Caterer Middle East Awards 2019 nominations now open

16 categories available, including Barista of the Year new for 2019
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 Caterer ME awards 2018 held at Waldorf Astoria Tha Palm 090518 Caterer awards 2018
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Caterer ME awards 2018 held at Waldorf Astoria Tha Palm 090518 Caterer awards 2018

It’s time once more to recognise the best of the best in the region’s F&B industry as nominations open for the Caterer Middle East Awards 2019.

Celebrating creativity and talent across 16 different areas, it’s a chance to give back to people who usually do all the giving.

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It culminates in a glittering black tie dinner at the JW Marriott Marquis on Tuesday, June 19, 2019 where the winners will be announced in front of 500 industry guests.

Last year’s winners included the likes of The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill for Restaurant Team of the Year – Independent Outlet and Lock, Stock and Barrel for Bar Team of the Year.

To nominate yourself or someone you know for an award, simply fill out the form at www.caterermiddleeast.com/awards for the relevant category – all of which you can see below.

You can book a table for the big night by emailing teri.dunstan@itp.com.

RESTAURATEUR OF THE YEAR

This award is meant to reflect those individuals in the F&B industry who show innovation with creating new themes and/or brands and have launched them successfully in the Middle East. Individuals behind launching a minimum of two successful restaurants and bars will be lauded for their efforts in spearheading change and progress in the F&B industry in this region, and they need not stay behind the scenes anymore!

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (information submitted has to pertain to March 2018-2019):

o He/She has implemented drivers to improve the dining experience of guests while boosting covers, revenue and cut costs.
o He/She is an effective team leader who communicates his/her vision to the members of staff.
o He/She is an inspiring and motivating leader.
o He/She has ideas to put the regional F&B industry on the global map.
o Relevant testimonials

BARTENDER OF THE YEAR

Open to any bartender working behind a bar in a Middle East outlet.

In addition to being able to build a rapport with customers and having a thorough knowledge of the menu and ingredients used, our Bartender of the Year must be able to comfortably make recommendations and chat with customers, adapt to requests and be confident in up-selling.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Bartender can effectively demonstrate good teamwork and working under pressure.
o Keen to drive self-development and can detail evidence of progression over the past year.
o Is an asset to the operation; either through being a confident up-seller, being able to build a loyal customer base, implements measures to drive sales across the outlet and encourages the development of fellow team mates to drive operational performance.
o Relevant testimonials

BARISTA OF THE YEAR

Open to any barista in the coffee industry working within the Middle East.

Our Barista of the Year is someone who makes it a priority to stay up-to-date with current trends in their sector and customer preferences across the globe as well as in the local market. He/She can successfully demonstrate a strong knowledge of different coffee types and has shown creativity in drink creation and promotion.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Barista has a strong knowledge of coffee’s growth, taste, production, and preparation
o Barista is able to demonstrate clearly where he/she has boosted operational sales through promotions and/or new creations
o Barista has implemented measures to source new coffees for best prices and strong supplier ties;
o Barista is committed to staff training regarding the coffee offering.
o Relevant testimonials

BAR TEAM OF THE YEAR

Open to any bar in the Middle East that has been operational for at least 12 months.

Our Bar Team of the Year is not necessarily the highest-earning outlet — although of course finances play a part, It is an outlet which has performed exceptionally, showing a significant improvement regarding profit margins, staff progression, menu development, innovative measures to promote cost-efficiency, clever marketing drives, reducing the staff turnover rate, increasing covers, or building repeat custom.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Entry demonstrates a strong working relationship between front of house and back of house teams
o Entry demonstrates number of covers achieved on a nightly or weekly basis; capacity of the outlet
o Entry demonstrates cost savings; waste reduction and profit achieved in the last year
o Entry demonstrates how the outlet has developed through its life cycle, whether through redesign to accommodate more covers, cross-training or revamping menus or similar.
o Relevant testimonials

KITCHEN HERO OF THE YEAR

(Commis 1-3 and Stewarding excluding Chief Steward)

