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Irish Restaurant Awards Launched for 2019 – Nominations Now Open!

Irish Restaurant Awards Launched for 2019 – Nominations Now Open!

Nominations for the #FoodOscars are now open to the public via

The Restaurants Association of Ireland are delighted to announce that the nominations for the 11th annual Irish Restaurant Awards 2019 are now open. The public can choose their favourites across 21 categories including Best Restaurant, Best Casual Dining, Best Chef, Best Seafood Experience, Best World Cuisine and more.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland celebrated the launch on Wednesday 9th January in One Pico, Dublin.

Nominations can now be made via from 12 noon, Wednesday 9th of January until 12 noon, Wednesday 23rd of January 2019.

The Irish Restaurant Awards showcase the true talent that Ireland’s hospitality industry has to offer by acknowledging outstanding performers in the sector. 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 2018, the awards received 90,000+ online public nominations. This number is expected to grow exponentially with the continued support of our media partner, The Irish Times.

Last year, the Irish Restaurant Awards consisted of a roadshow of four regional events – Meath, Cork, Roscommon and Antrim – with over 2000 guests in total. The final event was held in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road and saw 1000+ guests sit down for a six-course gala dinner cooked by 5 renowned chefs (previous award winners).

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association commented; “The aim of the Irish Restaurant Awards is to recognize excellence within the Irish hospitality industry. 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.”

This year, there are 21 categories in which the general public can nominate. These categories are made up of 16 Main award categories and five National award categories.

Main categories are as follows:

  • Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants
  • Best Chef – Sponsored by Nisbets
  • Best Restaurant Manager – Sponsored by AIB MS
  • Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by BWG
  • Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Just Eat
  • Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Elavon
  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Customer Service – Sponsored by Lockton
  • Best Wine Experience
  • Best Emerging Irish Cuisine – Sponsored by Odaios
  • Best World Cuisine
  • Best Café – Sponsored by Illy
  • Best Kids Size Me
  • Local Food Hero – Sponsored by Rewarding Times
  • Pub of the Year
  • Best ‘Free From’ – Sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free

 National Categories

  • Best Cocktail Experience – Sponsored by Coca Cola / Schweppes
  • Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant – Sponsored by Wild Irish Game
  • Best Cookery School – Sponsored by Avonmore
  • Best Seafood Experience – Sponsored by Musgrave
  • Best Digital Marketing

In the first stage of the judging process, online nominations are given a weighting of 20%, while the remaining 80% 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 stage 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

National Categories will not receive a mystery guest inspection. They will be judged by the National Academy with the exception of Best Cocktail Experience which will be judged by the Bartenders Association of Ireland at a live competition.

The All-Ireland final of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2019 takes place on Monday 13th of May 2019 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road.



For more information, please visit:

Twitter: @restawards  #FoodOscars

Restaurants Association of Ireland,
11 Bridge Court, Citygate,
St Augustine Street, Dublin 8.

Telephone: +353 1 6779901



Twitter: @RAI_ie


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