Nominations are now open for BNC Publishing and Hotel & Catering News Middle East’s Leaders in Food & Beverage Awards 2021, which will take place on the 24th of November at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk. For more information, please click here.
Categories include both People, Restaurants, and Foodservice with some exciting new additions that reflect the dynamic nature of the industry. Restaurant Categories recognise the best venues in the region, offering exceptional service and world-class dining experiences, as well as the biggest market disruptors, while People Awards celebrate visionaries, leaders and pioneers.
Leading Sustainable Restaurant
A commitment to sustainability is one of the most important factors a venue can offer the community and the entire world. The Leading Sustainable Restaurant winner will have demonstrated extraordinary efforts and achievements when it comes to environmentally friendly practices, sparing no efforts whenever possible to source ingredients ethically and locally, manage waste, and more, while encouraging a sustainable lifestyle.
Leading Healthy Restaurant
A healthy lifestyle is at the forefront of current food trends across the globe, and in the region. Setting an example with its goodness-oriented offerings, this restaurant will boast a menu that caters to a range of diners’ choices and preferences when it comes to nutritional value. Not only does it serve options for everyone from vegans and vegetarians, to flexitarians and many others, but the Leading Healthy restaurant must have championed initiatives to educate and inform the masses on the benefits of a balanced lifestyle.
Leading Homegrown Restaurant Brand
There is no shortage of homegrown F&B in the region, and the UAE in specific. Unique interiors, exceptional service and dishes, and a cuisine connoisseur spearheading the kitchen are among some of the criteria for the winner in this category. This restaurant will have brought something new to the scene and demonstrated its ability to cater to local tastes while maintaining a global outlook for the top F&B formula.
Catering Company of the Year
Always a tricky task, the Catering Company of the Year will have built an outstanding reputation as the region’s leading caterer. From organisation to communication, its success, backed by the expertise of its staff, is the basis for some of the region’s finest experiences, guaranteed to impress any palate. Attention to detail, coupled with unrivalled customer service, is what makes this company the winner of this award.
Disruptor of the Year
The Disruptor of the Year is simply in it to win it! Changing an aspect of the industry as we know it, they must have put their own twist on the business. From ground-breaking concepts and foodie gatherings, to game-changing delivery services and multi-functional digital platforms, the Disruptor of the Year’s business model must be original, solid and creative, commanding its own place in the market and triggering change.
Newcomers keep things fresh and add to an industry that is already saturated with a plethora of concepts. The Best Newcomer Award recognises an F&B concept which was launched within this year and has demonstrated remarkable performance. Whether it is a new kid on the block in the street food arena, or a sophisticated venue targeting luxury dining seekers, the winner will have redefined standards and introduced a completely new flavour to the industry.
Best Interior Design
The first aspect to catch diners’ eyes upon arrival, interior design can often make or break a venue. When it comes to a full-on dining experience, aesthetics and ambience are either hits or misses. Best Interiors and Design, an award which is to be entered as a collaboration between the designer and outlet, recognises an impeccably designed space which reflects everything from diner style to price point, also ensuring a seamless workflow and highly efficient operations.
Leading Casual Dining Restaurant
Ah, who does not want to experience the bliss of casual dining done right? One of the hardest tricks to master, the winning restaurant in this category needs to have perfected the art of casual dining, offering a relaxed, informal space to its customers – while maintaining quality when it comes to food and beverage operations, as well as setting.
Leading Fine Dining Restaurant
One of the most important categories, primarily because of the region’s love towards opulence and luxury, the Leading Fine Dining Restaurant has it all. An exclusive, luxurious venue, it will be detail-oriented to the highest of standards, offering faultless service and tantalising dishes that reflect the true essence of high-end dining. Customers can expect an out-of-this-world approach at this restaurant, with experienced, knowledgeable staff catering to diners’ needs in complete harmony with the restaurant’s ethos.
Leading Nightlife Venue
Despite the temporary ban on entertainment, venues have still managed to offer exceptional experiences. From getting the vibes moving, to lighting and sound equipment to complement this and more – these are all factors that are key to a magnificent nightlife experience. A hot city spot, the Leading Nightlife Venue will offer exciting times that appeal to a range of partygoers and first-time guests.
Leading Sports Bar
Sports fans, rejoice! While the pandemic may have pulled the plug on some of our favourite games, whether it is the latest in football or cricket, the Leading Sports Bar will be the perfect venue for customers to watch a game with the optimum selection of food and beverages to go along with it. This outlet will feature big screens and a comfortable ambience in true spirit of the world of sport.
Leading Brunch Concept
The top Brunch Concept will be a winner in the game, featuring a variety of food offerings and the right ambience to go along with it – with a focus on service standards and a short-but-sweet, or longer, dining experience for its target crowd.
Leading Fusion Restaurant
It is all about the mix when it comes to this big winner. Mastering the true art of combining different cuisines, this category is dedicated to restaurants that have managed to strike the perfect balance between foods from around the world. The Leading Fusion Restaurant will create awe-inspiring dining experiences for guests – while staying true to the essence of each cuisine and highlighting some of its most defining characteristics.