Open to any member of kitchen staff in the position of commis chef (1-3) all the way down to the most junior kitchen assistant. This category aims to recognise the ‘unsung hero’ of the kitchen —even if they are involved in banqueting or hygiene operations at a level equivalent in rank to a commis 1-3. Their hard work and quiet dedication makes operations run smoothly.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o The hero has proven reliability, enthusiasm and dedication, manifested through support for both colleagues and the operation
o The hero can provide clear evidence of his/her progression over the last year along with details of any training undertaken
o The hero is a strong team player and works tirelessly to contribute to the shared success of the operation.
o Relevant testimonials

CHIEF STEWARD OF THE YEAR

The chief steward is the head of the stewarding department.  He is responsible for the whole department – the productivity of the department, the quality of the service, the relationship of the staffs of the stewarding department with each other, and the relationship of the staff with the guests.  The chief steward reports directly to the executive chef, and he also works closely with him.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o He/She is exceptionally organised and manages the necessary admin functions effectively, controlling loss and breakage and ensures adherence to budgets
o He/She is an effective team leader who ensures the stewarding team is well communicated to at all levels concerning rules and regulations of the kitchen
o He/She makes sure that all aspects of the kitchen and the restaurant are always kept clean according to the health and safety standards of the establishment and has implemented an effectively operating waste management system and general operating system for the kitchen.
o Relevant testimonials

WAITER OF THE YEAR

This category is limited to waiter or waitresses working in a Middle East outlet. Hosts/Hostesses are not eligible to enter for this category. The award aims to recognise someone who excels in their role, aiding the smooth running of the outlet and enhancing the guests’ dining experience.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Waiter knows the menu and the operation inside out
o Waiter is personable and is quickly able to build up a rapport with customers.
o Doesn’t wait to be told what to do and takes the initiative wherever possible, particularly with regard to problem solving.
o Waiter drives his/her own development and can demonstrate clear evidence of his/her career progression over the last year.
o Relevant testimonials

RESTAURANT MANAGER OF THE YEAR

Open to any restaurant manager for any Middle East outlet. The Restaurant Manager of the Year considers and implements drivers to boost front-of-house business. As well as being a key figurehead to customers, he/she is also dedicated to ensuring his/her staff are trained up to the correct standards and offer a top service. Where a restaurant manager has contributed to boosting sales, tell us how.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o RM is personable and approachable.
o RM has implemented key drivers to boost covers, revenue and cut costs front of house and has demonstrably improved operations in the last year.
o RM is an inspiring and motivating leader.
o RM is committed to the success of his team, initiating relevant training and development sessions and programmes wherever necessary.
o Relevant testimonials

HEAD CHEF OF THE YEAR – STANDALONE RESTAURANT

The outlet itself, even if based in a hotel, operates entirely independently in terms of its income, operating and marketing strategy. The award is open to any chef in the Middle East today, who is in charge of the kitchen — or kitchens — in a freestanding restaurant and plays a significant role in the day-to-day running of these premises.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Chef can balance admin work and kitchen hours with team training and diner satisfaction
o Chef has implemented a techniques, outside of his/her job description to ensure the operation is profitable
o Chef has in some way gone the extra mile to support the regional F&B industry
o Relevant testimonials

PASTRY CHEF OF THE YEAR

Open to any pastry chef currently working in the Middle East. A good pastry chef will demonstrate flair and skill in every sweet created; whether he’s/she’s creating 20 or 200. This category is open to pastry chefs of both stand-alone and hotel operations.
Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Chef’s knowledge of developments in the world of pastry is constantly evolving and he/she is able to adapt to consumer trends as they happen
o Chef is innovative and uses initiative to try new things regularly
o Chef is able to clearly demonstrate he/she is cost-conscious; market-conscious and environmentally-aware.
o Relevant testimonials

