The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) recently launched their ninth annual Irish Restaurant Awards at an event held in Luna Restaurant, Dublin – the 2016 winner of Best Restaurant in Ireland. Media, sponsors and guests were treated to brunch in the award-winning restaurant to celebrate the launch of this year’s awards.
Growing steadily from its humble beginnings back in 2009, the awards are now a five-month long process consisting of online public nominations, judging panels, mystery guest inspections and regional and national events. In 2016, the awards received 70,000+ online public nominations. This number is expected to grow exponentially this year.
Last year, the Irish Restaurant Awards consisted of a roadshow of four regional events – Dublin, Derry, Kerry and Sligo – with over 2,200 guests in total. The final event was held in the Doubletree by Hilton, Dublin and saw 900+ guests sit down for a five-course gala dinner cooked by five renowned chefs (previous award winners). The All-Ireland final of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2017 takes place on Monday 8th of May 2017 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road.
Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the RAI commented; “Each year, the awards have grown bigger and better and I am excited for what 2017 will bring. The aim of the Irish Restaurant Awards is to honour the hard working people of the hospitality industry from cocktail makers, sommeliers and waiters to restaurant managers and local food champions. The restaurant industry is the biggest employer within the Irish tourism sector, employing over 74,000 people and these awards are a celebration and acknowledgement of the hard work put in by restaurateurs year round.”
Online nominations are now open and will close at 12 noon on Wednesday, 25th January. This year, there are 20 categories in which the general public can nominate. These categories are made up of 15 main award categories, including an exciting new category ‘Pub of the Year’, and five national award categories, including Best Digital Marketing sponsored by OpenTable.
Adrian Valeriano, Vice President, Europe, OpenTable, commented “We are thrilled to be part of the Irish Restaurant Awards and sponsor the Best Digital Marketing award for the second consecutive year. Last year’s winner, the CoqBull, embodied the award, which honours the restaurant who engages and delights their customers in novel ways through online platforms, such as social media, communication and presentation. We’re looking forward to this year’s nominations and celebrating the winner!”
- Best Restaurant
- Best Chef
- Best Restaurant Manager
- Best Hotel Restaurant
- Best Casual Dining
- Best Gastro Pub
- Best Newcomer
- Best Customer Service
- Best Wine Experience
- Best Emerging Irish Cuisine
- Best World Cuisine
- Best Cafe
- Best Kids Size Me
- Local Food Hero
- Pub of the Year (NEW!)
- Best Cocktail Experience
- Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant
- Best Cookery School
- Best Seafood Experience
- Best Digital Marketing
Anthony Gray, President of the RAI commented; “The awards are renowned in the restaurant sector, they are the awards everyone wants to win. Restaurateurs should be proud of their work and continue to enjoy their hard earned achievements.”
Nominations can be made via http://www.irishtimes.com/sponsored/restaurant-awards-ireland. Full details on the judging process can be found on the official Awards website www.irishrestaurantawards.com.
Photos courtesy of Restaurant Association of Ireland