Looking for tasty sips or quick bites? Cafés in the region are one step ahead when it comes to solid offerings – the beating heart of the dining scene. Known for some of the best spots, the Middle East has brought extra flair and attention to detail to the concept, and that is why we will be awarding whoever has done it best this year in this important category.
Fastest-Growing Hospitality Group: This company will boast a development model with strong digital tools. It will have increased its ranking, acquisitions and more, and accelerated its scope of activity even in face of challenges. The category is for companies/groups which run, own or manage restaurants.
Leading Delivery Platform
It has been a massive year for delivery, as all aggregators competed to win the hearts (and tummies) of hungry diners. A smooth, hassle-free experience is at the heart of successful delivery platform operations. Not only will the winner offer a user-friendly interface, but it will also ensure unmatched service from the moment customers sign in all the way to post-delivery assistance and complaint management.
Leading Foodtech Company: This award category recognises the top foodtech company across all business operations and segments, including creativity in the solution created, the positive impact it has had on society and food security in the region, and the best use of technology coupled with a stellar customer experience offering.
Fastest-Growing Foodservice Supplier: This company will have continued to go from strength to strength, confounding the headwinds it faces with an innovative and dynamic approach to business, which has driven consistent sales growth.
Leader in Foodservice Innovation: This award recognises innovative, new, or updated products and services which exemplify a company’s adaptability and resilience in three categories: sustainability, technology, and safety and health.
Supplier Excellence Award: The supply chain is an important element in the hotel and catering industry. They keep every shelf stocked and provide vital services to all businesses. This award will be given to the company that displays excellence in supplying goods or services to the foodservice sector while delivering value to its clients and performing services that exceed expectations.
Leading Cloud Kitchen: Capitalising on the delivery-only customer, the winning cloud kitchen concept saw an opportunity for growth, supported the restaurant industry, and allowed new chefs to enter the food industry without any difficulty.
Leading F&B Director
The maestro of it all, bringing all elements of the dining experience together, the Leading Hotel F&B Director award highlights the achievements of an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional ability to exceed KPIs, streamlining operational processes, developing and enhancing restaurant concepts and maintaining excellence in team leadership and management.
Chef of the Year
There is no restaurant without the chef, and we send our compliments to those who have made our table as appealing and unique as can be. Open to head chefs and executive chefs, the Chef of the Year Award recognises an individual who has shown passion for the art of cooking, in addition to culinary flair and a strong skillset pertaining to overseeing kitchen operations efficiently while managing costs.
Pastry Chef of the Year
The Middle Eastern scene boasts some of the most beautiful, artistic creations in the world of pastry. The Pastry Chef of the Year is a master of his craft, with a strong grasp of the fundamentals, as well as a flair for new techniques and sourcing quality ingredients. Their creations are the talk of the town, consistently exceeding expectations with a “wow” factor.
Young F&B Leader
With remarkable achievements at a young age, this recipient is a force to be reckoned with. Under 30 years old, the winner of this award is a young pioneer has made headlines in the Middle East’s competitive F&B scene with an exciting new restaurant or catering concept, an innovative F&B tech platform or a supply chain or food service solution.
The heavyweight means business and business here is that of the dynamic F&B industry. A CEO of a restaurant group with a well-known brand, or a number of ventures, under their leadership, the F&B Heavyweight will be handling a portfolio of more than ten outlets in the GCC with a pipeline of openings in the near future reflecting strength and popularity.
Barista of the Year
There is nothing like a good coffee! The Barista of the Year will know the formula that works – and work it into the menu. From cappuccinos, to flat whites, ask any coffee lover and they will tell you, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Bartender of the Year
Armed with the best ingredients and a flair for good beverages, the Barista of the Year has a deep understanding of flavour combinations that work. They are familiar with the classics and are not afraid to experiment, all while successfully managing their time and maintaining outstanding customer service as well as teamwork skills.
Best Restaurant Team of the Year
The UAE and region are home to some of the most dynamic teams in the industry, most of which have endured extra pressure during the pandemic. An F&B team who consistently demonstrates operational excellence and exceptional productivity along with attention to detail, the winning service team will have full control over internal communication and customer service.
F&B Marketeer of the Year
Putting the brand out there and measuring success while gauging demand for newer offerings, a marketeer understands the market and can predict any obstacles or challenges – and formulate strategies and solutions to overcome them. The F&B Marketeer will have a clear vision when it comes to conceptualising, planning and implementing effective F&B campaigns.
Restaurant Manager/General Manager of the Year
With one of the most hands-on roles in the industry, the Restaurant General Manager of the Year is responsible for a very successful restaurant brand born in the Middle East or abroad; they will be well-versed in the ins and outs of running a restaurant and boast a strong business acumen.
F&B Entrepreneur(s) of the Year
The star of the stars, a visionary, the F&B Entrepreneur thinks across the board. From manpower to taking over the market, they bring new ideas to the table with their concepts, ensuring their model achieves the desired success rates and targets in no time. Who has made it to the top in the industry’s most challenging years?