CASUAL DINING TEAM OF THE YEAR

This award is designed to recognise the growing sector that is casual dining in the region. We’re looking for table service restaurants, whether hotel or non-hotel based, with an average spend of AED 100 to AED 150.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Entry demonstrates a strong working relationship between front of house and back of house teams
o Entry demonstrates number of covers achieved on a nightly or weekly basis or revenue in relation to the site potential – how has the potential of the location been maximised?
o Entry demonstrates cost savings; waste reduction and profit achieved in the last year
o Calendar of impactful marketing activities
o Entry demonstrates how the outlet has developed through its life cycle, whether through redesign to accommodate more covers, revamping menus, cross-training of staff or similar.
o Relevant testimonials

HEAD CHEF OF THE YEAR – HOTEL MANAGED OUTLET

This category is open to executive chefs, chef de cuisines and head chefs from any F&B outlet in the Middle East that operates as part of a hotel. Its income must contribute to the overall hotel operation.

The Chef of the Year will be someone who has contributed both to the success of the outlet’s operation as well as the industry.

Among his/her skillset will be significant culinary skill and innovation as well as sharp business acumen.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Chef can balance admin work and kitchen hours with team training and diner satisfaction
o Chef has implemented a technique, outside of his/her job description to ensure the operation is profitable
o Chef has in some way gone the extra mile to support the regional F&B industry
o Relevant testimonials

EVENTS CATERING TEAM OF THE YEAR

Following much debate that events are all about the team rather than the individual, Caterer took the decision to open this category up to banqueting and events catering teams in the Middle East. We want entries from those who exhibit the core qualities to enable smooth-running, imaginative and innovative banquet catering.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o The team is strongly aware of the key drivers of business: staying on the pulse of industry and consumer trends and being adaptable to them
o The team takes the initiative to try new things.
o The team can demonstrate creative flair in managing large scale events, while still remaining cost conscious and market conscious.
o The team has evidence of a strong portfolio of high-profile external events.
o The team can clearly demonstrate when they have supported each other towards a shared goal and have participated in industry and voluntary events.
o Relevant testimonials

RESTAURANT TEAM OF THE YEAR – HOTEL MANAGED OUTLET

Open to any hotel-based restaurant in the Middle East that has been operational for at least 12 months, this award wishes to recognise the efforts of an outlet which has performed exceptionally over the past year.

While finances are important, positive growth can be translated in a number of different ways.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Entry demonstrates a strong working relationship between front of house and back of house teams
o Entry demonstrates number of covers achieved on a nightly or weekly basis; capacity of the outlet
o Entry demonstrates cost savings; waste reduction and profit achieved in the last year
o Entry demonstrates how the outlet has developed through its life cycle, whether through redesign to accommodate more covers, revamping menus, cross-training of staff or similar.
o Relevant testimonials

RESTAURANT TEAM OF THE YEAR – INDEPENDENT OUTLET

Open to any non-hotel restaurant in the Middle East that has been operational for at least 12 months, this award wishes to recognise the efforts of an outlet which has performed exceptionally over the past year.

While finances are important, positive growth can be translated in a number of different ways.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Entry demonstrates a strong working relationship between front of house and back of house teams
o Entry demonstrates number of covers achieved on a nightly or weekly basis; capacity of the outlet
o Entry demonstrates cost savings; waste reduction and profit achieved in the last year
o Entry demonstrates how the outlet has developed through its life cycle, whether through redesign to accommodate more covers, revamping menus, cross-training of staff or similar.
o Relevant testimonials

BAR MANAGER OF THE YEAR

Open to any manager of a bar — not a restaurant as well —in the Middle East.

A successful bar manager should provide a personal service to customers as well as motivating their bar staff and offering them training and clear development plans. They should also be focused on the venue’s success, demonstrably improving operations during their time there through the development of new menus, sourcing new products and adapting to trends.

Information you may wish to include in this nomination (pertaining to the past 12 months only):

o Evidence of inventive and appropriate menu development and beverage promotions, and how they have driven business;
o Information regarding improvements in the overall running of the business — e.g. profit margins, covers served;
o Measures implemented to improve operational efficiency and reduce expenditure;
o Details of commitment to the bar team and their training, with information on factors such as staff turnover and progression;
o Relevant testimonials.

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