognition they deserve.

We believe that a good restaurant serves the highest quality food, places its patrons first, and will look at innovative approaches to continually deliver the best customer service. The Restaurant Spotlight Awards were created to provide the restaurant industry with a benchmark awards program that showcases and recognizes those that deserve to be called the “best of the best”.

I run a chain restaurant. Can I participate?

The Restaurant Spotlight Awards are open to any food venue in the State of New York, except for nationwide chains.

Can I self-nominate for the awards?

Yes, nominations can be self-directed or made by an independent third party.

Is there a fee for entry?

There is no entry fee to participate in the Restaurant Spotlight Awards.

I own multiple restaurants. Can I submit an entry for each one?

Yes! There is no limit to the number of restaurants that any one owner can submit for the Restaurant Spotlight Awards.

Am I limited to how many serving staff I can nominate for the award?

Restaurants are free to nominate every member of their serving staff for the Restaurant Spotlight Awards.

There are several managers of my restaurant. Can I nominate each of them?

Yes! There is no limit to the number of managers a restaurant can nominate for the Restaurant Spotlight Awards.

What criteria will be used to evaluate the restaurants participating in the awards?

In each award category, judges will be looking for the standout 300-word explanation as to why a particular restaurant, executive, or server is being nominated. This initial explanation has a 40% weighting in each category.

Each category will also be evaluated based on the following criteria:

The Executive Award:
  • Management Style (25%)
  • Motivation (25%)
  • Creativity (25%)
  • Staff Engagement (25%)
The Restaurant of the Year Award:
  • Ambience (25%)
  • Service (25%)
  • Culinary Offerings (25%)
  • Innovative Use of Technology (25%)
The Service Excellence Award:
  • Attitude (25%)
  • Knowledge of Cuisine (25%)
  • Professionalism (25%)
  • Teamwork (25%)
The Rising Star Award:
  • Ambience (25%)
  • Service (25%)
  • Culinary Offerings (25%)
  • Innovative Use of Technology (25%)
Who are the awards judges?

Details on awards judges can be found here.