NEW YORK, NEW YORK--(Marketwired - Feb. 6, 2017) - The Restaurant Spotlight Awards launched today to celebrate the best of New York State's bustling restaurant scene. The Restaurant Spotlight Awards were created to showcase and recognize those in the restaurant industry that serve the highest quality food, place their patrons first, and use innovative approaches to continually deliver the best customer service. Through March 10, 2017, anyone can nominate a New York restaurant (including bars, food trucks, and other food venues except for nationwide chains), and/or an owner/operator, and/or server for the awards program. Nominees are eligible to win prizes worth thousands of dollars if selected as a Winner or Finalist.
The Restaurant Spotlight Awards will shine a light on one winner and four finalists in each of these three award categories:
- The Executive Award - Recognizes the owner/operator who goes above and beyond their duties in managing their restaurant and support staff.
- The Service Excellence Award - Acknowledges individual servers that go that extra mile to provide patrons with outstanding customer service that leaves a lasting and memorable impression.
- The Restaurant of the Year Award - Showcases the best restaurant in the State of New York based on several criteria ranging from service and food to their use of technology to improve customer service.
In addition, one restaurant nominated in the Restaurant of the Year Award category will receive a special judge's choice Rising Star Award. This award will recognize a restaurant that has been operating for less than a year, and has demonstrated significant success during their short time in business.
Winners and Finalists recognized as the "best of the best" in New York's restaurant industry will receive prizes ranging from prepaid credit cards, to leadership coaching, technology, and other items outlined on the awards website. The approximate retail value of all prizes in the Restaurant Spotlight Awards is US$91,524.
Esteemed Judging Panel
The panel of judges in the Restaurant Spotlight Awards have a strong connection to the restaurant industry. They are also frequent diners with a keen eye for great service, excellent food, and other traits being evaluated to determine the best of the best in New York's restaurant industry. Confirmed judges to date include:
• Pat LaFrieda - Pat is the third generation owner and CEO of NY-based Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, the company known for its 50 custom hamburger blends supplied to hot spots such as Shake Shack, Spotted Pig, Union Square Café, and Market Table. He is also the mastermind behind the famous "Black Label Burger", and was also one of the stars of The Food Network reality show "MEATMEN".
• Damien L. Duchamp - Damien is a full time instructor and department head at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn, where he specializes in customer service, marketing, technology, and is passionate about sustainability and the impact of tourism on local communities. Through his global hospitality education organization 'Hospitalented,' Damien produces programs locally and abroad. As a consultant, he is developing tourism and education opportunities in Ghana, as well as training staff in hotels and restaurants.
Important Dates and Information
Nominations for the New York Restaurant Spotlight Awards will be accepted now through March 10, 2017. To determine the top 25 entries in each award category, all nominees will be subject to a public Voting Period that takes place from March 11, 2017 to March 31, 2017. At the close of the Voting Period, our esteemed panel of judges will begin evaluating the top 25 entries in each award category. Winners and finalists will be announced on or about May 1, 2017.
There is no entry fee to participate, and there is no limit to the number of New York-based restaurants, owner/operators, and staff that anyone can nominate for the awards.
The Restaurant Spotlight Awards are presented in partnership with the following organizations:
• Edible - Through Edible's events, print publications, digital and social channels, we celebrate food and drink culture season by season, community by community. Our audience of food and drink influencers, media and trade is interested in the story behind what they eat and drink. Our editorial and visual narratives offer rare access to the most influential and interested food and drink enthusiasts, all the while creating an authentic, vivid, enticing and enriching culinary experience.
• TouchBistro - TouchBistro is an iPad point of sale (POS) that helps restaurants increase sales, improve customer experience, and make better business decisions. TouchBistro is used and loved by thousands of restaurants worldwide, and is perfect for all foodservice business types including restaurants, bars, cafes, breweries, food trucks, and quick service restaurants.
About 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. The Restaurant Spotlight Awards were created to showcase and recognize those in the restaurant industry that deserve to be called the "best of the best". Complete awards and nomination details can be found at restaurantspotlightawards.com.