Online Nominations Now Open for The Irish Restaurant Awards 2016

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is pleased to announce the 8th annual Irish Restaurant Awards. The awards help showcase the true talent that Ireland’s hospitality industry has to offer by acknowledging outstanding performers in the sector.

The awards have grown steadily since its humble beginnings back in 2009, where just 70 restaurateurs gathered in Dublin for lunch to celebrate each other’s successes. In 2015, online award nominations tripled to nearly 30,000 from 10,000 in 2013. The amount of nominations in 2016 is expected to grow exponentially with the continued support of our media partner, The Irish Times.

Online Nominations Now Open for The Irish Restaurant Awards 2016Last year, the Irish Restaurant Awards consisted of a roadshow of four regional events – Galway, Belfast, Limerick and Dublin – with over 2,000 guests in total. The final event was held in the Doubletree by Hilton Dublin and saw 870+ guests sit down for a five course gala dinner cooked by 5 renowned chefs (previous award winners).

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association commented; “Since 2009, the restaurant awards have gone from strength to strength. Our awards are the only awards in Ireland to have a Mystery Judge element, we can really stand over the entire process. Last year, we received almost 30,000 nominations – this is a testament to the high standards and quality of service that the hospitality industry provides. 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 Now Open for The Irish Restaurant Awards 2016Anthony Gray, President of the Restaurants Association commented; “The Irish Restaurant 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.”

Online nominations open this Friday, 8th of January at 5pm and will close on Monday 25th January at 12 noon. Nominations can be made via

There are 14 main award categories in which the general public and members of the Restaurants Association of Ireland can nominate in. These categories are as follows:

  • Best Restaurant – Kindly Sponsored by Dalcassian wines and spirits
  • Best Chef – Kindly Sponsored by La Rousse Foods
  • Best Restaurant Manager
  • Best Hotel Restaurant – Kindly Sponsored by Elavon
  • Best Casual Dining
  • Best Gastro Pub – Kindly Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin
  • Best Café
  • Best Wine Experience – Kindly Sponsored by Classic Drinks
  • Best Customer Service
  • Best World Cuisine
  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Emerging Irish Cuisine – Kindly Sponsored by Odaios Foods
  • Best Kids Size me – Kindly Sponsored by Heinz
  • Local Food Hero – Kindly Sponsored by Rewarding Times

In the first stage of the judging process, online nominations are given a weighting of 25%, while the remaining 75% is made up from a regional judging panel assessment. Both of these results are combined and reviewed by an independent auditor (BDO) to give an overall county winner per category.  These winners will be announced at a number of regional events held in March.

Each county winner then goes forward to the Regional and All-Ireland series whereby they will then each receive a mystery guest inspection.  They will be assessed on their menu, customer service, and the overall dining experience from the moment the booking is made until the customer receives the bill. Full details on the judging process can be found on the official Awards website

Throughout the online nominations period, The Restaurants Association of Ireland is giving voters a chance to win one of three fabulous Irish Foodie Breaks, courtesy of Ireland’s Blue Book. These getaway breaks include:

  • Prize 1: Two night stay in Viewmount House, Co. Longford with dinner on one evening for two people sharing.
  • Prize 2: Two night stay in King Sitric, Co. Dublin with dinner on one evening for two people sharing.
  • Prize 3: Two night stay in Ardtara Country House, Co. Derry with dinner on one evening for two people sharing.

The Irish Restaurant Awards 2016 takes place on Monday 16th of May 2016 in the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin.

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